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Four Fitness Apps That Can Help Get You Ready for Summer

Posted June 15, 2015 in Lifestyle & Fun, Smartphones by 0

Canada is starting to feel some balmy spring temperatures after a particularly frosty winter, which means that beach season is right around the corner. And after a long winter of staying indoors, many of us might be tipping the scales in the wrong direction. But with the help of a handful of helpful apps, even the woefully out of shape can get back on the fitness bandwagon.

Not sure where to begin? Don’t worry: I’ve done the legwork to carefully curate a list of my favorite fitness apps to get confirmed couch potatoes moving again. So get out there and give these a try as you begin your journey toward whittling down that waistline.

Nike+ Training Club
Download on Android or iOS
Price: Free

Studies have shown again and again that exercising with a friend motivates people to work out harder. And that’s one of the best features the Nike+ Training Club brings to the table.

Based on your personal fitness goals (toning up, slimming down, building strength), users can select from several targeted programs. Share your progress with friends after each varied sweat session, then scroll through helpful tips from trainers, athletes and workout buddies alike, courtesy of the training club feed. You can also view your friend’s progress and compare workouts to see who is mastering what moves.

The app boasts 100 different workouts crafted by Nike master trainers, so even frequent users aren’t likely to exhaust all the app’s options. And the high production value of the video tutorials makes them both easy to follow and a pleasure to watch.

And while this pocket-sized personal trainer specifically targets women, reading user reviews reveals that the training club regimen ticks all the fitness boxes for many men as well.

Download for Android or iOS
Price: Free

Most of us — excluding those who boast freakishly fast metabolisms — need to pair exercise with eating well to see real results. And MyFitnessPal is the tried-and-true standard when it comes to dietary tracking apps.

Counting calories isn’t cumbersome or tedious, thanks to the app’s extensive food database. Users can quickly scroll through meals from popular restaurants or input recipes if they prefer home-cooked meals to log their daily food intake. The database is also more expansive than most other calorie counters — there are literally millions of options, so it’s likely you’ll be able to easily log your meal.

Zombies, Run! 5k Training
Download for Android or iOS

Price: $2.49 on Google Play store, $2.29 on iTunes

There’s nothing like being chased by zombies to get you running faster. That’s the premise of the Zombies, Run! 5k training app.

This app is a potential gem for all my fellow reluctant runners. Those who need a little mental stimulation on longer routes can distract themselves by becoming the hero of their very own post-apocalyptic epic. Each workout (there’s a total of 25 to ease runners into hitting five kilometres) is accompanied by an elaborate story — and the only things keeping you safe are your sneakers.

The best aspect of this app is that it both trains and entertains. While the app features the usual bells and whistles (GPS to map runs, in-app control of music playlists), the true draw is that runners become so engrossed in their “mission” that they’re distracted from the chore of exercising.

Yoga Studio
Download for iOS
Price: $3.99

Whether you’re new to ‘namaste’ or a seasoned yogi, Yoga Studio offers something for everyone.

Select courses based on length of time (they range from 15 to 60 minutes), type (strength, flexibility, relaxation or combination) and experience level, then let this personal yoga coach guide you through each pose with high-definition video tutorials.

But this app’s most unique offering is its build-your-own class feature. Select a series of poses you’d like to master, and the app will string them together into a cohesive class tailored to your preferences. And classes are downloaded directly to your device without eating up too much memory. So you’re free to practice your Downward Dog from wherever you are!

The bottom line

No matter what time of the year, we could all use a little extra help sticking to a fitness routine or giving ourselves that motivational boost. Now that the nice weather is here, it’s an ideal time to load up our mobile phones with apps that help us get out, and get fit.

Do you have a favourite fitness app that you’re putting to use? Let us know in the comments below.

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