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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 August 29, 2018

5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

Journaling is one of the most useful personal development tools around. Not only does it help us process emotions and experiences, work through internal conflicts and improve our self-awareness, it also provides us with a way to keep a day-to-day record of our lives. Traditionally an activity limited to pen and paper, the expansion of consumer technology has enabled journaling to go digital.

Saving your journaling entries online enables you to access them from anywhere, without having to carry a notebook and pen around, and provides you with digital features, like tagging and search functions.

Here are a list of five online journaling tools you can use to bring your practice into the modern age:

1. 750words

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750 words

    750words is a free online journaling tool created by Buster Benson. The site is based on the idea of “Morning Pages”; a journaling tool Julia Cameron suggests in her creativity course The Artist’s Way. Cameron advises aspiring creatives to start each morning with three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing to clear away the mental clutter, leaving you with a clearer mind to face the day.

    750 words is the three-page digital equivalent (assuming the average person writes 250 words per page) and lets you store all your journaling online. Each morning, you’ll receive a prompt asking you to write your 750 words, and the site keeps track of various statistics associated with your entries. The site uses a Regressive Imagery Dictionary to calculate the emotional content from your posts and provides feedback on features like your mood, and most commonly used words.

    750 words is simple to set up and is ideal for anyone who finds it challenging to maintain a consistent journaling practice. The site uses a number of incentives to motivate users, including animal badges awarded to journalers who complete a certain number of days in a row, leader boards, and opt-in monthly challenges.

    2. Ohlife

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    ohlife

      Ohlife is designed to make online journaling as easy as possible. Once you’ve signed up for your free account, the website will send you an email each day asking “How did your day go?” Simply reply to the email with as much or as little detail as you like, and your response will be stored on your account, ready to view next time you log in.

      Ohlife’s appeal lies in its simplicity: no stats, no social sharing, no complicated organisational systems—the site is designed to provide you with a private, online space. Simply respond to the email each day (or skip the days you’re busy) and Ohlife will do the rest.

      3. Oneword

      oneword

        OneWord is a fun online tool that provides you with a single word as a prompt and gives you sixty seconds to write about it. The concept’s aim is to help writers learn how to flow, and the prompts range from the everyday mundane to the profound.

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        Oneword is not a private journaling tool: if you sign up, your answers will be published on the site’s daily blog, which contains a stream of users’ answers, and might be used by Oneword in the future. If you’d rather keep your answers to yourself, you can still use the tool for fun without giving out any personal details.

        4. Penzu

          Penzu is a journaling tool that allows you to store your journaling notes online. The service also offers mobile apps for iOS, Android and Blackberry, so you can journal on the go and save your notes to your account. The basic service is free, however you can upgrade to Penzu Pro and get access to additional features, including military-grade encryption and the ability to save and sync data through your mobile, for $19 per year.

          With either version of Penzu, you can insert pictures, and add tags and comments to entries, as well as search for older entries. You can set your posts to be private and viewable by you only, or share them with others.

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          5. Evernote

          Evernote isn’t a purpose-built journaling tool, however its features make it perfect for keeping your journaling notes in one safe place. With the ability to keep separate “notebooks”, tag your entries, include pictures, audio and web clipping, Evernote will appeal to journalers who want to include more formats than just text in their entries.

          Available online within a web browser, and as a stand-alone desktop app, the service also comes with a series of mobile apps covering almost every device available. These allow you to make notes on the go and sync between the mobile and browser versions of the app.

          For additional features, including text recognition and the ability to collaborate on Notebooks, you can upgrade to Evernote’s premium service, which costs $5 per month.

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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