So, You Downloaded a Fitness App… Now What?

9 Strategies to Get in Shape with your Fitness App

With the end of the year on the horizon, people from all walks of life are looking to close out the year on a strong note and get into shape. With the increase in popularity of fitness apps, technology has been the fitness enthusiast’s great collaborator in this worthwhile ambition. Gyms? No longer required. A personal trainer? Don’t need ‘em. Not only can we download fitness apps to help us monitor our calorie expenditure, training progress, weight loss, and fitness goals, we can stream workouts directly on our devices to get in shape without having to go to the gym or hire a personal trainer.

With the convenience of fitness apps, we should be a lot healthier and fit, right? Hmmm… we’re still a long way off. While apps are a fantastic tool to achieve optimum health, it isn’t enough. No sir, a fitness app alone isn’t your silver bullet in fighting the flab. Although you can exercise virtually anywhere and at anytime, many people continue to struggle establishing healthy exercise habits with apps alone. To take full advantage of fitness apps, I recommend implementing a few strategies. Here are nine tips to leverage the fitness apps on your device so you get into shape by the New Year while everyone around you may be loosening their belts over the Holidays.

  1. Personal accountability. Personal trainers and visiting the gym have always been positive motivators to maintain self-control. However, when it’s just you and your smartphone, it can be a real challenge to maintain that discipline. What are some ways to keep yourself personally accountable? For one, ensure your fitness apps are on the first page of your electronic device. In other words, you don’t want your fitness apps to be on the fourth screen of your app rotation – sandwiched between GrubHub and Sprinkles Cupcakes apps. Your fitness apps should be front and center – you turn on your device and BANG! Right there are your fitness apps; a constant reminder that you have fitness goals and they aren’t going away.
  2. Log it. Log it, otherwise you might forget it. Just about every fitness app has a way of logging information, including workout details such as duration and repetition or calories burned. Absolutely do not put off entering in these details. Input them immediately after you complete your fitness efforts when the buzz of the activity is fresh in your mind. The great thing about making a habit out of keeping records is that many apps allow you to get a visual of your results via a graph. This visual reference is a fantastic motivator. Graphs allow you to admire your progress and celebrate in your achievements, providing a real “proof of kill” in how close you are in reaching your fitness goals.
  3. Say “yes” to synching. Many apps work in concert with wearable devices like Fitbit. At every opportunity to synch your fitness app with a wearable device, do it. This will make tracking and logging that much easier. The point is to make the important things (like logging your workout progress) easy to record.
  4. Look for guided workouts. While an app can’t replace the wisdom and support a personal trainer can provide, many apps do offer planned workouts. Chances are your app includes a selection of exercise routines, each designed to accommodate various levels of fitness and corresponding goals. This is a tremendous service for those who want to exercise, but aren’t sure where to start. If you’ve always struggled with not knowing what exercise to do next or how many reps, ensure your fitness app has a proposed workout routine that’s right for you.
  5. Yes, everyday! Open and use your fitness apps everyday, otherwise you may forget they’re even on your device. Whether you go to a gym or workout virtually from your device, consistency is always the main requirement to getting your butt in shape. Make a habit of opening your fitness apps each and everyday. Hopefully, with this act alone you’ll actually use them! And if it’s an off day? At the very minimum, you can bask in the progress you’ve made thus far.
  6. Write it down. It’s one thing to say, “I want to lose weight” or “I want to lose 10 pounds” and another to make a clear goal of losing “X” number of pounds each week. When we write down our resolutions, they must be specific and measurable. With your goals written down, you can then define clear ways of reaching those goals. Folks who commit to resolutions that follow the “SMART” paradigm – specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound are highly successful. If your fitness app doesn’t offer a means to input a goal, simply writing down your goal in the notepad app or inputting it on your calendar is often enough to motivate.
  7. Break it up. Break each goal down into smaller, mini-goals. For example, if you want to lose 10 pounds by February, write on your calendar or fitness app to lose one pound per week. One pound each week is just a drop in the bucket and may not sound like much, however with each subsequent week you will get closer and closer to your goal and be galvanized by the results.
  8. Competition and community. People who workout with others not only enjoy their workout more, they push themselves further. Most fitness apps have a layer of friendly social competition built into their software. If your fitness apps provide a way for people to compete via a leaderboard or at the minimum, provide an opportunity to praise one another’s successes, take advantage.
  9. On track? Treat yourself! When you achieve a “mini-goal,” treat yourself. Now by “treat” I don’t necessarily mean run out and take advantage of a 2-for-1 Marie Callender’s pie deal. You absolutely do not want to derail all your efforts. However, reward yourself with small treat such as a massage or a movie and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.

I hope this list of strategies will get you on the right track to getting the most out of your fitness apps. If you implement just half of these tips, you’ll find it will be more difficult to find excuses to skip out on your workouts. Soon, you’ll be well on your way to closing out this year fitter, faster, and more satisfied with your body.

Guest Post By:

 

Clark Lagemann

Clark Lagemann

Clark is a seasoned entrepreneur who has become a mainstay in the New Jersey startup ecosystem.

 

He has excelled at multiple corporate positions as well as built several companies within the healthcare space—a core NJ industry. When not empowering members to reach their fitness and nutrition goals through MedPro Wellness, he devotes his time to creating communities that support entrepreneurs as well as mentoring dozens of startups throughout the state.

Even with such a full plate, Clark is a 2x IRONMAN, considered by many to be the most challenging endurance race in the world, and one for which he has raised thousands of dollars for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

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The Circuit Blog provides insights and analysis on technology in the health, wellness, and fitness industries.

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