I have a confession to make. I like to pretend I’m far more athletic than I actually am. I go to the gym, and hate every minute of it. I still crave the student lifestyle, where the majority of calories burned were on the dance floor or walking to the nearest hole-in-the-wall for hangover breakfast. As someone who has just entered the professional realm, there is a growing emphasis that is placed on maintaining a work-life balance. Let’s face it, folks: we aren’t getting any younger.
It’s time to start taking care of the machinery we were given. Being active is relatively attainable when you have both the mental drive and hard drive backing you up. These applications were designed to help keep your hearts pumping and feet moving.
The driving force behind GymPact is that it is incentive based, which, truth be told, often works. In the application, you set aside the amount of time you’re willing to commit to going to the gym every week. But, the stakes are high in this game. You match that with a monetary amount, just in case your word isn’t as good as gold. Every time you go to the gym, you check in with the application-programming interface (usually Google maps). If you succeed at reaching your targets, you earn a few dollars for your pocket. But, when you start slacking, that’s when you begin to burn a hole in your wallet.
Coming from a country where winter sports are quintessentially as important as eating or breathing, Alpine Relay is an application heavy in value. Most of the major ski resorts across the world are accounted for which means it isn’t limited strictly to the Western world. The application tracks your speed, distance, vertical, and calorie burn, and allows you to reference previous runs in your season. It also allows you to connect to other skiers and snowboarders to compare statistics and network.
This app was the first fitness related tool I had on my iPhone, and I used it to encourage myself to (re: attempt to) take up jogging. With a simple interface and great usability, MapMyRun records various details of your workout, such as duration, pace, speed, calories burned, and route traveled. And, if you’re brave enough, you can sync it with your social media platforms.
There was a time that I thought yoga was a fad, much like thick-rimmed glasses, skinny jeans and ironic instagram photography. But, yoga is not only for those who love new age fun; I would even say that it’s officially mainstream. This application gives users a step-by-step instruction on how to complete over 30 various positions, which is extremely handy for beginners. Plus, you can now contribute to conversations that contain the phrase “I was doing the downward dog and…”
I wanted to avoid any well established applications, but there are so many unique elements that Nike BOOM possesses, I couldn’t help but include it on my list. Not only can you create your own work-out routine, complete with cardio and weight training, but the app uses up-tempo tunes and an audio coach to motivate you during your finest hours. There is also a philanthropic component that encourages users to make a donation through Livestrong, which ultimately funds cancer research.
Although it isn’t a fitness application, Fooducate deserves an honourable mention as a contributor to an overall healthier lifestyle. Fooducate is the winner of the 2011 best iPhone Health & Fitness app, and it’s not surprising. It uses the camera feature of your phone to scan UPCs and outputs data and nutritional value surrounding the product. If you’ve ever found yourself in the supermarket, contemplating over which brand was the healthiest choice for you, then fret no further. Fooducate is a must-have for any supporting platform.