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MUST HAVE: The App Edition

In any lifestyle change the first thing I recommend is getting organized and if it wasn’t for my smartphone I don’t know how I would be able to live my life at a million mph. Here are my must have (FREE) apps to maintain my healthy and fit life.

1. MyFitnessPal

This app is all about two words: PORTION CONTROL! No matter how much you work out, abs happen in the kitchen not solely in the gym. General rule- it’s 70% what you eat and 30% how you train. This app tops my list on my ‘Must Have: The App Edition’ because when I first started using it a year and a half ago I lost 26lbs! Let’s be real, most Americans don’t know how much is too much.

This app requires you to log every item you eat and drink (multi-vitamin included) throughout the day and keeps track of your nutrition, exercise and weight on a daily basis. At the end of each diary entry (food log) you receive a update on how to achieve your nutrition goals tomorrow and how many pounds you are away from your desired weight. This app puts your eating habits in perspective and that is what a consistent healthy lifestyle is all about, being knowledgeable of how to balance what your body wants vs. what your body needs.

Personally, when I first used this app I started logging my morning coffee with the sugar and creamer- OMG. I was shocked at how many empty calories I was drinking away. Then I realized I would rather use those calories on a meal/snack that could benefit my nutrition goals rather than drink them away for a 30 minute jolt in the morning. I’m not saying I completely ruled out drinking coffee or eating sweets but with this app I was able to learn that if I do indulge I have to work out harder/longer at the gym to make my calorie goal break-even at the end of the day. To help you stay accountable, your friends can follow your weight loss journey too! After all of this, I know what you may be thinking… logging every item you eat and drink throughout the day takes too much time. Am I right?

Well, just when you think this app couldn’t get any better it has a barcode scanner to make logging faster and much easier! Worried you will simply forget? There is a reminder setting that can be activated to automatically go off after each meal at the time you wish to be reminded. Success is all about good habits and this app builds on just that.

2. Nike+ Running

Whether you are running or walking, this app will keep you motivated to the MAX! It uses GPS to map your runs, tracks the time, pace and calories burned in the process giving you audio feedback during your workout. Want to break you last run time but don’t know how to train? Nike+ Running allows you to put in your running goal and tells you the pace needed to achieve per minute to get there. There is a setting called ‘Powersong’. This setting will allow you to input your favorite jam so when you start falling behind your desired pace it activates and gets you back up to speed. At the end of each workout, Nike’s sponsored athletes give you feedback and all your activities upload to NikePlus.com – SO COOL and organized!

3. Pandora

I know everyone is getting into iTunes Radio but Pandora still has my vote. With numerous workout stations that can keep me pumped and that I can put on shuffle, I’m sold! Here is are some of my faves:
**Pop Fitness- Train, Katy Perry, Maroon 5…
**Pop and Hip Hop Power Workout- Beyonce, Black-eyed Peas, Ke$ha…
**Dance Cardio- Jennifer Lopez, Skrillex, David Guetta…
**Country Fitness- Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert…
** Yoga Workout- Low key dubstep…

4. Sleep Cycle LITE

Being a college student a set sleep schedule is pretty unrealistic and it’s something I have to work at every day. Have you ever had those days when you know you slept enough hours but can’t figure out why you’re still tired? Most likely you started or were about to finish a sleep cycle as you woke up which can lead to feeling like you’re exhausted and ‘out of it’ for the day. This app helps you prepare ahead of time so you know exactly what time you should be in bed for your desired wake up time.

When I first downloaded this app I was curious if it would actually work. I ended staying up quite late the night before an exam and so I decided to test it out to ensure I had enough energy to take my final, get in a good workout and still feel refreshed throughout the day. Every day I’m always surprised at how much easier it is to simply get out of bed in the mornings.  Now, 8 hours is always key but life happens and you need to make sure you can still get in a workout without the excuse ‘I’m too tired today’. Thank goodness for Sleep Cycle LITE because there is no room for excuses with this one.

Hope you enjoyed my ‘Must Have: App Edition’ and it helps you achieve your fitness and health goals for 2014! I’d love to read your comments on the apps above, especially once you give them a try! Until next time, see you On the Kattwalk…

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