Getting in shape and attacking a new healthy-eating regime are challenges that usually occupy the top spots on the old New Year's resolutions list. They're probably at the top of yours too, yet you find yourself still tentatively thumbing through gym brochures, instead of taking the bull by the horns and hitting the treadmill hard.
If you think of going to the gym as purely a necessary evil and don't feel the least-bit motivated to actually go, maybe it's time you changed tactics. Have you ever tried home training? After all, it requires a much smaller investment in terms of time, effort, and money than the gym. Of course, you'll still need the determination and willpower, but there are some great Android apps out there that serve the dual purpose of guiding your training, and keeping you motivated.
To that end, we've gathered together 5 of the best apps for incorporating physical activity and a healthy diet into your daily routine with the least possible effort.
You Are Your Own Gym is an app complete with a 10-week training program for all levels. No need for a fancy weight kit or gym equipment; all you need is your body, a little determination, and a few minutes each day.
Routines last between 25 and 36 minutes, although if you're short of time one day, you can opt for for the quick program to engage in a short, intense workout. All you have to do is choose the program that best suits you and follow the video instructions that show you how to do the exercises correctly. In just a few weeks, you'll begin to see some very positive changes to your bod.
Progression is a great app whether you're a regular gym-goer or prefer to exercise at home. This smart tool lets you design custom training routines. So if you're looking for pre-populated exercise regimes, it's probably not the best choice, but if you want complete control over your training, you'll love it.
Search among hundreds of activities classified by muscle group worked; filter them depending on the equipment you have available (if you have no equipment, choose "body weight") - then start designing your routine. You can choose the days you'll perform each routine, or begin a workout whenever you like. The app will record the weight and reps of each of your activities, then generates stats so you can easily track your progress.
"I don't have time." Yeah, that old chestnut's the oldest excuse in the book. And we all know that's poppycock. All of the apps featured in this list include short workouts that anyone can find the time to do. But if you're really time-poor, then 7 Minute Workout is the one for you.
Seven minutes: that's all you need to accelerate your heart and get your muscles working. The 7 Minute Workout program trains all the major muscle groups (full body, abs, legs, etc.) with short but intense workouts, with a total duration not exceeding - yep, you guessed it - seven minutes. You can choose the weekly training days on the calendar, and receive reminders so you don't try and drop out.
Staying healthy and strong isn't just about what we do with our bodies, it's about what we put in them to. The formula for success is combining an effective training program with a balanced diet. And the latest buzzword in nutrition and fitness is Paleo: a lifestyle based on consuming the same foods as our early ancestors combined with primal training.
Mammoth Hunters is a great app for adopting a fitness and nutritional regime based on these principles. Once you've entered your goals and stats of your current physical condition, the app will automatically create a 10-week training plan and personalized diet. Training sessions are fast (between 7 and 20 minutes) and require no equipment, and each exercise includes a video demonstration of how to do it.
Undoubtedly, one of the most comprehensive and innovative fitness and nutrition apps currently on the market.
Maybe you're not quite convinced by the Paleo program, and a more traditional route would suite you better. There are countless different approaches in nutrition, but all lead ultimately lead to the same goal of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. MyFitnessPal can help you keep track of all your meals, choose the right ingredients, guide you with portion control, and, ultimately, help you reach your calorie-intake goals.
Of course, you can also log your workouts, get stats on your overall progress, and see overviews of your physical evolution. A comprehensive monitoring app to help you stay fitter, longer - a New Year's resolution you'll actually keep.