April 11, 2017

Fitness

5 of the most useful fitness apps and websites

IF WORKING IN the fitness industry over the last decade has taught me anything, it’s that things change quickly and new trends are soon replaced by newer trends.

I have seen many things come and go, from styles of training to different fitness tools the use of apps and websites falls under that category.

I have found myself using different approaches that have helped me bring my training to the next level both with myself and my clients and there are certainly plenty of useful tools out there to help you with your health and fitness goals.

With so many options out there, it can be easy to download many of the useless apps but below are five of the apps and websites I have used in the past and continue to use on a daily basis.

The reason I do is because they are very useful, highly effective and overall just easy to use with minimal complication or effort required.

Headspace

I have used the quote “slow down to speed up” many times before in this column and this is really an area you might be able to bring that focus to.

Fitness to me isn’t just about lifting weights, going to the gym, eating your broccoli or going out for a run; your mental fitness is just as important as your physical well-being.

There are many different ways you can improve your mindset and mental fitness, such as mediation or simply getting outside into the fresh air.

The Headspace app is a digital service that provides guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training. Its content can be accessed online, or via their mobile apps.

In April 2016, Headspace claimed to have over 6 million people using the app and I have brought meditation into my routine and it has helped me out in many ways with regard to my wellbeing, fitness and health.

ROMWOD

A few weeks back I wrote a piece on the five most common mistakes people are making in and around the gym. One of them was that I see people performing workouts on top of a consistently tight body. Your mobility is an area people need to be working on daily.

I have given you a quick and easy 15 minute body maintenance programme and feel almost everybody needs to start bringing in structures like this somewhere into their training program.

ROMWOD stands for Range Of Motion Workout Of the Day. It is a website that provides daily videos designed to increase range of motion, optimise athletic performance, and promote recovery, healing and longevity.

ROMWOD really is for everyone and is a programme I have sent over to a lot of my clients who can’t make it to the gym a lot of time and particularly comes in very handy for people who are sitting down for long periods of their day or even people who are out on the road a lot with work.

This programme was initially designed by CrossFitters to help them out with their mobility and range of motion. Poor mobility can affect everyone and the only way to stay on top of these areas is by bringing in daily drills that can combat poor posture, tight and stiff bodies and joints.

If you stay on top of these areas it can only improve your overall daily function and even your performance in the gym.

Pushpress timer

I am a big fan of using the clock when it comes to certain workouts. Whether I am out on a trail run or hitting up an interval conditioning piece in the gym I like to have a clock there to measure myself and generally just keep me going.

I feel using a clock especially if you are training alone can keep you moving and hold you that little bit more accountable. The timer I use is called “PushPress” and I have been using it for years.

It’s free to download, extremely easy to use and has many different timer modes on it but unfortunately this app is only currently available for iPhone users,

MapMyRun

MapMyRun is a fitness tracking application that enables you to use the built-in GPS of your mobile device to track all of your fitness activities. Record your workout details, including duration, distance, pace, speed, elevation, calories burned, and route traveled on an interactive map.

I am a big fan and user of this app as it is really easy to use and super handy when logging and tracking progress. With the evenings getting brighter and the Dublin marathon in the distance this app will come in very handy when it comes to logging and keeping on top of the steps you need to be doing for the event in October.

MyFitnessPal

This is another tool I have used both for myself and my clients.

A quote I would say quite often is “if you’re not assessing then you’re really only guessing” and this is where this falls in very well.

Any client that I have worked who has hit their goals always develops a healthy relationship with food and this app can really help your approach.

My client Ciaran, who lost 10 stone in one year, is an example of how the MyFitnessPal app is an invaluable tool.

His step-by-step approach to losing all that weight was to fix the basics first and once he had the basics nailed down he then started to measure the numbers he needed in order to reach his goal.

Within that year everything was measured from his calorie intake right down to his macronutritents breakdown.

I have seen MyFitnessPal get some stick over the last few years with regard to people obsessing over what they are eating on a daily basis but it doesn’t need to be something you use for the rest of your life but instead for a short spell in order to help you and make you that little bit more aware of what you need in order to be staying on tops of your nutrition goals.

I hope you’ve found this information useful and if you need any more advice you can pop me a message from the links below.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Or you can send him a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here.