Apps to help you get fit

Use a smart phone in your fitness quest

Ever thought about using your phone to help you get fit? Today there are so many fitness-related apps that you can download onto your smart phones that I fear my job as a personal trainer might be in jeopardy.

Everything from apps that help with food journaling, or running 5km, 10km and beyond, to apps that show you different ways to target certain muscle groups, time your intervals and coach you through a tough ab workout are available. Here are some apps that I have had some experience with, or that have been recommended to me. Give them a try and please remember, if all else fails, you can always hire a human to help you out.

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1. Lose It! - free Android & iPhone

This food journaling app is great. After the initial set-up, the app calculates how many calories a day you need in order to lose the amount of weight you downloaded, in the specified time you gave it. It uses a BMR (basal metabolic rate) calorie count, which is what I really liked about it. What I don't like about it is that it is made for USA restaurants and grocery stores. So I found I had to create a lot of my own custom foods to get the accurate counts down.

2. Daily Ab Workout - free

Android & iPhone There's a whole series of Daily apps, everything from butt workouts to arms (I recommend the ab workout). Each day, a new five to 10 minute abdominal workout will be displayed with the exercises demonstrated by a certified trainer targeting all the abdominal muscles. You even get applause at the end.

3. Fleetly - free iPhone

Fleetly is a social fitness app that offers its users a powerful, integrated way to easily track their workouts, fitness level and goals, while taking their fitness to a social and competitive level by engaging with others. It lets users find workouts, create custom workouts, join challenges, earn rewards, and easily share results and content with friends and family.

4. Jeff Galloway Ultimate 5K - $3.99

iPhone If you don't know the name Jeff Galloway then you probably don't need this app. Galloway is a legend in the running world and he has designed an app that will either get you to running 5K, or improve your current 5K times. He will warm you up, take you through the workout and play beat-synch music to match your pace. In addition, your workout will be tracked via GPS and the app comes with 15 tracks of high-energy workout music.

5. Mi Coach - free Android & iPhone

miCoach, which is an Adidas app, customizes workouts based on your personal training goals and pushes you to keep going with voice-over personal trainers during your workout. It even lets you track your shoe usage to know when you need a new pair!

6. ExerciseTV - free Android & iPhone

Everyday, you'll get a new free, full-length workout video (between 10-45 minutes) from ExerciseTV's extensive library. ExerciseTV is also available via your television and online. Workout categories range from abs, cardio, Pilates, yoga, boot camp, dance, strength training and more.

7. Jillian Michaels SlimDown Solution - free

iPhone Who doesn't love Jillian Michaels? She is America's Toughest Trainer and her app is good for all levels of fitness - from newbie to hard-core. Receive daily motivational tips, dozens of different workouts and recipes, as well as advice regarding commonly asked fitness and weight loss questions.

8. Workout Trainer - free Android & iPhone

Get in shape with workouts coached by expert personal trainers. Whether you're lifting weights at the gym or doing bodyweight workouts at home, Skimble's Workout Trainer will help you get fit with thousands of free workouts by guiding you through each series of exercises with timed, step-by-step audio, photo and video instructions with encouragement. Choose your area of focus or use it for weightlifting, running, weight loss, or yoga.

9. FoodScanner - $0.99 Android & iPhone

From the creators of the Daily Burn app, FoodScanner allows you to scan the UPS barcode of the foods that you eat to better track the nutrients for your food diary.

P.J. Wren is a local personal trainer and writer who can be found around town with her faithful hound dog on one side and her iPhone by the other.

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