If you have set a New Year’s resolution to get fit and live a healthier lifestyle, you are not alone. It is estimated that 45 percent of Americans make some type of New Year’s resolution, and that 66 percent of all resolutions are related to health and fitness.
The practice of setting resolutions at the start of a New Year is a tradition dating back thousands of years. However, in recent years, new mobile apps and technology make sticking to your health and fitness resolutions easier than ever before.
To help keep you on track in meeting your health and fitness goals this year, we have compiled five of our favorite online health and fitness tools.
- BMI Calculator — Quickly calculate your BMI (body mass index) using this app. After entering in stats about your age, height and weight, this app can calculate your BMI, waist-to-height ratio, body fat percentage and calorie consumption to find your ideal weight based on age and gender.
- Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal — This app is one of the most popular health and fitness apps for mobile phone users. The app integrates two important weight-loss factors: diet and exercise. MyFitnessPal users can track their exercise and physical activity, as well as track the calories, fat, carbs and cholesterol in the foods they eat. The app incorporates fitness and exercise information and measures it against calorie consumption. MyFitnessPal also offers more than 350 cardio and strength-training exercises to help users get off the couch and get moving!
- 7 Min Workout — Finding time to exercise can be difficult, but even those who are short on time can find seven minutes to squeeze in a high-intensity interval workout using this app. Surprisingly, working out just seven minutes a day truly can help you meet your fitness goals. According to research published in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal, doing seven-minute sessions of intense exercise is an efficient way to lose weight and strengthen muscles.
- RunKeeper — RunKeeper is an invaluable app that tracks how fast and how far you run, walk or cycle. The app uses your phone’s GPS to calculate the user’s pace and distance traveled, along with how many calories the user burned during their exercise session. In addition to monitoring a user’s running pace and distance, the app includes complimentary training plans and coaching tools to keep users motivated and on track to meeting their new-year fitness goals.
- Healthy Recipes by SparkRecipes — Healthy Recipes lives up to its name and provides users with thousands of healthy recipes to browse and test out in the kitchen. The app’s recipes are intended to fit a wide range of dietary needs. Health-conscious cooks can browse nutrition information for recipes, including calories, carbs and 10 other key nutrients for each recipe.
In addition to these mobile apps, consider a wearable fitness tracker, such as Fitbit or Jawbone to help you achieve your fitness goals. Wearable fitness trackers help users take accountability for how much physical activity they experience on a daily basis. These fitness trackers do much more than count steps, however. Most also include a companion Web account or mobile app and provide insights into steps taken, calories burned and consumed, sleep patterns, heath rate, blood pressure and more.
With the assistance of these online-powered fitness tools, it is easier than ever before to stick to the health and fitness resolutions many people will make in 2015. Most important, anyone looking to make a healthier change to their lifestyle in the New Year should be patient with their progress, celebrate milestones along the way, and remain focused on their health and fitness goals all year long. Good luck!