Looking to start a new workout plan? You don’t need a personal trainer or even a gym membership. Download a few handy apps and use your phone to guide your workouts. Here’s what you need:
Run: Nike + Running
As a light runner, I use the Nike + app for every run I do. The app’s easy to use, very accurate and I love the encouraging words virtual coaches shout out during and after your workout. It’s especially helpful when training for a race because it pushes each run to be slightly farther than the previous one, automatically amping up your workout plan. You can even add “friends” on Nike + Running and, trust me, there’s no greater motivation than opening an app and seeing that two of your girlfriends logged three miles yesterday. You’ll have your butt in gear in no time. It works most accurately outdoors, but you can still log runs on the treadmill as well.
Strengthen and Stretch: Yoga
The Yoga app instructs users through various poses by combining detailed instructions with clear photos. It features hundreds of poses, 300 to be exact, and allows yogis to cut and paste their favorites together, customizing their very own yoga workout plan. Not feeling particularly creative? It comes set with 45 different programs to try. Whether you’re new to the mat or have been practicing for years, Yoga offers knowledgeable guidance
Hike Outside: AllTrails
Tired of being cooped up in a gym? Hit the trails in the great outdoors. AllTrails is, hands down, my personal favorite hiking app. Based on user reviews, it features hikes across the country. Even those living in major cities will be able to find trails nearby. Featuring over 50,000 trails, users rate their hikes based on qualities, such as difficulty and scenery. Beginners can start with easy trails, while pros looking to get their heart rates up can opt for the difficult, or even strenuous, trails.
Count Cals Munched and Burned: Lose It!
As a fitness junkie and self-diagnosed food addict, I’ve had Lose It! on my iPhone for years. The pocket calculator helps count calories eaten and burned. The variety of food and fitness is extensive and it also tracks your weight loss over time, if you’re trying to shed some pounds. Even if you don’t want to log every bite you take and workout you do, you can still use the app to calculate which exercises burn the most calories and create a workout plan accordingly.
Catch Up on Zzzs: Sleep Cycle
One of the most overlooked parts of any solid workout plan is sleep. We tend to get so caught up juggling work, family and friends that, when we throw a new workout plan into the mix, we cut into our sleep time. Don’t forget to allot for rest, especially when you’re putting extra exercise stress on your body. We need zzzs for our muscles to rest and rebuild. Sleep Cycle tracks and analyzes your sleep. Then, it wakes you up slowly so as not to disrupt your sleep cycle. It also allows you to track trends, like “drank coffee” or “went to the bar,” so you can see how lifestyle changes like alcohol, or even working out, affect your sleep patterns. View all of the information collected on interactive graphs.
-“Best Fitness Apps of 2012” HuffPo
-“Best Fitness and Nutrition Apps for iPhone” Men’s Fitness
-Photo by Abigail Wise