Great workouts and motivators – starting at $0!
Even the most dedicated jogger, walker, or aerobics junkie can lose her motivation. And we all know what happens if you’re not motivated (hello, Häagen-Dazs!). So we’ve come up with dozens of new ideas to jump-start your workouts, whether you’re on a tight budget or have money to burn. Some really fun options are free. We cover everything from the best fitness phone apps and podcasts to cushy sneakers to get you off and running again. And if you decide to spring for a personal trainer, we tell you how to get the most for your money. If you’re looking to buy new equipment for your home gym, we can help with that, too—turn to page 62 for our latest ratings on treadmills and ellipticals. So no more excuses! We’ve got the skinny on everything you need to know to get started.
Price 99 cents and up
The skinny: The site has 300+ workouts including cycling, ballet, boxing, stretching, sculpting, and strength training, for beginners to jocks.
Where to get it - iTrain.com
The skinny: Get inspired with fun cooking tips and other info—quick, what’s more filling, pasta or potatoes?—shared by professionally trained chef Monica Reinagel during her weekly audio podcasts.
Where to get it - QuickandDirtyTips.com
Price Free access to one new class every week, $3.99 to download any class you like, or $9.99 a month for unlimited access to 180 classes for various skill levels.
The skinny: Try different types, from Ashtanga to Kundalini. The video classes are taught by certified instructors and range in skill level from beginning to guru.
Where to get it - YogaToday.com
Yep, there’s an app for everything, and there are some great ones to help you get fit. Most are designed for the iPhone, which starts at $99, but they also work on the iPod Touch, which starts at $199 (no contract required). The apps here work only on the iPhone, except for iMapMyRide/iMapMyRun, which also runs on BlackBerry models. But keep an eye out because new apps are becoming available on other smart phones all the time.
Best for Tracking your workouts.
The skinny: Forget about that fitness journal or chart you use to pencil in your progress. There’s an app that makes it fun and easy. Strength-training devotees can set up workouts and then track weights, reps, sets, and more. View your workout history as a calendar or a graph, and e-mail entries to your computer to create spreadsheets of your progress.
Price Free trial
Best for Linking up with your workout buddies.
The skinny: It’s a social networking app for those of us who don’t like to go it alone. Set weekly goals for your weight, cardio, and weight-training workouts. You can even control your vices. Sample goal: just one doughnut this week! Charts make it easy to see your progress. You can connect with others working toward similar goals, using accountability and good old fashioned competition to stay on track.
Best for Building muscles.
The skinny: Whether you can do five push-ups or 50, this app designs a six-week training program to help you build the strength to perform 100 in a row. (Try Two Hundred Sit-ups and Two Hundred Squats, too.)
Best for Measuring heart rate.
The skinny: Take your pulse and tap the screen to get your heart rate. Use it while you’re working out to see if you’re hitting target heart rates and also to calculate calories burned.
Price Free ($4.99 for an ad-free version)
Best for Tracking rides and runs.
The skinny: It uses the GPS on your phone to measure the distance, time, pace, and speed of bike rides and runs. Sync to MapMyFitness.com to create a training log and view maps of past routes and chart new ones.
Price $9.99 (You can download two free full-body workouts.)
Best for Trying new workouts.
The skinny: It turns your device into a mobile library of more than 2,000 exercise images and videos demonstrating step-by-step instructions on how to perform each move. You can tap through screens to follow fitness professionals doing more than 200 ready-made workouts or use a special feature that lets you create your own personal routines.
Price 99 cents
Best for Counting steps.
The skinny: It turns your phone into a pedometer that calibrates to your natural gate and measures the distance, time, speed, steps, average pace, and calories burned for walks and runs, whether you’re cruising the neighborhood or the mall or even if you’re moving in place (say, in front of the television). E-mail your stats to your computer so you can keep track of your progress.
Best for Creating a diet plan.
The skinny: Using your height, weight, age, and gender, this app calculates your metabolic rate and sets up a daily calorie budget to help you lose one-half to 2 pounds a week. You can chart your progress and pinpoint where you might need to make adjustments to reach your goal weight.
Plus one more fun one!
Eight Glasses a Day
Price 99 cents
Best for Staying hydrated.
The skinny: OK, it isn’t technically a fitness app, but it’s a great addition to any workout. Tap the screen when you drink a glass of water and it will let you know when you hit that old standard of eight glasses.
Don’t have a smart phone?!
Go to www.m.gymtechnik.com – it is a free fitness sign designed to work well on the small screen. Use it to find workouts for abs, legs, or any body part, and track your progress and numbers as you go!
More to try:
Backpacker GPS Trails Lite
Racing for Cardiotrainer
Daily Arm Workout
Daily Butt Workout
Content courtesy of Shop Smart Mag.