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Get in Shape Today with the 15 Top Fitness Apps

Get in Shape Today with the 15 Top Fitness Apps

Are you ready to crush your fitness goals in the New Year? If so, it might be smart to equip your phone with a fitness app that is suitable for your needs, goals, and experience level. Regardless of your favorite type of exercise or activity level, there is something for everyone in this list of top fitness apps that help you get in shape.

NOTEFor best results, your fitness plan should be consistent. Don’t download every app on this list, because that will overwhelm you. Just pick one or two apps (one for training and one for nutrition would be smart), follow the routine as instructed, and stick with what you’re doing for at least six to eight weeks before changing to another fitness plan.

Wanna improve your endurance and/or prepare for a race? Check out Couch to 5K.

apps1

    What Is It? A nine-week plan for people who are just taking up running. Workouts occur three times per week; last 30-40 minutes each; and include walking + jogging / warm-up + cool-down. Features include custom motivational tips to help you stay encouraged, easy-to-use workout logs to track your progress, and a built-in music player so you can jam to your favorite playlists.

    Who Should Use It? Beginners who don’t have a gym membership, enjoy jogging, and/or would like to prepare for a race.

    Where Can I Get It? Android / iPhone

    Would you like to stretch it out anytime and anywhere? Try new poses with Pocket Yoga.

    apps2

      What Is It? A self-guided yoga practice that you can customize to fit your schedule and experience level. Features include detailed voice and visual instructions that guide you through every pose, 150 illustrated pose images including correct posture and positioning, and a workout log that tracks your progress to encourage consistency.

      Who Should Use It? People who would like to try yoga but are intimidated by a class setting; people interested in improving flexibility, balance, and stability; people who would like a quick home workout that could help them relieve stress and improve their sleep.

      Where Can I Get It? Android / iPhone

      Does the possibility of winning a bet motivate you? Put your money where your mouth is on GymPact.

      apps3

        What Is It? A bet-driven app where you can make money if you commit to your workouts and others don’t. But the reverse is also true: skip too many workouts and you might have to pay up.

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        Who Should Use It? If the thought of losing a bet is a strong motivator and/or you’re a closet gambler, this might be for you.

        Where Can I Get It? Android / iPhone

        Note: Reviews of the recent update of GymPact are quite negative as compared to reviews of previous versions. Consider this your heads-up just in case that makes you want to wait until they release an update correcting some bugs.

        Would you like to geek out over data related to your runs? Track your results and improve your performance with RunKeeper.

        apps4

          What Is It? A workout-tracking program that offers detailed stats about things like pace, distance, time, and calories burned. Features include detailed fitness plans to help you achieve a variety of goals (lose weight, improve endurance, run a race, etc.); real-time audio coaching to keep you encouraged; and built-in social sharing tools (so you can brag about those workouts with ease).

          Who Should Use It? People who are super interested in running, jogging, biking, hiking or walking and would like to geek out over performance stats about their personal bests.

          Where Can I Get It? Android / iPhone

          Confused about what to buy in the grocery store? Make better decisions with an assist from Fooducate.

          apps5

            What Is It? A database of nutritional information for about 200,000+ unique products. Scan the barcode of any item and receive instant access to the ingredients used, nutrition facts, and healthier alternatives. Features include fitness, progress and food tracking tools and grocery shopping lists.

            Who Should Use It? People who  would like to make better decisions in the grocery store.

            Where Can I Get It? Android / iPhone

            Need some music to get motivated? Get moving with Fit Radio.

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            apps6

              What Is It? A free music-streaming service that provides non-stop, high-energy, workout music to keep you motivated while you exercise.

              Who Should Use It? People who are moved to train with more feeling if music is playing and/or people who have listened to their existing workout playlist a million times and would like to add fun to their daily routine.

              Where Can I Get It? Android / iPhone

              Want to become ridiculously good at push-ups? Crank up your upper body strength with Push Ups Pro.

              apps7

                What Is It? Input your age and body status to receive a training plan customized for you. Workouts include six levels of exercises friendly for any fitness level.

                Who Should Use It? People who would like to build a stronger upper body; people who would like to become able to do an impressive amount of push-ups; people who train at home and need support to stay consistent.

