Motivational Exercise Tools to Try This Year

exercise tools

Here on the blog, we talk a lot about the two keys to long-term weight loss: nutrition and exercise. According to Dr. Dirk, that second key is best achieved with one hour of aerobic exercise, seven times a week. Aerobic exercise is the most effective way to stay healthy. The best news, Dr. Dirk says, is that it does not have to be intense or difficult — just consistent.

“Surprisingly, a recent study showed that people who walked one hour a day lived longer and healthier than people who did not,” he says. “Even more surprisingly, in comparing marathon runners to the walkers, marathon runners did not benefit any more than the walkers!”

Creating habits can be hard work, but there are a few apps on the market to help track your activity, which can be a huge motivational tool.

exercise tools

Apple Sport Watch

Get your beach-body ready for summer with an Apple Sport Watch, the perfect combination of an all-day activity tracker with the capabilities of a superior watch! Enter here for a chance to win Dr. Dirk’s Apple Watch giveaway!

Couch to 5K

This program, designed to get people from “couch potato” to 5K runner, is a great way to ease into a workout routine. The sessions average 30 minutes and help you work your way from a 30-minute walk to running a full 3.1 miles. The program’s smartphone app can “coach” you with a guiding voice that helps cheer you toward your goals.

Runkeeper

While running can be a great aerobic workout, it’s hard to enjoy it while timing your speed and measuring your distance. Runkeeper uses your phone’s GPS to map where you’ve run, how far and how fast. This allows you to focus on doing your best and enjoy your workout without distractions.

Ready to get started? Most experts agree that finding something you enjoy is important, but safety should be your top concern.

“Don’t go out there and try to break a land speed record,” Dr. Dirk, a Weight Loss Surgeon in Dallas, TX,  warns. “Start slow and work your way on up. But your goal is one continuous, uninterrupted hour of aerobic exercise every day.”


5 Free Health and Fitness Apps to Download

Getting in shape is hard, and getting motivated to work out is even harder. When it comes to sticking with an exercise regimen, we could all use a little extra help. Not ready for fork over the cash for a personal trainer and nutritionist? No problem. While technology may get a bad rep for discouraging an active lifestyle (Netlix, here’s looking at you), it’s a tool that you can use to your advantage—for free.

free fitness apps

Download these five smartphone apps to kick-start your new healthy lifestyle:

Nike+ Training Club

Whether you’re new to this whole fitness thing or you’ve already got a regular workout routine, the team of trainers at Nike has something for you. With over 100 workouts from which to choose, the Nike+ Training Club app lets you focus on your specific fitness goals.

Runtastic

Whether you’re looking for a quick, 10-minute high-intensity workout or a full-blown 90-minute sweat session, Runtastic’s line of apps offer results-driven programs with coinciding slow-motion videos that make sure your technique is spot-on.

Shopwell

You already know not to grocery shop when you’re hungry. Take it a step further with this app that scans an item’s bar code and compares items against your personal needs as stipulated in your profile, including goals (like weight loss or heart health) and restrictions (allergies, vegan/vegetarian, etc.).

My Fitness Pal

A good exercise regimen is nothing without a healthy diet, and My Fitness Pal’s calorie counter is a user-friendly way to track your food intake versus how many calories you’re burning. The app’s database includes two million (and counting) foods, as well as major chains and brand names so you don’t undo the hours you logged on the treadmill.

Zombies, Run! 3

While this ultra-popular app isn’t free (it carries a price tag of $3.99), it certainly won’t break the bank, and it makes workouts a lot more fun. Your real-life workout progress is rewarded with tools and supplies that can be used to defend what’s left of humanity from an imminent zombie attack within the game. What could be more motivating than that?

When it comes to weight loss, technology can either work for you or against you. So turn off the TV, download a quick app and get moving on the path to your health goals.