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North Hills Monthly

Choose the Best Apps to Stay Healthy in 2019

Jan 29, 2019 01:29PM ● By Jennifer Monahan

Ah, New Year’s resolutions…so many good intentions, but so tough to maintain for more than a few days. If your 2019 health and fitness goals need a reboot, consider seeking motivation from some healthy living apps. Sometimes a little virtual coaching can go a long way toward make those January goals a February reality.

The 7 Minute Workout app is designed to help with weight loss and improve cardiovascular function. The high-intensity interval program consists of 12 exercises done for 30 seconds each, with 10 second breaks between each activity. Users can repeat the circuit as time and energy permit. No equipment is needed beyond a chair and a wall, making the app an ideal tool for anyone who wants to squeeze in a quick workout while traveling or who prefers training at home to sweating at the gym. Reviewers praise the app for its clear explanations and say the workout delivers solid results. The circuits are challenging enough for individuals who exercise often but are still accessible for novices. (Free with in-app purchases; available for iOS and Android).

Couch to 5K is a very popular app for a very good reason. Even people who profess to hate running swear that it works. Within eight weeks, the most dedicated couch potato can be ready to crank out 3.1 miles. The app lays out a program that calls for three 30-minute training sessions per week; intervals of brisk walking are interspersed with jogging to make the journey manageable. Couch to 5K plays nicely with most GPS and music apps, so users can track their routes and rock out to their favorite tunes while training. If your New Year’s resolutions include better fitness but you were unsure how to get started, Couch to 5K is an excellent first step. (Free with in-app purchases; available for iOS and Android).

Remember when workout videos were a choice between the Jane Fonda Complete Workout or Sweatin’ to the Oldies with Richard Simmons? Sworkit is the opposite of that. With more than 50 different workout videos, Sworkit offers variety, flexibility and the ability to personalize a fitness program tailored to a user’s needs. Individuals select the range of time available—anywhere from five to 60 minutes—and can focus on particular areas such as upper body, core strength, cardio and more. Sworkit includes yoga for runners, a five-minute ab extravaganza and even a “rump roaster” workout. The app has simple navigation and exercises are demonstrated clearly. (Free with in-app purchases; available for iOS and Android).

MyPlate is a calorie tracker that analyzes daily food intake and provides data about carbs, protein and fat to help users monitor and manage their health and fitness. Tracking meals can be tedious but is a helpful strategy when trying to lose weight or reach particular nutrition goals. MyPlate stands out among similar apps such as LoseIt! or MyFitnessPal because most of its coolest features are included for free. It allows users to set goals, log both meals and exercise, and count steps. Data lovers will appreciate MyPlate’s weekly calorie and nutrient reports. For ease of use and overall functionality, MyPlate is a great choice. (Free with in-app purchases; available for iOS and Android).

Aura is perfect for those new to practicing meditation, which can be an important component of overall health. Users create a profile to rate their interest in mindfulness, general level of optimism, and current level of stress. The app generates a personalized, guided meditation designed to relieve stress and anxiety. The free version of Aura offers a new three-minute meditation each day. Aura is simple to set up, and users praise the quality of the content. The most common complaint is that three minutes is too short—reviewers want more of a good thing. Paid subscriptions allow for longer and more frequent sessions. Aura is an excellent option for a quick and easy way to improve overall state of mind. (Free with in-app purchases; available for iOS and Android).

MapMyFitness is a fitness tracking app that lets users record everything from running to yoga to swimming to mowing the lawn—seriously. The app tracks distance, duration, pace and calories burned in each activity. Among the many fitness tracker apps available, MapMyFitness rises to the top of the list because it does all the things well. Record a workout? Check. Find a new running route? Check. Review your split times? Check. Brag about your achievement on social media? Check. MapMyFitness is an effective tool to help athletes of all levels monitor their progress and work toward their next goal. (Free with in-app purchases; available for iOS and Android). 

Whether you’re looking to exercise more, eat healthier or find some peace of mind, download an app or two to help kick-start the journey.

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