                Where Can I Get It? Android / Not available on iPhone, but you can find a similar app from Runtastic here.

                Have a hard time keeping up with your intake? Simplify your nutrition tracking with MyFitnessPal.

                apps8

                  What Is It? A ridiculously massive food database (3,000,000 foods!) that helps you track your diet. Features include a barcode scanner (useful when grocery shopping), exercise logs, support community where you can connect with friends, and charts, graphs and reports detailing your progress.

                  Who Should Use It? People who are going to count calories even though I tell them not to.

                  Where Can I Get It? Android / iPhone

                  Want to get in shape without using any equipment? Achieve your fitness goals with an assist from Workout Trainer.

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                  apps10

                    What Is It? Fitness training app that comes equipped with thousands of free workouts designed for a wide variety of fitness goals, experience levels, and personal preferences. Features include a virtual fitness consultation to personalize and improve your experience; instructional photos, videos, and audio cues that illustrate every exercise; online support community; and a built-in music player.

                    Who Should Use It? People who work out at home and would like to add variety to their training.

                    Where Can I Get It? Android / iPhone

                    Does turning fitness into a video game sound like fun? Level up with Fitocracy.

                    apps11

                      What Is It? An RPG (role playing game)-like app that allows you to earn points and level up during your fitness journey. New friends and accountability buddies will cheer you on in an online social community that’s like Facebook but for fitness.

                      Who Should Use It? If reading the above sentence caused a nerdgasm, you’d probably like it.

                      Where Can I Get It? Android / iPhone

                      Is walking your exercise of choice? Make every step count with MapMyWalk.

                      apps12

                        What Is It? A simple progress-tracking app that keeps up with your route, time, distance, pace, and calories burned in real-time.

                        Who Should Use It? People who would like to find new routes to walk or challenge themselves to beat previous best times.

                        Where Can I Get It? Android / iPhone

                        In a constant state of fight-or-flight? Manage your stress with Breathe2Relax.

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                        apps13

                          What Is It? A portable stress management tool that will help you improve your mood. Features include breathing exercises that will help you reduce stress; audio instructions to guide you; and background music to help you relax.

                          Who Should Use It? People who want to free themselves from stress and anxiety.

                          Where Can I Get It? Android / iPhone

                          Do you feel groggy before the day is half done? Connect the dots between your habits and your energy with Juice.

                          apps14

                            What Is It? A fun and easy-to-use energy tracker that encourages positive habit change. Choose to track things like your sleep, exercise, nutrition, mood, relationships, stress, work/life balance, energy level, and more. You can also set reminders to encourage consistency.

                            Who Should Use It? Ambitious folks who want to improve the Big Picture of their health and wellness.

                            Where Can I Get It? Android / iPhone

                            Note: According to some negative reviews, this app could have bugs on certain types of phones. I’d encourage you to scan the reviews to make sure yours isn’t one of them before downloading.

                            Have a hard time getting a good night’s sleep? Improve the quality of your Zzzs with Sleepbot.

                            apps15

                              What Is It? A smart alarm that gently wakes you during your lightest sleep. You can also record audio and movement while you snooze, resulting in guidance that will help you wake up better every morning.

                              Who Should Use It? People who would like to wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day.

                              Where Can I Get It? Android / iPhone

                              Are there any top fitness apps that you think should be a part of this list? If so, feel free to name them in the comments. What’s your favorite health or fitness app and why?

                              More by this author

                              Daniel Wallen

                              Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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                              Last Updated on August 12, 2019

                              12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                              12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                              Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                              But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                              I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                              Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

                              1. Nuts

                              The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                              Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                              Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                              Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                              2. Blueberries

                              Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                              When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                              3. Tomatoes

                              Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                              4. Broccoli

                              While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                              Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                              Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                              5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                              Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                              The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                              Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                              6. Soy

                              Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                              Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                              Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                              7. Dark Chocolate

                              When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                              Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                              8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                              Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

                              B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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                              Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                              Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                              To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                              9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                              Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                              Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                              Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                              10. Gingko Biloba

                              This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

                              It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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                              However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                              11. Green and Black Tea

                              Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                              Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                              Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                              12. Sage and Rosemary

                              Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                              Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                              When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                              More About Boosting Brain Power

                              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                              Reference

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