I’m one of those people who attempts to maintain a certain level of fitness, but depending on the season (or upcoming event), don’t always maintain it as well as I should. I’ve used social media and apps since their inception but have only recently discovered just how powerful they can be in keeping my fitness on track. Here are a few examples of apps and social platforms I’ve used recently to up my fitness game.
Not only is Instagram useful for cute dog pics and #OOTD inspiration, it’s also a powerful tool to get motivated. While Kayla Itsines’ #BBG program can be intimidating to many, her Instagram feed is filled with a good mix of tangible before and after pics, Kayla’s own rock hard body and some good ol’ inspirational quotes (that aren’t too annoying). @thebettyrocker has great bodyweight exercises while also mixing in some good meal prep tips. @kettebelkickboxing, @emilyschromm and @nicolewinhoffer are a few other great handles for workout tips, inspiration and general tips on wellness.
If you had asked me to run five kilometres five months ago I would have said you’re crazy. People have always told me you have to train yourself to be a runner, and while I knew it to be true, I still didn’t have the drive to muscle through the process. Last summer I downloaded Strava to help my cycling, but I’ve recently started using it for running. It tracks your distance and speed and ranks your personal progress while also ranking it in comparison to other runners who have run the same route. It breaks it down into splits (based on each kilometre), so you can see what you need to work on (hello inclines) and where you can pace yourself better. By following it throughout my run, I embrace my competitive side and really push myself to run a little bit faster, or at least make it to the next kilometre. What I love most? You can give kudos to the other runners on your feed, and the community is super supportive.
My Fitness Pal
Did everyone tell you in high school that you should write down everything you eat and then you’ll have better self-control over eating sweets or overeating? That never worked for me. I downloaded My Fitness Pal with hesitation, thinking it would be another process I’d start and then give up on. I was wrong. My Fitness Pal not only keeps a journal of what you’re eating, it also offers a breakdown of calories, fat, protein, carbs, cholesterol and more. The app’s food database is massive and has a barcode scanner that makes food entry easy and accessible. You can also document your exercise routine, and it links with many fitness apps like Strava and Fitbit.
Apple health snuck its way onto our iPhone’s and if you don’t use it (or haven’t downloaded it onto your Android)—you need to. The app offers a snapshot into your health history, from your medical history (think blood type, emergency contacts and allergies) to your fitness history, and links with apps like 7 Minute Workout, Strava, Nike+ Running and My Fitness Pal. While it may seem like yet another place to store a bunch of information, you can set up an emergency card with integral health information that can be added to your lock screen, which is a great idea in itself.