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Pretty Tough Girl: Kayla Pelletier
December 21, 2010
Weighing in on the New Year
January 3, 2011

New fitness apps just in time for New Year’s resolutions

As the holidays wind down and you emerge from your food coma, you may find yourself a few pounds heavier than you were before  the party season began.  If losing weight or getting fit is on your list of New Year’s resolutions, there are dozens of new Smartphone apps to help you keep your promises.

SF Gate blogger Casey Newton has a nice round-up that includes these titles:

Among the more prominent fitness app developers is Nike, which recently released Nike Training Club. Geared toward women — or anyone interested in performing pre-packaged workouts with names like “Slim Chance” and “The Heartthrob” — Nike Training Club offers more than 60 workouts and 90 drills for a variety of fitness levels. A beginner’s workout might include a light jog and some modified push-ups; advanced level workouts include jump rope, push-ups and the ever-unpleasant mountain climbers. Videos of women performing the exercises correctly help you keep your form in check.

Download the  Training Club app, and begin by creating an avatar, then customize your workouts, learn new training drills, and even challenge your friends to a little healthy competition.

One smart feature lets you can tie your workout to a playlist or album already on your iPhone or iPod Touch. The app also tracks your progress and offers you rewards as you go, including Foursquare-like badges, smoothie recipes, and new workouts featuring “audio motivation” from Nike tennis player Maria Sharapova. Best of all: the whole thing is free.

If you enjoy coaching every step of the way — and don’t mind being instructed by a disembodied robot voice that may remind you of the Terminator — you may want to check out by Skimble, an online destination for anyone who wants to plan and track an activity or workout goal.  Skimble has  a free, companion iPhone app to help track sports activities and monitor your athletic progress on the go. You can download the app here.

Skimble’s Workout Trainer offers coached workouts (and session tracking) for a wide variety of activities, including running, yoga and rock climbing. Social features let you see what your friends are doing with the app. One downside: the app regularly nags you to upgrade to a paid version — $5 for three months, or $10 for a year — or to spend $1 for audio coaching from a real (but recorded) human voice, instead of the Terminator.

Nike and Skimble are just the latest to go after the smartphone-using fitness crowd: there are 882 healthcare and fitness titles in the App Store at the moment. Even separating out the apps devoted purely to medical health and care, that still leaves hundreds of apps designed to get you up and moving.

Popular entries include Livestrong’s Calorie Tracker, FitnessClass, Fitness Free HD, Training Peaks and iFitness, which comes in both iPhone and iPad versions and offers videos of dozens of exercises in addition to a food tracker, weight monitor, BMI calculator and other features.

Other Apps

Hardcore studs can train like a hero with Navy SEAL Fitness ($1.99). Work through a range of physical training exercises that improve muscular strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health for elite total body fitness.

If yoga is part of your new year’s fitness plan, there are plenty of apps to help you get or stay on track including Yoga Stretch (.99)

Not ready to dive in full force yet? Start with a free pedometer application that helps you lose weight and stay healthy as it tracks your steps, distance traveled, and calories burned – all conveniently from your iPhone or iPod touch.

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