The smartphone has changed the way people tell time, take notes and photos, navigate unfamiliar surroundings — and then some. Thanks to the many apps available for iOS and Android mobile devices, it can also keep track of the calories you burn and remind you to meditate now and then — that is, if you’re among the 68 percent of American adults that the Pew Research Center says now own smartphones. The usual caution applies: Consult your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.
For indoor workouts, try 8Fit, an app designed for people who think they don’t have time to exercise. The free version provides you with personalized 10- to 13-minute workouts based on your goals, such as losing weight, decreasing body fat or simply toning up. You choose your level of fitness and decide how many times a week you want to work out. The app then has you take a quick fitness test before creating a workout routine for you. It provides short videos demonstrating the exercises and offers warm-up exercises to get you going. You can program the app to provide music for the workout routine and alert you when it’s time to exercise. You will definitely get your heart rate up and feel the burn. For a monthly fee, the app also will track your diet and calories, provide nutrition tips and offer online coaching to beef up your workouts.
Warning: Go easy with these exercise routines if you have bad knees. (available for iOS only) For outdoor workouts, try
Map My Walk. This app has been around for several years but remains a great workout program. Owned by athletic-wear company Under Armour, the app can be used to track your time, distance and route for walking, running, road cycling, mountain biking or taking Fido for a stroll. The app tracks time per mile split — the time it takes to run a defined distance — and for total distance, a nice feature for people trying to hit a personal-best goal. If you like, the app will tell you your pace per mile, although the first time you hear the voice it may startle you out of your shoes. You can save favorite routes, along with elevation gain, and share the routes with friends. For those of you who like a little competition, you can create a workout challenge and invite friends to join, or you can participate in a sponsored national challenge. For an additional monthly or annual fee, you can add features that track your location so friends and family know where you are and so you can get some audio coaching. (Android and iOS)