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One of my big goals in 2018 is to be healthier and fitter. Sitting in front of a computer all day hasn’t helped much. All of this is especially true now that I own my own business. I could stand to lose between 10 and 12 pounds over the next few months. And being the technology hound I am, I’ve turned to a handful of fitness apps to help me along the way!
My Favorite 2018 Fitness & Health Apps
I spend a good deal of time working out and focusing on my health every day. Probably between 2-3 hours between focusing on what I’m putting in my mouth to working out with good form. Here’s what I use to get it done.
FitStar Personal Trainer & Yoga Apps
FitStar has been around for some time now but just released a Yoga based app about a month ago. The idea is that the apps adjust moves to your abilities and goals to make workouts surrounding what you’re aiming for. FitStar’s Yoga app is a bit more difficult to use than the Personal Trainer simply because you’re not always looking at the screen and there aren’t always enough verbal cues.
- You don’t have to think about your workouts—just do them and follow along with the prompts from the trainers with someone on the screen doing it alongside with you.
- You can tell the apps if something is too hard for you and it’ll make adjustments in the future to build you up to those moves. I can’t do a pushup to save my life and forget headstands so the apps are focusing on modified pushups and beginner poses to get me towards headstands.
- There are Freestyle sessions that you can do anytime, even if you run out of weekly sessions.
- You can use it on just about any device because it’s also a web app. No need for Apple products, my friends.
- Both apps sync with MyFitnessPal for workouts and calorie counts.
- The Yoga app can be a bit buggy sometimes and tell you to move from pose to pose when you’re actually meant to be still in a pose.
- Sometimes the Yoga app says nothing when you’re supposed to start a new pose.
- Freestyle sessions have no modifications for you individually so they can be pretty difficult.
- While the Personal Trainer app is mostly bodyweight, there are a few exercises that require equipment I don’t have, like something to step up on.
- Occasionally the apps get stuck loading moves for a session. I’ve had to uninstall it and reinstall it twice to solve the problem. Not really conducive to those who aren’t highly motivated to work out!
- Doesn’t replace my yoga classes—but hey, that’s a real person.
Blogilates fitness apps
This is the newest app to my fitness arsenal. Cassey Ho is a ridiculously chipper person and if you’re not into teenaged girl stuff, you might want to skip this one. We’re talking like workout videos about like Top 40 songs and like talking about things like a thigh gap.
- If you’ve ever wanted a super happy workout buddy who talks through moves, Cassey is your gal.
- The workouts are deceivingly simple but really do work out your muscles. You’ll feel it later.
- Easily access all of the Blogilates YouTube videos through the app by category or focus area.
- Join in the forum to get motivation from other POPsters (Casey’s brand word for her loyal) with an Instagram like platform.
- Cassey and the forum gals can get pretty annoying pretty quickly. Most of her fans are teenagers, after all, and she definitely can grate on you when you’re frustrated.
- There’s a lot of negativity in the forums from a lot of young girls. Many of them talk about having eating disorders, how horrible they look (when they’re actually quite skinny), and other body image problems. There isn’t any cattishness that I’ve seen so far but I’m sure it’s there.
- You can get everything, include the paid calendars, on her website and Youtube Channel. Sure, it’s nice to have it in one place but you don’t need it.
- No calorie counts, syncing, or anything. Just a little checkbox with a cutesy comment when you complete a calendar activity.
MyFitnessPal fitness apps
I’ve tried both LoseIt! and MyFitnessPal. They’re pretty much identical except that the calorie counts and allowances differ pretty significantly. MyFitnessPal gives me a much lower amount of daily calories for the same weight loss goal as LoseIt! Strange, right? So why MyFitnessPal? My friends are on it. You can find me as TheMadeThing, of course.
- Easily track things that are hard to track, like recipes. You can import recipes from blogs and websites and it calculates your calories out based on the ingredients. (It can’t do homemade cheese or other recipes where there are waste products like whey, but hey, nothing’s perfect!)
- You can interact with friends for extra motivation and check-ins for goals.
- It has reminders that alert you if you forget to add in meals.
- Syncs with different devices and apps, including HealthKit for Apple fans.
- The handy scanner makes it easy to add things with a barcode.
- You can track more than just weight and add in measurements to give you an extra morale boost when the going gets tough.
- Calories burned is pretty arbitrary for different activities. It’s all about the algorithm! But sometimes it seems a bit farfetched.
- There are no reminders to do exercise, just adding in meals.
- Sometimes the recipe importer can’t handle blog formatting things correctly and you get whacky stuff. It also randomly assigns products for ingredients instead of the ones you use often. You have to go through and choose alternates.
- You can’t make changes to the nutrition aspects (like low-sodium diet or higher protein needs) so it’s useless if you have any dietary restrictions that change those bits.
- You can’t track other nutrition macros, like amounts of Omega-3s and 6s.
Gymboss fitness apps
The digital version of a Gymboss interval timer, it’s pretty simple to use and set up intervals for HIIT and Tabata workouts.
- Simple. Like, really, really simple.
- It’s loud.
- It does intervals and has a stopwatch. Fancy.
- You can name intervals so you don’t have remembered what you’re supposed to be doing.
- Ugly as heck. You can change the timer icons to other colors and icons to keep your intervals easier to manage but it’s still pretty 1980’s gym looking combined with very early iPhone design.
- You can’t duplicate multiple intervals at once. You also can’t have it repeat a series and move on to another series and repeat that one.
Instant Heart Rate fitness apps
It’s a heart rate monitor for your phone. It uses the light and the camera on your fingertip.
- It seems to be pretty reliable when I tested it against a medical finger monitor.
- It saves your results for a few measurements in the past even in the free app.
- The monthly subscription (I think?) comes with access to exercise plans.
- There’s a paid StandUp Test that tells you how strong your heart is.
- The prices for the app and in-app purchases aren’t really quite clear. It might be monthly. It might be a one time fee. I’m still not sure! I have no idea what the StandUp Test costs. iTunes in-app purchase information is the only place I can find that information so that’s not super helpful.
- There’s a constant barrage of “upgrade!” if you’re using the free version just to monitor your heart rate
Calm fitness apps
A meditation and the calming app made to help you find your center in life. I’ve been a longtime user of this app and love the most recent changes to the app. I use this app for meditation to center myself when I’m stressed and also to focus while I’m working in timed intervals without distractions.
- There’s a ton of different backgrounds, ranging from simple rain sounds to weird yogi things that I kind of dig.
- There’s a free program to help you get started on a path towards calmness.
- There are programs you can purchase for around $10 a year that help you go through steps to focus your mediation.
- You can use the timer and set a stop sound to bring you back into the world.
- Sometimes it can be buggy and get stuck or crash between changing scenes.
- It can drain your battery if you’re not careful to shut the app or turn the screen off if you’re not staring at it.
- The wake-up noises can be pretty dang loud and there’s no way to change the volume at the end of the timer. If you turn up the sound to create a wall of noise to end distractions, it can be a seriously rude awakening when the timer is up.
- People have been reporting all kinds of other issues with the app since the update.
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Tell me, what’s your favorite fitness and health apps?