Let’s face it: Everybody makes a New Year’s resolution to either lose weight or eat healthy. But the mistake everybody makes is that they cut out all the foods they love, go full-force for a week or two, and then quit. It’s incredibly difficult to go from doing nothing to all-out exercising. In my experience, a successful change is gradual, starting out slow — working out for as little as 10-15 minutes a day — and building up to a full-out, 60-minute, Insanity-level workout.
Now that it’s almost February, some of you are undoubtedly facing that struggle of “I made a commitment and need to continue” versus “This is terrible, and I want to eat pie.” This isn’t a bad thing — and something’s probably wrong with you if you don’t want pie all the time. But you have to remember how bad you want this. Do you really want to feel better? Have more energy? Shed a few pounds? Eat healthier? Are you willing to take the time to exercise, the same amount of time you’d spend on the couch browsing social media anyways?
Trust me, it starts with commitment. If you decide that you want to exercise every day, after two weeks, it will become routine. Exercise is like a drug — your body will crave it. And because of that healthy exercise, your body will automatically crave healthier foods (most of the time…pizza will always be part of my life). This means that instead of cutting out fatty, sugary foods, you’ll naturally avoid them and eat them in smaller portions. Which means… you can still eat whatever you want! In college, I lost 30 pounds and never dieted or took any pills. I never cut out any foods completely, either; it’s literally all about portion control and consistency.
If you really want to commit to something but don’t know where to start, I found seven fitness apps that may help you make exercise a part of your daily routine. Since your phone is always in your hand anyways, it’s the way to go. Plus, the apps can be set up to send you notifications, reminding you (guilting you) to exercise. :) Just try one or more for 3 weeks — only 21 days — and assess your progress or up the intensity. Also, and most importantly, they’re free!
Weight Loss Fitness
This app literally requires 7 minutes of exercise a day. 7 MINUTES. At this point, you have no excuse. The app has a different combo of exercises each day to keep it fresh, and a woman on the screen actually shows you the exact movement while a voice gives you instructions. The premise is simple, but when I do it, I’m still breathing hard at some of the exercises. You can do this while you watch TV even. This won’t make you lose 25 pounds or anything, but it’s a start! Do this in conjunction with 30 Day Ab if you want to kick it up a notch. Available for Apple and Android
If you want to work on your core and abs but want a variety of exercises, Sworkit is a good place to start. The menu gives you three choices: Absolutely Awesome, Back Strength, and Complete Core. You can control how many minutes you work out (up to 60 min. for each category), which I really love and appreciate. During your workout, a figure demonstrates each movement for you, with 5-second transitions between each exercise. I did this all summer while watching TV, and it really does make a difference if you do this every day. Available for Apple and Android
30 Day Ab
If you want rock-hard abs — or at least a really firm tummy — commit to this app. There are six levels of difficulty to choose from, with each one getting more challenging. In Beginner Level 1, every day consists of a set number of sit-ups, crunches, leg raises, and planks. The number increases incrementally with each day. If you do the actual amount it tells you, trust me, you’ll be happy with the results. I did this faithfully one month, and even though I didn’t look like Jillian Michaels, my stomach was sculpted and slimmer. If you’re absolutely DYING, cut the number that it gives you in half. Either way, you’ll be doing something. Plus you can do this while watching TV. Available for Apple and Android
If you’re a runner, or want to get into running, this is an amazing app that tracks each run, gives you directions and reminders while you run (which you can turn on/off), and gives you plans to follow if you don’t know where to start. You can even change the voice cue; mine is a drill sergeant! My favorite thing he says: “You better squeeze those buns, or no one else is gonna want to!” Available for Apple and Android
The Pedometer app is an easy way to count your steps, especially since your phone is usually in your pocket or bag. If you work at a sedentary job, you’ll be surprised at how little exercise you get in a day. On the other hand, you’ll soon realize how easy it is to rack up 10,000 steps. After coming home, literally just walk outside for half an hour. That’s it. You’ll feel good, refreshed, and invigorated, especially with all that fresh air. This app actually comes pre-equipped on iPhones, though you may not have noticed. Versions available for Apple and Android
No one drinks enough water — no one. I definitely don’t drink enough. But Planty Nanny is an excellent way to remind you to drink water throughout the day. In the app, every time you finish a glass of water, you “water” your plant, which you can pick out and name. The more water you drink, the more your plant grows up. As you rack up seeds, you can buy fancier plants, pots, and backgrounds. If you fail to drink enough water, your plant dies. It’s just adorable and morbid enough to work. Also, just to clarify, these are not converted into real plants at any point. Available for Apple and Android
My Fitness Pal
If you’re an organizer and want to keep track of your progress, download My Fitness Pal immediately. Before anything, the app asks for your current weight, goal weight, how many pounds you want to lose per week, and level of activity. With that, it calculates how many calories you should be eating each day to achieve that goal.
The great thing is that My Fitness Pal keeps a “diary” of sorts for you, where you can record every single meal you eat as well as the exercise you do each day. It already has a database of thousands of foods, so whether you eat a banana or a specific type of lasagna, you’ll find it in their database, with the nutrition facts already there. Also, it syncs with your iPhone and automatically subtracts any calories burned from walking, running, etc. So convenient! Available for Apple and Android
These are just seven of the hundreds of apps out there designed to help you be more active and live healthier. If these don’t work for you, keep trying until you find ones that do — and then let me know so I can try them, too!
Remember: Don’t give up!! You can do this. If you want it enough, it’ll happen for you. Just STAY CONSISTENT. You’ll be feeling better in no time!
Squeeze those buns,