The same cell phone that was acting as one of the prime reasons for your sedentary lifestyle can now help elevate your fitness journey. How?
Often, people avoid working out because they feel it’s too hard, they don’t know where to start, or they didn’t get the results they wanted the first time.
Fitness requires some understanding of what you’re doing, dedication to your workouts, and the patience to wait for the results. And many people don’t have these things, which may be why over 25% of the people in the United States don’t exercise at all.
Don’t let these things hinder you because you already have something that can guide you on all these fronts—your cell phone.
But before we learn more about that, let’s take a moment to understand why movement is so crucial.
From extending your life expectancy to protecting you from hundreds of health problems, the benefits of exercise are endless.
As Dr. Robert Butler from the National Institute on Aging once said, “If exercise could be packaged in a pill, it would be the single most widely prescribed and beneficial medicine in the nation.”
When you start exercising regularly, it can:
- Reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity
- Reduce your risk of colorectal, breast, and uterine cancer
- Keep joints, ligaments, and tendons flexible, allowing you to move more easily
- Reduce aging effects
- Contribute to mental well-being
- Help relieve anxiety and stress
- Increase energy and endurance
- Improve sleep
- Help maintain optimal weight by increasing your metabolism
Besides exercising regularly, eating right is also extremely crucial. That’s because it’s only when you eat right that your body can function optimally. This includes focusing on your macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbs) and micronutrients.
And your cell phone can help you with both your workouts and nutrition. Have a look:
Your Cell Phone Can Boost Your Fitness Journey
Having a mobile device with powerful processors and multi-tasking abilities at your disposal gives you the power to make healthier life choices.
You can now turn your cell phone into a personal health management system that can provide extraordinary results. Here are some ways to use your phone to elevate your fitness level.
When you work out, it’s crucial that you have the correct technique because performing exercises incorrectly can lead to:
- The wrong muscles and joints being overloaded, and you not getting the full benefit of your workout.
- Serious strain on the wrong muscles resulting in an injury.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services reports that about 8.6 million Americans are hurt annually while engaging in physical activity.
When you focus on proper techniques while working out, it will not only prevent injuries, but also you’ll get your desired results faster.
Besides that, you’ll also be teaching your body the correct movement patterns, further lowering your risk of injuries by creating muscle memory.
And your phone can help you with that. There are many apps on the internet that focus on teaching you correct exercise techniques, so you can start targeting the right muscles from the very beginning.
Besides that, these apps also help you learn new exercises if you’re a complete beginner.
Calorie Counter and Nutrition Apps
Although there are many nuances to this, calorie tracking can be a useful tool for health and fitness. And as any season fitness professional will tell you, guesstimating your calorie intake is never good enough. You need a degree of accuracy if you really want the best results.
There are many free apps on the market that can help you track your daily caloric intake more accurately. Just set your age, height, current weight, and desired weight, and these apps will set a daily calorie limit for you.
But simply tracking your calories also isn’t enough. The type of nutrients you’re getting also matters a lot.
For example, have a look at the difference between one slice of pizza that weighs around 100 gms (3.52 oz) and a chicken breast that weighs the same amount.
|1 Slice Regular Cheese Pizza
|35.6 gms (1.25 oz)
|12.2 gms (0.43 oz)
|30+ gms (1.05+ oz)
|10.4 gms (0.36 oz)
|3.6 gms (0.12 oz)
|3.8 gms (0.13 oz)
|2.5 gms (0.08 oz)
So, you see, even if you count the calories and eat based on your limit, you won’t get the same nutrients from all types of foods.
When you’re tracking for fitness, it’s important that you also focus on your macro and micronutrients. And these apps can help you with that as well.
Dance Exercise Video Guides
Many find traditional forms of exercise incredibly boring. And that becomes the main reason for them to quit their workouts. But since you have your cell phone in your hand, you can change your workout style.
Instead of doing the traditional cardio and weight training, you can incorporate dance workouts into your daily routine. According to experts, besides weight management, dance workouts help you increase your:
- Muscular strength
- Motor fitness
- Aerobic fitness
- Muscle tone and strength
You don’t even have to download an app to learn these workouts. You can simply go to YouTube and search for dance workouts for beginners. And it will show you millions of dance workout videos to choose from.
Music And Earphones on The Run
Music can be your friend if you like running, jogging, and even walking.
Many studies demonstrate that listening to music during aerobic events can positively affect your exercise and performance. Some even say music in your ears results in faster running speeds and reduced blood lactate levels.
Besides that, music can:
- Provide a source of motivation
- Give you the extra push you need to cross that final mile
- And help you stay in the zone.
