I know summer has come to an end and the time people normally kick it into high gear to get that “beach body” has passed, but for me, this is always the time that working out becomes a priority. Now is actually the perfect time to start preparing yourself for next summer. A lot can happen in about a year and starting habits now gives you enough time to be in the groove of them before the holiday season.
Now I’ve had an up and down relationship with my health. In high school, I didn’t really worry about it and in college, I started paying attention to it. By the end of my sophomore year, I was the fittest I had ever been and even ran my first 5k. But my junior year I did not dedicate the time and gained back all the weight and more because of an extremely stressful job, full-time class load, and my schedule not giving me regular meal times (and me not making time for them).
I’m currently in training for a 5K in November, a 10K in February and just generally getting back in shape and being strong.
Because of these life changes, I’ve used and tried plenty of apps and guides and I’d like to share today the ones that gave me the best results and helped me stick to my goals.
THIS! I love this app. This is honestly what got me to the point to be able to run for an hour without walking. While this app only gets you up to a full 5k, or about 30 minutes of running, it helps you get to a fitness level and knowledge of how your body progresses that you know how to improve and train yourself. There is also a C210k, 13.1, and 26.2 app. I’ve started the C210K app from the beginning and will let you know how it goes. It has an option to start from week 9 which is where the 5k app leaves off.
This gently picks up the pace and length of runs at a really reasonable rate that allows you to improve without hurting yourself. Some of them get hard and I would recommend doing them again until you can complete them properly. This was hard for me because I wanted to stick to the week and day that it says on the app, but it really is worth it to make sure you can do that day’s work before moving on to the next.
I think this app helps me stick to it because it doesn’t try and get me to do something I can’t do, but rather helps me work up to something I want.
If there’s only one on here I would recommend and you want to start running then I highly suggest this one. And it’s FREE.
Nike+ Run Club
This one goes hand in hand with C25K. I love this app to track my pacing, mileage and overall growth in regards to distance per time. I love that it has achievements you can reach and levels. This is really just a great running app. You can track so many different things and record your route. They also have training programs now. (I just hit a 3-month streak!)
I use this app to track every run whether I’m on the treadmill or not. It shows my average pace and if I’m improving my pacing over the weeks or just distance. I haven’t used Runkeeper but I know a lot of people love that one as well.
This app was one I used at the peak of my fitness and that I love going back to whenever I need a strength workout. It has cardio workouts but I like to do my own. I like having a strength plan made for me. This one asks questions about fitness level, available equipment, and what you would like to work on (strength, endurance, mobility, or overall fitness). It adjusts to how hard you rank the workout and you can switch what days of the week you want to workout on, although they space it out by the time it thinks you need for recovery.
Let me tell you, I have never sweat so much as when I’m doing the workouts in this app. They really helped me tone up and get stronger though. Also, they just incorporated Headspace into the app. There is a yoga part to this app, but I prefer not to use it. The format of this app doesn’t work for yoga for me because it turns it into a very mechanical thing without a good description of the movement.
This app is free and overall why I decided to not ever pay for Kayla Itsines BBG. There isn’t a reason for me to when this app is free and provides everything I want. I’m about to finish the start-up four-week program. This also connects any Nike + Run Club activity you do.
If you want to track your food and macros this is a great app for that. You can search practically any item and add it to a meal or snack and it will show you all the nutrition information.
You can also track weight, water, exercise and write a status. It has charts for progress and you can connect with friends on it.
This is a great app for when you really want to dig into your calorie intake, macros, and nutrition; however, I’m cautious with this app. I’m currently not at a point where tracking my macros so closely would be a good choice. I want to make a lifestyle change and then if there is an event or I want to see how different foods affect my performance I may track macros.
Right now I like to write my meals down in my planner so I can flip through and have an overview of how well I’m doing overall. I think this app could very turn into an unhealthy thing for many people, so just assess how and why you’re using it. I do love to use it to quickly look up an item at a restaurant or coffee shop and see if it’s something a lot unhealthier than I think (it usually is).
This app is great as an overall fitness and health app because it has functions for every aspect of training and you can use certain ones as your training and fitness changes.
