It is a well-known fact that once the habit is formed, exercise is one of the most enjoyable and personally rewarding activities that one can practice. For most people, getting the ball rolling by showing up for fitness routines is just about the hardest part. The actual effort is fun and energizing. Try using MONQ’s Active or Healthy to boost your fitness.
So why do so many committed plans for fitness fall short just before habits are established?
According to the experts, one thing that may be lacking is simple motivation and personal accountability. Once the habit is formed, you can rely on intrinsic motivation. This is that satisfaction that comes from engaging in your exercise routine that brings you back for the next session. But until then, it helps to have something to increase the perceivable value of your energy investments.1
Until intrinsic motivation is realized, an extrinsic motivator makes a suitable substitute. But before you promise yourself a gooey chocolate dessert for each successful routine, there is a solution to consider that is far more advantageous and aligned to your plans for greater health.
Benefits of Fitness Apps
Fitness apps provide a powerful motivator and tangible plan for accountability. By providing the user with progress tracking and performance data in a neatly laid out interface, goals become more real and every action and success becomes a step toward a much larger goal. This “bird’s eye” view of your fitness campaign can keep you focused on your course until habits set in and the value increases after that.
Considering the enormous benefit the best fitness apps can provide, let’s examine the finer features of today’s top options. So, with no further introduction, and in no particular order, here are some of the best fitness apps to choose from and some hints on the specific benefits of each one.
Runkeeper – GPS Tracker for Running and Jogging
The runkeeper fitness app will track the distances you cover whether you run, hike, jog or bike your way to better health. With the Runkeeper GPS tracker you will join a happy community of health enthusiasts who provide healthy helpings of social encouragement to see you out the door and on your way. This option is great for those looking to improve their health and get a decent daily jaunt as well as those training to run across the Sahara.2
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What we like:
- GPS Tracking: This app can measure every step you take from your front door over the hills through the woods and back.
- Copious Motivation: There are rewards, challenges, achievements and an entire community to share your joy.
- Goals and Progress: Set special goals for yourself and feel the exuberance of accomplishment as you see proof of the progress you’ve made.
- Additional Features: This app is loaded with additional tools to improve your exercise. There are audio clues, motivational messages, training plans, and running groups to join.
- Compatible with Fitbit and MyFitnessApp.
Stronglifts 5×5 – Weight Lifting & Gym Workout Log
It can be a bit intimidating being the lightweight at the local gym, but by having a clear and simple routine as provided by the Stronglifts 5X5, you’ll be on your way to success.
This app provides you with a clear cut plan to increase physical strength through three, 45-minute training sessions per week. You will find a clear interface explaining which exercises need to be done and how many. As your progress increases, you will learn how to add weights to each routine.3
What we like:
- Clear and Simplistic: The easy instructions provide a simplistic route to navigating the gym and coming out with increased strength.
- Universal: There are effective plans and programs for advanced bodybuilders and rookie iron pumpers alike.
- Instructions: Feeling unsure about execution and rest times, this app provides visual guides and proposed rest periods based on previous performances.
- Progress Tracker: Provides an at-a-glance reference of weight lifted, weight gained and more.
Sworkit excels in providing tailor-made workouts that suit the physical needs and time frames of the user. Because there is no equipment or gym necessary for the routines provided, you can do them anywhere as well.4
What we like:
- Fully Customizable Routines: Whether you want to get leaner, stronger, or fitter there is a plan and intensity level just for you.
- Guided Workouts: Emphasis on form is essential for accomplishing goals and avoiding strains. You can see a full guided instructional for every routine in this app.
- Additional Support: The exercises and routines found here can make an excellent support to running, gym work or other athletic activities.
Zombies, Run! and Seven
One great way to get a good run is to imagine a horde of zombies closing in behind you. That was the idea behind the Zombies fitness app that combines and interactive adventure with real-life fitness plans and goals. As the user plays along they will unlock more storyline and even episodes where they will need to break into a dead run to keep clear of the undead nipping at their heels.
In a similar tone, Seven makes a classic video game of your daily workout and requires nothing more than the wall, your chair, and body weight. The routines are for no more than 7 minutes each day for seven months, but there’s a catch: you only have three lives to make the seven month journey, and each session missed will cost you a life.5
What we like:
- Fun: Infusing your workout with imagination is a great motivator, so why not make a game of your exercise.
- Progress: This is not just a routine game of “hide and seek.” The routines you will perform will become increasingly more difficult and your chances of survival will be tested.
- Upgrades: The free app is fun enough, but the investing in the upgrades can significantly improve the experience.
The gentle practice of yoga has benefits that go beyond physical fitness to improve the functions of the mind and balance moods. With the Daily Yoga app, beginning yogis can take advantage of high-definition instructional videos for increasing strength, flexibility, and mobility with a great variety of positions.
There are fifty, 30 minute yoga sessions available that carry specific benefits to targeted body regions. Because a single position or transition can carry unlimited health benefits, these 50 classes can take considerable time to perfect and the journey will be filled with health benefits.6
What we like:
- Yoga: For those looking for a whole new approach to wellness, yoga provides endless benefits to pain relief, increased mobility, stress relief, circulation, lung health, and muscle coordination.
- Progress Tracker: This app will keep you notified of the progress you have made and the postures, or Asanas, you have mastered.
- Community: Being connected to a community of yogis provides motivation, guidance, and a chance for social connections across the planet.
- Music: You can set up your yoga program anywhere and enjoy a soothing music that helps set the tone and facilitate executions.
Final Notes on the Best Fitness Apps
As you can see, there is something for everyone in the fitness app market and these were only a few of the options available. Choosing an ideal mobile app to bolster you fitness efforts infuses a humble beginning with extrinsic motivation and accountability. For those who have established their exercise habits, a fitness app can provide vital data and progress reports for perfecting physical training.
Photo credits: Pe3k/shutterstock.com, SatoriStudio/shutterstock.com, ArtRoms/shutterstock.com