Yes, like there is for just about everything else these days, there are apps for fitness. Several. Probably hundreds if I dig far enough. So which one to use? Which ones are the best? Well, as 2014 is off and rolling with many new health and fitness resolutions in sight, there is no better time than now to download one or two of these popular fitness apps to help you stay in shape, on track and on goal. Below are just 10 of them for Apple wireless devices since that is what I use to test and use them!
Fitness Buddy (Buy) – With 1700+ unique exercises, 1000+ HD videos, and a workout journal at your fingertips, it’s no wonder this popular app has received accolades from Gizmodo, ESPN Magazine and even Jay Leno. This app will help revolutionize and revitalize your gym regimen with comprehensive exercises for all major equipment, including barbell, EZ curl bar, dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, and stability balls. By Azumio, Inc. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Optimized for iPhone 5.
HealthyOut (Free) – I saw this app promoted on GMA and had to immediately go download it and give it a go. Of course, due to the TV appearance, the app crashed with all of the requests. Once in, pre-select your diet style – such as gluten free, high protein, low calorie, vegan, Paleo and even Weight Watchers, Atkins, and more – then the app will locate area restaurants for eat-in or take-out that meet your nutrition preferences. By HealthyOut. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Optimized for iPhone 5.
iMuscle (Buy) – If you’re looking to improve or change up your workouts, check out this app which will guide you through 450 different lifts and stretches to create a customized balanced workout without having to hire a physical trainer. There are great illustrations and written instructions for those already familiar with most exercises. By 3D4Medical.com, LL. Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPad 2 and newer.
Lose it! (Free) – This is one of the first health and fitness apps I downloaded to my iPhone. Keep tracking of what you eat, how much of it, and all if it’s nutrient values (including calories) can not be in the palm of your hand. There are a number of name-brand food items or you can add your own. It also takes your daily exercise into account. By FitNow, Inc. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
MyFitnessPal (Free) – This award-winning app has won accolades for many reasons, including hosting the largest food database of any iPhone calorie counter with over 3,000,000 foods! It is hands-down is one of the best all-in-one calorie counter and exercise trackers with its enormous catalog of foods, meals, and recipes. It even includes barcode scanner for finding packaged foods’ nutritional information. By MyFitnessPal.com. Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Optimized for iPhone 5.
Runkeeper (Free) – Are you a runner or a cyclist? How about a hiker or walker? If so, downloading this GPS app is a must! Filled with motivational cues and an opportunity to connect with workout buddies, this is a great little app to track your cardio. See detailed stats around your pace, distance, and time plus get notified when you hit new personal bests and milestones. By FitnessKepper, Inc. Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Optimized for iPhone 5.
ShopWell – Healthy Diet & Grocery Food Scanner (Free) – Want quick assistance reading food labels to find healthier foods and achieve your nutrition goals? Consistently ranked as one of the top health and fitness apps, with ShopWell all you need to do is scan the bar code and it will reveal nutrition facts panels, calorie count, and ingredients to help you match foods meeting your dietary needs. Scan foods in booth supermarket and at home. By YottaMark, Inc. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Optimized for iPhone 5.
Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock (Buy) – If you are thinking, “No, I don’t need another alarm,” then you are mistaken. This “intelligent” clock not only wakes you in the lightest sleep, but analyzes your sleep. Getting enough sound sleep is just as crucial to being healthy as a healthy diet and regular exercise. This app uses the accelerometer in your iPhone to monitor your sleep movements in addition to providing metrics about how well you slept. By Maciek Drejak Labs. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Optimized for iPhone 5.
VigorWay (Free) – This is the first social network designed to give active health and fitness enthusiasts a place to share their journeys and connect with others. Surround yourself in an online world with those who eat, sleep, breath, and believe in your healthy lifestyle! Use the active categories and Geo-Tag system to see the most trending and motivational pictures across the world and get the latest news and articles from the most reputable resources. By Vigor Health & Fitness, LLC. Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Optimized for iPhone 5.
Yoga Studio (Buy) – Voted runner-up in “Best App Ever” Awards 2012 and recommended by MacLife, Fox, MSN, The Guardian, Huffington Post and others, this ultimate yoga app allows users to play, customize, and schedule easy-to-follow HD video yoga classes. Easily create unique HD video classes or participate in one of 30 ready-made yoga classes with HD videos. 20 ready-made pose blocks readily available plus library of over 280 poses with detailed advice and instructions. By Modern Lotus. Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Optimized for iPhone 5.
Remember in the end, all apps are personal choices that best fit you, your fitness lifestyle, and ultimate goals. Select apps that have features, an interface, graphics, and support that meet or exceed your expectations. You may have to try a few before determining which your prefer. If you find others you would like to add to this list, please post!
Be Fit. Be Strong. Be Well.
Many of us take getting a good night’s sleep for granted, and instead put it last on our priority list when burning the candle at both ends. We realize we need the sleep and that it is important. But often it’s thought we’ll catch the extra snooze on Saturday and Sunday when many times this doesn’t occur since other responsibilities or activities pop up on the weekend.
Like regular workouts and a healthy diet, a good night’s sleep is just as important to our bodies and our minds to function effectively and efficiently. Sleep is another vital ingredient to a healthy well-being and it impacts nearly every area of our daily life. Not only does it refresh the body and the mind, but regular sleep habits will make you feel your best.