This app has changed A LOT of people’s lives. It starts with just 10 minutes every day and it walks you through how to meditate and eventually guides less and less. Once you complete the initial 30 days you can see a bunch of other options tailored for different things such as stress, sleep, and calmness. They also have mini sessions that are very short for emergency situations or if you only have a little bit of time.
With its distinctive graphics, characters, and voice this is an excellent app for anyone who has wanted to get in to meditating but isn’t quite sure they’re “doing it right”. I think this is great for people with a lot of anxiety or stress to really get in touch with how those emotions affect them and how to distance themselves from it.
It truly is a wonderful app. I had to cancel my use simply because it was slightly expensive per month at around $13. I think if you have the money or ability to save the money to save a year at a time that is better so you don’t have to worry about another bill being added each month.
This helped me with how I think about my emotions and how to handle my thoughts and actions when I’m upset or stressed. Check out Carly’s post all about. I think she articulated my thoughts on this app perfectly!
Ahhh, this is where it all started. As a freshman in college that hadn’t ever really gone to a gym or followed a training plan, this was the perfect place to start. There’s a calendar every week that tells you all the workouts out to do each day and you can do them from home. They really burn and I definitely saw an improvement.
Blogilates itself I don’t think would be enough to get me to the fitness level I want to be at, but it’s definitely a starting place for those new to working out. It is definitely a challenge but also makes it feel doable. With Cassey’s bubbly and positive personality added in it truly pushes it over the edge to an encouraging workout to start with or videos to go in to target certain muscle groups.
The calendar is free when you sign up to her email list and the videos are free on her YouTube channel. She has recipe books and also a PIIT program, which is her version of HIIT workouts if I understand correctly, that you can pay for. She also has a clothing and accessories line that looks very neat and cute.
Yoga With Adriene
Like Headspace is good for meditating, Yoga with Adriene is awesome for someone wanting to start a yoga journey. I started this in January where she has a whole month of videos and emails for a great experience. The videos get progressively harder throughout the week and there is a mix of types of yoga. I recommend this for feeling out the yoga waters and then if you connect with it she has videos for practically every situation.
Use this for if you need to stretch out any muscles or search for certain situations that have yoga to help. Adriene also has a paid program that I haven’t delved too much into because I find I need a bit more high-intensity workout, but I think it’s worth checking out if you find yoga is your thing.
Fit Girls Guide
I truly can’t say enough good things about this program! It is a 28 day plan that covers everything from nutrition to exercises. It gives you a workout plan, which I tend not to follow but could be good if you’re starting out, and a meal plan. My favorite part is that the meal plan comes with a grocery list and what days to meal prep what. That is honestly the best part.
Also, the food is delicious. While it can take some getting used to the first week or two to not crave as much unhealthy food it really doesn’t feel like a diet. You are just eating healthy, balanced, and with the correct proportions.
I usually use this program in tandem with Nike + Training Club and C25K to really get all around fit and with the level of challenge I feel. The food in this meal plan definitely nourishes me enough that I can do whatever training I want. They also have a great social media presence where they have times they will start the plan so that you can go through it with other people if that’s your style.
They have other programs and cookbooks which I’m definitely going to buy because it really sets you up for knowing how and what to feed yourself even if you aren’t following their program. It’s very educational and a great place to start if you’re truly looking to create a long-term change.
Okay, this one is not my favorite. However, it has worked really well for people and it is the first thing that got me to go out and try to “be a runner” again after 8th-grade athletics. I started using this my junior and senior year of high school. Sometimes I go back to it because it’s interesting but I’m not really into the whole zombie thing and it’s annoying to have to start from the beginning.
They’ve changed that now where you can have an account that if you delete the app you can pick back up where you left off if you download it again but I didn’t have that because I started when it first came out. This has cool features like a setting for allowing zombies to chase you so that you have to pick up the pace for a short burst to get away from them.
There are also plenty of episodes now and I think if you really like the zombie phase going on then you’ll like this. It’s also great if you love video games because a small town you can build and take care of using the supplies you picked up during your run is included. It’s free with an opportunity to purchase things.
I hope this helps you find an app that will aid you on your fitness journey. With so many around there’s bound to be one that gets you going. These are my favorites out of what I tried. I find that even things such as Sworkit are just another app on my phone when a more advanced app, such as Nike+ Training can provide the same thing.
Let me know what apps you like to use!