The days are counting down before the start of the new year and you know that means? It’s time to dust off some of those New Years’ resolutions and get fit for those all too familiar #NewYearNewMe social media posts. Instead of waiting until January 2016 to step up your fitness game, start now!
We all know diet and exercise are crucial factors to our physical health. As a physical therapist many people have excuses for why they cannot exercise or eat well. The common excuse is that they are too busy to stay on top of their bodies’ health. Thanks to the advent of apps, our lives as a whole have become easier. The following apps will help you in your quest to maintain a healthy body at the ease of your fingertips. I did try out these apps myself. Keep in mind nothing replaces the expertise of a professional, but when life gets busy, these apps are here to help.
1. Calorie Counter, Diet, & Exercise Tracker (MyFitnessPal)
What we eat can affect our weight which can affect our joints. More weight negatively affects our joints. MyFitnessPal can help you to monitor how much you put into your body. The same way you monitor how much is in your bank account is the same way you should monitor how much is in your body. Even at the initial set up, ’My fitness pal’ calculates how many calories a day you should ingest. However, you do have to be disciplined at watching your food intake.
2. Fitness Buddy (Azumio, Inc.)
As a physical therapist, I sometime see injuries when people forget to exercise certain body parts. Fitness Buddy gives you exercise options for all your body parts this keeps track of addressing all regions of your body and reduces your chance of injury.
3. 7 Minute Workout (Wahoo Fitness)
In a busy world getting a workout in is difficult. This app puts quick workouts together for you, and guides you through them. It also gives you instructions on how to perform them.
4. SlowMo Coach (Pico Brothers, Ltd)
Many times we are not aware of how our bodies move. Poor awareness and bad form can often lead to injury. This app lets you slow down movements and even illustrate where problem areas are. This is good to use on others as well as yourself. You may not realize how bad your squat is until you capture it on video and watch for yourself. Useful to use on yourself, your kids, your friends, and clients.
This free app comes standard on all the latest iPhones. It is a quick tracker of how many steps you have taken. The general recommendation is 10,000 steps per day. It does have some other great features including a nutrition and sleep monitor, but is best to use it for the super quick convenient way of tracking steps.
Here is an app that has been around for quite some time. It is a good way of monitoring your running mileage and it also gives you suggestions of what routes to take. This is a useful tool if you are new in town and are unfamiliar with running paths, you can still get your cardio with a good run and still find your way around town.
Adrian Miranda is a physical therapist based in Brooklyn, NY. He is also professor in the TOURO College orthopedic physical therapy residency program and is host of BRIC TVs web series, "Check Out The Workout."