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Six Great Fitness Apps to Improve Your Workouts

Six Great Fitness Apps to Improve Your Workouts

Today there are many new fitness apps hitting the virtual market each month. Using too many can be confusing. However, five or six apps can really make a difference in your routine. Whether it’s structure that you need or a boost in the motivation department, these are some of the top picks out there if you’re looking for that extra edge at the gym.

1. Charity Miles

If motivation is your issue with exercising, this fun and free app solves that problem. With Charity Miles, you use the app to track your mileage whenever you walk, run, or bike. You can browse a list of popular charities. Pick one before you start exercising, and the investors will donate a certain amount to your chosen charity for each of your miles. There are also group tracking features if you want to encourage your friends to exercise and earn with you.

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2. Digifit iCardio

If you have a compatible heart rate monitor or can buy one for $50 to $100, this simple free app is just as good as a personal trainer for cardio workouts. It collects data about your workout which you can use to develop your own customized cardio workout plan using specific target zones for weight loss or health maintenance.

3. FitStar

This versatile app is free for the basic version. Also, you can upgrade to the premium level for $39.99 per year or $7.99 per month. FitStar helps you build customized workouts using your fitness level as a guide. This allows you to ease back into those hard workouts without injuring or overexerting yourself. Since FitStar is owned by Fitbit, most of the devices are compatible with the app. To keep you motivated, your cheerful virtual workout coach is Tony Gonzalez from the NFL.

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4. Jefit Workout

If you lift weights as part of your workout regimen or want to start, this app is a must. Tracking your reps and sets helps you improve your routine safely and slowly. This app lets you ditch paper and pen and enter your info. quickly. There are also tools for building new weight workouts, and a calendar feature lets you plan which days to lift and which ones to rest. For a one-time fee of $4.99, this app is worth it for both light and heavy lifting regimens.

5. MyFitnessPal

This free app is ideal regardless of your workout frequency. Use it to enter what you eat throughout the day for an easy calorie and nutrition tally. When you exercise, use it to track your activity and measure how many calories were burned. The comparison along with your daily recommendations gives you a clear picture of what you need to change or avoid. This app has one of the largest food and drink databases. In addition to Android and iOS, it is available on Windows and Blackberry.

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6. Pact

This free app was also known as Gympact in the past. Since motivation is a key element to fitness success that many people lack, this app teaches you how to get it back with a unique twist. When using Pact, you make a wager on whether you will go to the gym and complete your chosen workout goals, and the wager is put into a communal pot with the bets of other app users. If you do complete your goals, you lose nothing. If you exceed your goals, you earn cash. Staying home and skipping will cost you money. How’s that for a motivator?

All of the apps in this list are available on iOS and Android devices. With these great options, there is no need to wait until the new year to make healthier eating and exercising resolutions.

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More by this author

Jesse Boskoff

Co-Founder and COO at Status Labs

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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