It’s that time of the year again — a new year is dawning and what better time than now to commit (or recommit) ourselves to better health and wellness?
This is the perfect opportunity to crank up the motivation, start thinking about goals for the coming year and look for creative ways to challenge ourselves over the next 365 days. I mean, come on, one can never be too bad-ass, right?
But even if you’re not big on new year goal setting, what better time than now to check out the new tools out there that can help keep you on track? Perhaps even finding a way to simplify the process of being awesome?
So, we checked out some of the new stuff that’s out there and to save ya some leg work (you’re welcome). I’m posting my faves here.
1. Groupie. Think of it as social media for your fitness classes. You can use the app to find classes and invite your friends to join you. It’s a fabulous tool to help you see what your friends are doing (maybe you wanna join them for a class) and to share your workouts as well. And if you find an instructor that you love, you can see all their local classes and even sign up through the app. Download it for free from the App Store.
2. ATLETO. This is social networking at its finest. Use this app to connect with other people in your local area to organize your own activities based on your exercise interests and skill level. You can join the listed workouts and events or host your own. It also a great tool to link new moms up with the support of other moms for motivation and accountability. Download it free from the App Store and on Google Play.
3. Simple Habit. Ever needed a sanity timeout? This app contains 5-minute meditations for everything from a Tough Day to PMS to Deep Sleep. It’s a great tool for those of us who never feel like we’ve got enough time to stop and get ourselves together. The interface is simple and it allows you to pick a meditation by what you’re doing or by favorite teacher. Download it free from the App Store and on Google Play.
4. Runkeeper. It’s a simple new resource for runners to track and share their workouts. With an impressive list of connectivity options — like Apple Watch, heart rate monitors, Fitbit and MyFitnessPal — this app is a one-stop shop for all your mobile running needs. You’ve even got the option to pick which voice you want to have calling out your splits. Use it to build new routes via GPS, share your workouts or link up with other local runners. Download it free from the App Store and on Google Play. There is also a premium upgrade available for a subscription fee.
5. Lose It! Track your way to better health. Use this app to log your food and you’ll get detailed breakdowns of each nutrient as well as insights on how to improve your consumption levels to meet your goals. You can enter your food manually, with the barcode scanner or through the SnapIt function, which lets you take a picture of your meal for the app to analyze. Pretty cool stuff. Download it free from the App Store, on Google Play and Amazon. There is also a premium upgrade available for a subscription fee.
6. Spotify Running. While Spotify itself isn’t new, the running feature is a relatively new addition. First, you run a few steps while the app calculates your cadence. Then, it assembles a playlist with beats that match your footfalls. This feature is perfect for helping you stay on pace and up to speed — talk about putting a little pep in your step. The best part: song transitions are seamless so there’s no dead air space to slow you down. Download it free from the App Store and on Google Play. There is also a premium upgrade available for a subscription fee.
7. FitBod Workout Log. A strength training guru in your pocket. This app lets you pick which muscles you want to target in your workout and makes recommendations on exercises (from its bank of 300 moves), sets and reps. It includes instructions for each move and it’s totally customizable by what equipment you have available. I love the feature that lets you swap moves for something similar if you don’t have the ability to do the one it recommended —taking the guesswork out of your plan. Download it free from the App Store. There is also an elite upgrade available for a subscription fee.
8. Push Press Timer Pro. Looking for a timer that can handle it all? This app lets you do everything from Tabata to EMOM so it’s incredibly versatile. It’s bold, easy-to-read interface is definitely awesome and much appreciated. And there’s a selection of well-known coaches to motivate you throughout your workouts too. Download it for $4.99 from the App Store. Full disclosure: There’s a free version but it’s buggy so if you want in, I recommend the Pro version.
9. Runtastic Results. A fabulous bodyweight training app. This one gives you a customized 12-week (no-equipment required) program geared at getting you to your goals. You can use the app to store your before and after pics — you know, for bragging rights. And the HD video demos are awesome and helpful for keeping your form in check. Download it free from the App Store and on Google Play. There is also a premium upgrade available for a subscription fee.
10. Mealime. Probably the coolest healthy-eating app out there. It contains a large library of healthy recipes that take 30 minutes or less to prepare. You can plan your meals for the week and have it assemble a grocery shopping list for you that limits the amount of food waste. The best part is that you can have it filter recipes according to your food preferences so if you’re dairy-free (like me) or gluten-free (like my hubby), no problem. Download it free from the App Store and on Google Play. There is also a pro upgrade available for a subscription fee.
11. Record by Under Armour. This app takes integration to a whole other level. You can connect to MapMyFitness, Endomondo and MyFitnessPal to track your activity, sleep, nutrition and goals. It doesn’t get an easier than this. Download it free from the App Store and on Google Play.
What are your go-to apps for 2017? —Alison