Almost everyone has some kind of fitness goal or aspiration; and while there’s no substitute for good old-fashioned effort, these apps, gadgets, and tech innovations will keep you motivated and help you stay on track.
1. It Tracks Your Results
You could plot your own progress by hand every time you weigh yourself, or the Withings WiFi Body Scale can do it for you. Each time you step on the scale, it syncs your weight, body mass index, and body fat percentage with a clear and easy-to-read graphic website that helps you track weight loss.
Find It: Withings.com
2. It Measures Your Activity
The BodyMedia Fit is the ultimate in fitness tracking. Enter your caloric consumption through a food database and let the wear-anywhere-and-everywhere armband do the rest. It measures your body heat, sweat, and heat flux to track caloric output as well as your activity and sleep patterns. It provides one of the most comprehensive looks at how everything you’re doing in your day-to-day life affects your fitness.
Find It: BodyMedia.com
3. It Can Replace Your Personal Trainer
Providing all the perks of a trainer without the hefty price tag, the Nike+ Training Club is perfect for those who need some guidance at the gym but prefer to work at their own pace. Just enter the area of your body you want to focus on and how much time you can commit to the workout and the app will present you with an exercise plan, complete with quick how-to videos for each move.
Find It: Nike.com
4. It Can Be Your Favorite Running Buddy
Perfect for avid runners and newbies alike, the Nike SportsWatch with a customizable display keeps track of your mileage, pace, calories burned, and more. In between runs, it stores all this information in your personal log and lets you connect with other runners for motivation and support. And if you start to slack, it’ll keep you motivated with automatic run-reminders.
Find It: Nike.com
5. It Can Help Keep You Hydrated
Give yourself the best shot at success before and during every workout by staying hydrated. Even if you know how important hydration is, it can be tricky to know when you’ve had enough water. The Sportline HydraCoach Intelligent Water Bottle helps cut out the guesswork by tracking your hydration needs and pacing your sips throughout the day.
Find It: Amazon.com
6. It Can Help Maximize Your Workout
The 7 Minute Workout Challenge will leave you no excuse to skip your daily sweat session. You don’t need a gym, fancy equipment, or much time to get your heart pumping—this circuit workout really takes just seven minutes. Thirty-second increments of high intensity exercises like jumping jacks and planks really add up.
Find It: iTunes
7. It Gives Back When You Get Moving
Do good and feel good with the Charity Miles app, which lets you generate money for deserving charities with every mile you run (or bike). Funded by corporate partnerships, Charity Miles tracks your workout and donates $0.10 per mile for bikers and $0.25 per mile for walkers and runners to organizations like Stand Up To Cancer or the ASPCA.
Find It: iTunes
8. It Pays to Work Out
Maybe you’d be more motivated to break a sweat if doing so put money in your own pocket. Pact lets you do just that. At the beginning of the week, you use the app to set a target number of workouts and your healthy eating goals—if you fail to meet them, you’ll have to pay up (don’t worry, you set a dollar limit so you don’t go broke). The “fees” paid by those who come up short become monetary rewards for app users who achieve their goals.
Find It: PactApp.com
9. It Helps You Achieve Peak Performance Levels
The Peak wearable device from Intel does all the usual things a fitness tracker does, like counting your steps, but it adds a layer of insight by providing an accurate heart rate measurement (without requiring additional gear). Peak knows whether you’re walking, running, or biking and can even differentiate between stages of sleep so you get a fully comprehensive look at your activity throughout the day. It also has a four-day battery life and allows you to set Habit notifications, so it can give you the gentle nudge you need to achieve your fitness goals.
Find It: MyBasis.com
10. It Can Count Your Calories
Exercising is only half the equation for staying in shape; you also need to make sure you’re eating a healthy diet. The MyFitnessPal app lets you scan food labels and search its expansive restaurant database (home-cooked meals have to be entered manually) to keep track of your food choices.
Find It: MyFitnessPal.com
11. It Curates a Healthy Lifestyle
If you’re not sure you’re ready to commit to a pricey wearable yet, try Argus, a free app that tracks your steps anytime you have your phone with you. And let’s be honest, when don’t you have your phone with you? A one-stop-shop for all your fitness needs, Argus also tracks your meals, weight, and sleep quality.
Find It: Azumio.com
With Intel® RealSense™ snapshot, you can use your tablet to measure how big your biceps have gotten—or maybe how tall the stack of onion rings you ate for lunch was. Learn more here.