Twas the week before New Year’s and all through the land, no humans were eager for the diet they planned (Deep sigh). It’s the same story every year: not long after the ball drops in Times Square and the champagne runs out, people all over the world face the dreaded New Year’s Resolution. After all the eggnog, fudge, and candy canes, it’s no surprise that losing weight and getting fit tops the list. And these days there are a plethora of digital goodies out there making anyone’s quest for fitness that much easier. Many of these apps even throw the motivation and inspiration in for free. In other words, you’re running out of excuses. You can thank me later.
So, Happy New Year! Here are some resolutions to those resolution blues.
No time or money to join a gym? This app's for you. Choose “Matt” (McConaughey-like), “Arnold” (Schwarzeneggerish), or “Kate” as your trainer and off you go! It’s just a 7 minute workout - 30 seconds for each exercise, with 10 seconds to transition. Warm up with jumping jacks, followed by the wall sit, some push-ups, abdominal crunches, and so on. The 8-bit trainer graphic demonstrates each move to some pretty funky music (fortunately, with one simple tap the music goes away). Bonus - the app will even log workouts to your calendar. And if 7 minutes just isn’t enough, hit repeat and do it again!
Need a little more customization? Help yourself to FitStar:Tony Gonzalez on the iPad or iPhone. The NFL All-Star’s fitness app is designed for all levels (beginner to expert); for workouts at home or on the go. His videos provide multiple viewing angles, coaching tips, individualized challenges, and motivational milestones. Invite friends to share workouts and accomplishments, connect to Fitbit or Jawbone UP to sync weight and activities, or upgrade to Premium for nutritional advice, VIP support, and a wider variety of unlimited workouts. An All-Star app, indeed!
I, like many, am a RunKeeper devotee. However, I do get the urge to spice things up a bit sometimes. TempoRun provides runners with some cool customization. Users’ playlists are categorized by levels (1-walking through 10-sprinting) based on the tempo intervals of the tracks. No music? No worries. TempoRadio, powered by SoundCloud, offers thousands of songs pre-categorized by level. Once you’re off and running it’s a quick and easy tap to pause, change levels, or flag a song when the tempo isn’t quite right. The app also records stats (a must) - time, distance, calories burned - and compares recent runs to best runs (or walks). I have to say it’s a pretty awesome app. So get up on your feet and start stepping to the beat!
Motivation is not some folks’ strong suit. If this is your weakness, allow Ninja Fitness to take the reins. This app challenges your inner gamer by encouraging you to earn ninja stars in order to collect skill points and unlock workouts (and proudly post your efforts to Facebook for help in quickly racking up those stars). Once the app is launched, users create their own warrior by inputting personal stats and making some choices regarding outward appearance. All warriors begin as white belts. Through sweat and skill points they power their way through increasingly tough workouts in order to earn the next belt. Workouts are categorized as Strength, Agility, Endurance, or Zen. No one needs be a fitness expert to complete any these workouts. Clear videos for each exercise demonstrate correct techniques for user safety and success. So I repeat - no excuses!
The Zumba craze isn’t a craze for nothing! Zumba dancing is GREAT exercise! For those who don’t belong to a studio or gym, or need to get in exercise on the road, this app is perfect! Dance your way into shape with Merengue, Salsa, Cumbia, Bollywood, Hip-Hop, Reggaeton, and more. For bonus fun, invite some Facebook friends to join a workout group. Choose from Party, Exhilarating, or Pulse-Pounding classes for ultimate calorie burning moves. As intimidating as it may sound, no dance experience is necessary to enjoy, or benefit from, these workouts. Tutorial videos teach the moves step by step. Personalize your workouts by choosing a fitness plan based on frequency, calories, and time. Check your stats and monitor your progress as you earn a variety of achievements. Zumba Dance is fun, motivational, and a darn good workout!
I don't know about you, but just writing this post gets me pumped! Bring it on, 2014! I've got this!