Friday, July 17, 2015

My Favorite Fitness Apps

Starting a new fitness program can be challenging and overwhelming.  Take a breath, find your center and relax.  To be successful, there only 4 things you need. 6 if you count patience and persistence.
  1. A S.M.A.R.T. goal to work towards,
  2. a plan or road map,
  3. a diary or journal,
  4. and a Heart Rate monitor (I use a simple Polar FT1).
You don't need a gym membership or fancy weights - you can walk, run, and do pushups, sit ups and squats right in your living room!

64% of adults in the US have a smartphone.  If you are one of them, here are 3 apps (click on them to link to the Apple store on your device) that I recommend. These are great for anyone starting their journey or looking for ways to streamline their current one.

1.  MyFitnessPal - for food tracking, exercise tracking and journaling. It's all in one handy-dandy application, right on your phone. 

To accurately track the calorie burn from your exercise, though, it is important to know and understand intensity level. This is something this app does not take into account, so you will need to adjust your caloric burn to track more accurately. 

2 great examples: 28 minutes of strength training in MyFitnessPal shows 98 calorie deficit, but last week I bumped up the intensity of my routine—burning an astounding 228 calories.

A 45-minute Spin® in MyFitnessPal gives me a calorie burn of 370. I kept it moderate intensity and only burned 315.

How do I know all this?...I used my heart rate monitor and my 2nd app recommendation.....

2.  Calories Burned by Heart Rate.  There's a formula for determining accurate calorie burn that takes into consideration age, weight, exercise time and heart rate. 

I talk about it more here and it looks like this:
Male: ((-55.0969 + (0.6309 x HR) + (0.1988 x W) + (0.2017 x A))/4.184) x 60 x T
Female: ((-20.4022 + (0.4472 x HR) - (0.1263 x W) + (0.074 x A))/4.184) x 60 x T

What the what now?

With the Cals Burned app you enter all of the above. It generates a number - and that is what you should enter into MyFitnessPal for an accurate reading. 

If you aren't using MyFitnessPal it's still a great tool to understand how much you are actually burning vs. what you think you are burning.  (Warning: It will probably be less)

3.  Nike+ Pro Training* On the run and in need of a 10, 15 or 45 minute workout that will torch some serious calories? Are you looking for a 4 week personalized roadmap to help you reach your S.M.A.R.T goal(s)? 

This app does all that, for all levels. 

Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced.  Whether looking to get lean, get toned or get can find it all here.  And for FREE no less. 

*As with all exercise programs, please consult with your doctor before following one of these programs and be sure to watch your form.  Maintain the intensity level appropriate for your level of fitness.

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