When embarking on a lifestyle change, the key to success is tracking measurable progress. Technology offers a lot of help in this regard, with an endless supply of apps and programs to help you make your way through a New Year’s resolution.
Couch to 5k
Maybe your goal this year is to run a 5k, but you haven’t even run 5 feet over the holidays. Couch to 5k—the 6th most popular health and fitness app in the Apple App Store—might help make those dreams a reality. Designed to get coach potatoes up and running 3.1 miles within nine weeks, the app allows users to choose four different coaches. Those coaches will motivate users through 20- to 30-minute workouts that are completed three times a week for nine weeks. Designed by fitness trainers, the program offers human audio cues from your chosen coach, playlist integration for music while your work out, distance and pace calculations along with visual graphs for comparison. Users can repeat workouts, track progress, and get online support from real trainers on Active.com. The $2.00 app does not expire after the initial 9-week program.
If a trainer or drill sergeant isn’t motivating enough for you, maybe being chased by zombies is. For those who need a little extra push off the couch, the Zombies, Run! App is a running game where your mission is rebuild a base after a zombie apocalypse but you have to run from mobs of zombies in the process. Combined with music, zombie groans, and an audio narration of your own hero story, Zombies, Run! can be combined with outdoor runs, treadmills workouts, and more. The first four missions in the basic app are free, and a new mission can be unlocked each week. Customized workouts and playlists are available with more than 300 possible story missions in the pro version of the app at a cost of $3.99 per month or $24.99 per year.
Maybe zombie runs or 5ks are a little intense, but you want to work out but don’t know where to start? Maybe you have 10 minutes, or maybe you have an hour, or maybe you just want to move a little in your office after lunch. This app is designed to help users find a workout for every level and time commitment. Sworkit is a free app for the first 30 days, with a paid subscription after that. The app offer six-week goals-based programs for those who want to be “Leaner,” “Fitter,” or “Stronger.” Each of these programs, named after the goal the user wants to reach, offer beginner, intermediate, and advanced plans. The programs include a large database of body weight exercises, meaning workouts can be done without equipment in many cases, and outside of a traditional gym. With a variety of exercises and time options, the app offers a lot of choices for users who need flexibility in their routines. There are guided workout plans, with more than 100 pre-designed workouts involving 300 exercises. Users can customize or build their own workout with human support from real trainers. When your free trial ends, a subscription will cost $29.99 per quarter or $79.99 for the year.