It’s no surprise that staying healthy will save you money. Maybe not today, but the healthier you are and better you take care of yourself, the less likely you will be spending large sums of money on healthcare as you age. Luckily for us, there are all sorts of ways to stay healthy in our technology driven environment. Below I highlight some great apps for your smartphone that help you to stay in shape and save money in the long run on your healthcare needs.
My Fitness Pal
We all know that losing weight (or maintaining our weight) is all about calories in versus calories out. My Fitness Pal is a free app that tracks your calories and makes doing so easy. You can type in a food to find it in the apps database, or you can simply scan the product barcode. It even has calorie information for most restaurants too!
I personally use this app and love it. It breaks down how many calories I should eat in a given day along with my fat/carbohydrate/protein requirements (which can be adjusted by the user as well). You can even access your info online!
Couch To 5K
Running is a good way to burn some calories, but for most sedentary people, running too hard for too long too quickly leads to nagging injuries. Nagging injuries leads to excuses to stop and the next thing you know, you aren’t running anymore. Couch To 5K solves this problem. They break out a plan for you to start running, slowly, and build you up to cover a 5K, which is just over 3 miles.
FitStar is a great free app that provides you with various cardio workouts. It is backed by former NFL great Tony Gonzalez and is a must for those looking for quick ways to get their heart rate up. There is a paid version of the app as well for more workouts, but I’ve found that the free version is good enough for me.
If you aren’t familiar with Tabata, it’s an intense workout over a short period time. You do an exercise for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Then you do another workout for 20 seconds and rest for 10 more seconds. Then you repeat this mix four times. While it seems as though working out for such a short period wouldn’t have an impact, it does simply because of how intense the moves are and how little you rest.
The app itself is just a timer, but this is why I love it. I get to be creative and create my own workouts. I could pick burpees and pushups as my exercises and do my workout. Alternatively, I could pick jumping jacks and squats. It’s all up to me, and that’s why I love it.
StrongLifts is an app for lifting weights. The reason I love it is because of how simple the workouts are. You have 2 workouts, A and B and alternate them so that you workout 3 times a weeks. So week 1 is A/B/A and week 2 is B/A/B. Each workout consists of just 3 exercises.
Workout A is squat, bench press, and bent over row. Workout B is squat, barbell press and deadlift. You perform 5 sets of 5 reps for each (except deadlift, which is 1 set of 5 reps). The goal is to increase the weight by 5 pounds after every workout. It doesn’t seem like much, but man does it work. Since you are only completing big, compound lifts, your entire body is getting a workout. Plus, it only takes 45 minutes to cycle through everything.
There are a ton of great apps to help keep you healthy so that you can save money on healthcare costs. These are just a few of the ones I personally use on a regular basis. I’d love to hear of any apps that you use and recommend in the comments below.