So, add some good quality headphones to your workout gear, and see your overall workout quality improve.
A Gentle Reminder
In 2020, Austrian scientists performed a randomized controlled study to understand whether workout reminders from a cell phone can help one’s fitness journey.
They divided the subjects into two groups. Group “A” received daily workout reminders, whereas the control group “B” didn’t.
The subjects assessed their adherence to physical activity in diaries.
This study lasted 12 weeks, and the researchers found that Group A, who received reminders, “performed 96 min more moderate intensity regular physical activity per week than group B.”
There are many more studies like it showing how daily workout reminders give a much-needed boost to your fitness journey.
Your cell phone can act as your accountability partner, reminding you when to work out.
Five Best Free & Paid Fitness Apps on the Market
So now that you understand the advantages of your cell phone in your fitness journey, here is a list of some of the free and paid apps that you can download on your cellphone today and give your health and fitness a much-needed boost.
Note: All views and opinions expressed in this post are our own, and this post isn’t sponsored by any of the applications mentioned here.
Nike Training Club
Although there are pictures of people climbing on ropes, performing muscle ups, and lifting hundreds of pounds on the app’s homepage, Nike Training Club (NTC) starts you from the very beginning.
It kicks off with some introductory questioning to determine your measurements, activity levels, and types of exercises you’re comfortable with. Once you answer these questions, the app will create a tailored workout program for you so you can take the very first step in improving your fitness.
With more than 185+ workouts, ranging from 15-45 minutes, catering to all kinds of audiences, NTC is one of the best fitness apps on the market.
MyFitnessPal is essentially a nutrition-tracking application. It’s available for Android and iPhone and contains a database of thousands of foods, so you can track anything you’re eating.
This app has two versions, one is free, and one is its premium service.
The free version allows you to track your food, calories, weight, activity levels, and other metrics. Note that it doesn’t show your macronutrient information, meaning it won’t tell you the amount of protein, fats, and carbs you’re consuming.
So, if your primary goal is to maintain your weight, or you want to dip your toe into calorie tracking, the free version of MyFitnessPal is the best choice.
If you’re just starting your weight loss or gain journey, you can go for the premium service of this app. When you buy their premium version, it eliminates advertisements and adds macronutrients and other essential nutritional information.
In the premium version, you can also export a CSV file of your data to better keep track of your progress. Besides that, it also provides you with workout examples and short motivational videos.
MyFitnessPal premium subscription costs $9.99 per month. And if you pay for the year upfront, it will only cost you $49.99 per year.
- Video and audio demonstrations of the exercises
- Workout customizability
- A variety of workouts, including abs and core, HIIT, yoga and mobility, and home workouts
- Warm-up and cool-down sessions
- And more
The GymShark Training app doesn’t contain a calorie and nutrition-tracking feature, so you’ll have to combine it with apps like MyFitnessPal.
Much of the training taught in the app is by celebrities like Gabrielle Union and Jonathan Van Ness.
This platform live-streams more than ten classes daily containing different workouts, including yoga, HIIT, boxing, circuits, pilates, dance, barre, stretching, and meditation.
Although this app is free to use, it also offers a premium subscription for $29.99 a year. The premium version of this app lets you access its custom meal plans, offline workouts, the ability to sync with fitness trackers, and more.
But why am I recommending a meditation app?
This is because combining meditation and exercise supports your health and maximizes results from your daily workouts.
A small 2016 study from the Netherlands found that combining mindfulness with exercise improves your stress, anxiety, and depression levels. And having excellent mental health is super important when chasing a certain health goal.
Headspace features guided meditations, animations, courses, and videos for a wide range of needs and concerns, including:
- Stress and anxiety
- Personal growth
- Work and productivity
- Body image
Headspace is a free-to-download app with some basic features. If you want to access its premium content, they offer monthly and yearly subscriptions.
The monthly subscription will cost you $12.99 with a 7-day free trial, and the yearly subscription will cost you $69.99 with a 14-day free trial.
Modern technology, if used correctly, has plenty of benefits to offer. And what’s mentioned in this post is only one of them.
But, as we all know, technology is a double-sided coin. According to the experts, prolonged tech use can affect you physically, mentally, psychologically, and emotionally.
Now the solution here isn’t to condemn technology but to use it in a way that lets you access its benefits without subjecting you to the adverse effects that tag along.
So, how do you do that?
Simple: you need to start building a healthier relationship with technology.
Let the experts tell you. Visit The Healthier Tech Podcast, where experts from different industries share how to use modern technology in a safer, healthier way. We’re available on all major platforms.