As young college students with jam-packed schedules and late night studying, it can be hard to stay in shape, despite how much we want to. Endless amounts of delivery food available late into the night make it hard to say no, especially before a ridiculously tough test or long project that keeps you from making healthier food choices. It’s also hard to cough up a few extra dollars for a gym membership or personal trainer that pushes you to work out on a daily basis.
But now it’s time to rid yourself of excuses. Hundreds of apps available on iTunes make it easier than ever to get bikini-body ready for spring weather and also keep you on track for when the summer arrives. The apps are great for either beginners or fitness fanatics and they can all be downloaded instantly, carried anywhere and best of all, many of them are free.
For Counting Calories and Tracking Diet:
This app is probably the easiest and simplest to use for counting calories, with no accounts or memberships required. For first time users it will ask a few questions regarding your height, age, current physical activity level and current weight, as well as how many pounds you would like to lose a week. The app uses this information to calculate the maximum daily number of calories you should eat in order to meet your goal weight. It allows you to search hundreds of different foods through their database in order to record what you ate for the day. It also comes with a scanner so you can scan the barcode of your food for automatic nutritional information. You can also track your exercise and the number of calories you burn each day, allowing you to really keep track of how much you’re losing. If you just stay within your limit of calories each day, you will see how much it pays off.
Calorie Counter by MyNetDiary- This app is a little more aesthetically pleasing than Lose It! and also goes a little more in depth to the nutritional value of the food you eat, not just the calories. Just like Lose It!, the app will adjust how many calories you are allotted for the day depending on height, age and how many pounds you want to lose per week. Its database is full of foods to enter in to the calorie tracker, and also comes with a scanner for foods you may not be able to find. At the end of each day, Calorie Counter will give a nutritional analysis, giving thumbs up or down, for your sodium intake, fat intake, cholesterol intake and whether or not you skipped meals. This analysis really helps to build good nutritional habits for long-term results beyond just calorie counting.
At the Gym:
This app is like having your own personal trainer standing by your side. It comes with several free instructional workouts for abs, arms, thighs, butt and cardio that are timed at intervals so you know exactly how long to do one exercise before moving onto the next. Each exercise move comes with video and photos that explain in detail how each move is done so you can be sure you’re doing it right. Although some of the workouts require a monthly subscription fee, there are certainly enough of the free ones to keep you sweating at no cost.
Daily Workouts- This app features pre-planned, instructional workouts for every part of your body, including abs, arms, butt, cardio, and legs. Choose the length of your workout depending on how much time you have—anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes—and then choose which parts of the body you want to target. From there, simple videos will show you exactly what to do and when to switch to a different move. It’s easy to keep up with and adjust depending on what kind of exercise you’d like to do that day.
For either beginner or intermediate runners who enjoy jogging outside rather than on a treadmill, this is the app for you. The featured map tracks the route you exercise and also displays statistics like time and distance traveled, average speed and calories burned. The app allows you to record the routes you take and then view your progress as you start to run at farther distances. It also allows easy and direct access to your iPod playlists so you can manage your music without having to leave the app.
FitBeat- A good workout requires good tunes and this app takes into account the speed and intensity of your workout and matches it with the right music. Probably best for outdoor runners, this app senses your movements as you run and finds a song of yours with the perfect tempo to match it. The app will also track your speed, pace and distance and, with a user profile, your calories as well.