Best ways to stay in shape on your phone
GLOBAL - The Nokia Lumia 800 has a great choice of apps for fitness at the Marketplace – so we’ve selected five for you to try.
At about this time of year our instincts tell us to gather up as much food and fuel as possible, plus a few DVDs – and hibernate. But now we’re adding the best fitness apps to the list
And, as the holiday season approaches, it’s easy to pile on the pounds, chomping on comfort food on the couch.
Then at New Year we get bombarded with diet and gym adverts. But with a bit of effort and some help from a few apps for fitness on your Nokia Lumia 800, it’s easy to stay in trim through December.
I’ve found a screenful of free apps at the Windows Marketplace. They loosely split between calorie counters and exercise guides.
First up is MyFitnessPal. Simply open an account and set a daily calorie goal. As you enter your intake of food and log your exercise, the app tells you how much allowance you have left.
Your phone is a key part of calorie counting because you can enter details wherever you are. It’s easy to fall off the wagon if you promise yourself you’ll enter all the details when you get home to your PC.
Using your phone helps you to stay disciplined and focus on your goals.
The Windows Phone app is free, as well as the website.
Another reason people tend to lose fitness levels at this time of year is the weather. If it’s cold, raining or snowing it’s very easy to give up.
But an app like Endomondo can help to motivate you to keep up the outdoor exercise through challenges sent by other people who use it. As long as you have the correct clothing to keep you warm, getting out into the fresh air is always going to be better than staying inside.
Endomondo does what it says on the tin, allowing you to track your workouts, challenge your friends and analyze your training.
And it’s not just limited to running, there’s cycling and other sports as well. It’s easy to sign up for a free account and get going.
You can answer challenges by meeting up on a route, or comparing your achievements to others who have met the same challenge at a different time.
If you really can’t face going out into the cold, why not turn your home into a gym. There are several apps, paid for and free, which can help you tone up in the comfort of your home. Ab Workouts Lite is a good example of a free one. It has a list of exercises, with diagrams to help you get into shape.
If you own an Xbox 360 with Kinect motion sensor, there’s a game by Ubisoft available called Your Shape 2012 which allows you to interact with on-screen activities.
You mimic the avatar on screen and Kinect measures your performance. This is an excellent option, because the price of the game and the Xbox is cheaper than joining a gym and you don’t have to leave home to do your exercise.
But when you do, you can stay in touch with your stats. Have a look at the trailer above, and learn more about the free app.
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Finally, sometimes you need a bit of inspiration to motivate you, so an app like Bodybuilding.com can be useful.
It’s full of case studies of people who have achieved their goals. The site is full of advice, and is focused on the role of food supplements in getting ultra-toned and building a new body shape. But you don’t have to buy anything to benefit from the advice.