I use my iPhone apps a lot to boost business productivity. But apps are good for more than business, and it's great to know that, with technology, it doesn't have to cost a lot of money to maximize your health.
There's plenty of help out there, much of it these days in the form of free apps designed for people of all ages, shapes, and fitness levels. The week after Thanksgiving is probably as good a time as any to investigate them, don't you think? Here are 5, at least one of which will probably suit your needs or the needs of someone you know.
|Yoga. This free app contains a photo with instructions for dozens of yoga poses. Beginner, intermediate, advanced, and guru poses, along with several sitting poses, are included. It includes a 13-minute sun salutation, which is great for beginners. You can also create your own timed yoga sequences and track your progress using a calendar that uses a flower to show the days you work out. This program is definitely for women, with pink and lavender flowers and colors.
|Jillian Michaels. There are specialized sections for goals, running, motion (see below), exercise, tutorials, and a progress tracker. Once you download the app, you set up your profile by entering your name, weight, date of birth. Then you can track your weight, calories and progress. It comes with a free newsletter, which you can sign up for after you download the app. (I love this marketing!) One of the coolest things about this app is the “motion” mode, which tracks calories burned while your body is in any kind of motion. Just strap your iPhone to your armband, shirt pocket or pants pocket. Once you activate the motion mode, if you stop before you've moved, the following quote comes up: “Without moving, you're not going to burn any calories!” I can hear Jillian yelling at me now. I'm looking forward to exploring this app more. I think it might be a favorite. If you like Jillian, you might also like her free “Slim Down Solution” app too.
|Pilates. I am new to Pilates, and this is a great app to start with. There's a couch potato workout and an “on-the-go” workout, plus you can customize your own. There are good photos of different Pilates exercises. A few reviews criticized the app for having misspelled words and for not telling you how long to hold a position or how many reps to do. The latter may be a problem for some, but I think a count to 15 or 20 is plenty for most exercises, especially for a beginner like me. There are links to videos for most exercises, with audio instructions. I love this feature!
|General Fitness. This app has 250 of alphabetized exercises for every muscle group, plus cardio instructions for things like jumping rope, cycling, jogging, rowing, and stair climbing. There's also an achievement log. You'll have to be a self-starter for this app because you have to find what you're looking for. I like it because just reading about different exercises and seeing people doing them (photos, not videos on this app) is good motivation for me.
|Abdominals. This app features 10 abdominal workouts with video and audio cues. There's the crossover crunch, half curls, plank, bicycle crunch and more. The total set is 5 minutes, and a counter takes you from one ab exercise to the next, while a time clock counts down the number of seconds you do each exercise. There are videos for each segment so you are not exercising alone. With this app, there's no reason not to get in 5 minutes of abdominal workout each day. (Talking to moi here.)
Question: What are your favorite free iPhone fitness apps?