Most people don’t realize how much sleep they need and why it is so important to their well-being. Studies have shown that sleep plays an essential role in promoting physical health, longevity, and emotional well-being and that our bodies regulates our sleeping habits, the same as it regulates our eating, drinking, exercising and breathing. Other studies confirm that people who get the right amount of sleep on a regular basis tend to live longer and, overall, have healthier lives than those who sleep too few or even too many hours each night.
When our bodies do not get enough sleep, our bodies recognizes and remembers the sleep deficit and expects and needs us to return the missed zzz’s in the very near future. When the catch up on sleep doesn’t occur, problems can develop, such as forgetfulness, moodiness, poor concentration, slower reaction times, injuries, health issues such as heart disease and diabetes, weight gain and less mojo for exercising and activities. Even a shorter lifespan.
How much sleep each person actually needs differs from individual to individual. Some people need a great deal of sleep, while others require only a minimum. I happen to need at least eight hours of sleep every night which is the average. Finding your right amount of sleep hours and remaining consistent about are both key. Even better is going to bed and rising at the same times day in and day out.
Regular, good nights’ rest improves the quality and the length of your life. Other benefits include helping to keep your heart healthy, helping to reduce stress, improving your memory and mood, reducing your chances of diabetes, helps to repair your body and helps control body weight issues.
Eating the right foods in the hours before you hit the hay may help you fall asleep faster and deeper. Ten foods that will help you snooze are almonds, cherries, bananas, oatmeal, hard-cooked eggs edamame, miso soup, herbal teas, dairy and cereal. Ten foods that will make you toss and turn during the night include caffeine, aged cheeses, spicy foods, processed or smoked meats, tomato-based sauces, energy drinks, ginseng tea, milk chocolate and alcohol.
So find the best ritual for you before going to bed. May it be reading a book, a glass of warm milk or some snuggle time with your honey. Snooze away and awaken to another great day in your life.
Be Fit. Be Strong. Be Well.
While aging is a natural process and cannot be stopped, there are preventative measures one can take to slow down the development. To look younger and vibrant, not only is it important to take proper care of your body physically, but internally with your diet and sleep and externally with your skin. In this final installment of “My Secrets to Aging Young,” I will reveal what I do for my daily diet, shuteye and daily skincare.
Daily Diet. Like most of us, I love to eat. Fortunately, I can afford to consume more than the recommend daily allowance since I have maintained my high metabolism through my exercising and genes. But even though I could get away with eating almost anything, I do make the effort to eat a daily balanced diet that is about 95% healthy. My diet is full of at least 50% fruit and vegetables daily, protein with almost every meal eaten and very healthy snacks in between, such as yogurt, nuts, seeds, fruit and raw veggies.
A typical day’s menu for me will include a whole wheat item, eggs or oatmeal cereal for breakfast plus fresh fruit. Lunch is usually a fresh green salad with chicken, tuna or shrimp tossed in. Dinner varies, but a favorite is a white fish and hot green veggies. My daily sweet treat is an ounce or two of dark chocolate, usually after breakfast. From time-to-time, I eat what I refer to as my “cheat-cheat” foods; an occasional dessert after dinner, a hot dog at a ball game or a slice of cheese pizza during a party. I try to keep processed foods to a bare minimum, very little whites, rarely any red meat, and no caffeine, lunchmeats or saturated fats.
Sleep. Like regular workouts and a healthy diet, a good night’s sleep is just as important. It improves your concentration, sharpens your reflexes, regulates your hormones and reduces stress. Not getting enough shuteye can cause you to age quicker as well as cause forgetfulness, moodiness, slower reaction times and even weight gain. I know my body needs the average eight to nine hours of sleep every night, and I make an effort to get it. Lights out is by ten if I need to be up by six, and sooner if I need to rise earlier. If I go a few nights without getting my eight hours, not only do I see it in the dark circles that appear under my eyes, but my face lacks a healthy glow, my body becomes a bit sluggish and my cadio workouts are not nearly at full capacity.
Skincare. The sooner one takes close care of their skin, the better. Your face, neck, hands and other parts of your body will reflect your age as accurate, older or younger. Most of us wake up and splash on some cold water or perhaps apply a facial cleanser in the morning. Many roll into bed at night without washing the undetected collect grime, letting it sit overnight on our aging skin.
I take my skincare very seriously and have done so only for last 10-15 years as I was late to seeing the importance. I was one of the ones who took my skin for granted. Now I cleanse my face twice a day with glycolic-based skin products and exfoliate regularly with products that I originally purchased from a physician. I swear by their results and could never part with them.
When cleansing, I pay particular attention to zones that can age quicker, such as the neck, hands and knees and also use my facial products on these areas as well. I apply a daily moisturizer to my entire body, cocoa butter on certain areas and, for about the past 20 years, massage castor oil into my face and neck to keep muscles firm and enhance my skin tone, a skin secret my mother shared with me many years ago. Once or twice a week, I apply a mud pack masque to my face and the aging zones in addition to my belly which tightens and smoothes your skin. I also apply prescription-strength Retina-A to my face and aging zones almost daily, sometimes twice, which aids in the exfoliating.
When in the sun, I skip the Retina-A and apply sunscreen throughout the day to help shield my body from the harmful rays that pre-age your delicate skin. I use lip balm with a SPF for added protection on my lips and wear sunglass and a hat to protect my smooth face. Additionally, I drink water throughout the day to hydrate my skin and keep my healthy glow.
I hope you found my tips to looking young helpful and useful. Remember, anti-aging is not just about exercising, diet and taking care of your body, but also about having a positive outlook on life. Avoid stress, laugh every day and appreciate all that life has to offer.
Be Fit. Be Strong. Be Well.