Whether we try to cut them out of our lives or embrace every new technology that Silicon Valley churns out, mobile phones undoubtedly rule our lives, our relationships and increasingly our health.
This edition of boot camp #adventabs focuses on the fitness programmes that fit into the palm of our hands. Within the last 5 years smartphone apps have made it easier for us to get online faster, talk to our friends faster and hopefully with our help, lose weight faster.
Up first we have Moves, this simple and free app is perfect for all-round exercise whether it’s walking to the train station, the morning jog or sitting at your desk, Moves calculates your progress throughout the day. Its simplicity is key with the minimal amount of effort needed to run, just carry your phone with you and watch the calories shred away.
Pro: Works with minimal effort
Cons: Battery drain
This app may be for the foodies amongst us, with the ability to count our calorie intake its ideal for those watching what they eat. With its built-in barcode scanner users can easily search for that night’s dinner or tomorrow’s breakfast. MyFitnessPal also includes a less then effective exercise tracker which may be to manual for today’s fast-paced world.
Pro: Large food database, everything from Wagamama to Aldi.
Cons: Poor exercise tracker
Nike+ Running (Free)
Nike’s running app is a simple and goal driven app, with challenges guiding you through your running experience. It’s interesting ‘heat maps’ shows how intense your run has been, or where you have to improve. Integration with social media is a big selling point for this app because, everybody needs to boast about killing that 5k run on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter sometime.
Pro: ‘heat maps’ showing the intensity of your run.
Cons: Poor GPS Tracker
Zombies, Run! (£2.49)
The interactive gaming app is something that is new to the world of health apps, but Zombies, Run! Stormed the world. With its integrated storyline users must outrun virtual zombies through a series of episodes whilst gaining power packs and listening to instructions from the games narrator, now we must concede that this app may be for those who need that extra motivation, but Zombies, Run! Duly delivers. The storyline, written by Pulitzer Prize winning author Naomi Alderman, should give you that extra boost that gets you the results you want.
Pro: Interactive storyline
Con: Price: the only paid app on our list.
Sleep Cycle (Free)
With athleticism taking up only part of our overall fitness, some of the focus must shift to our lifestyle. Sleep Cycle offers you a relaxing wakeup call as you set your alarm for a twenty minute interval, in which the app will wake you at the perfect time according to your sleep pattern. Not only will the app wake you up at the freshest point it also analyses your sleep and places the results in handy graphs, which makes for surprisingly good reading.
Pro: Gets you the perfect night sleep
Con: your mobile device must be under the pillow
#AdventAbs Day 7 – the single leg stretch
This sounds easy, right? Wrong. This is far more than a stretch. It’s a slow-burner, and depends on being able to hold the same position. The gradual movement will work your abs and your whole core really hard. We love this one!
- Lie back in the centre of your mat with your knees bent. Lift your head and shoulders and curl your chin in toward your chest.
- Inhale as you draw your left knee in toward your chest, placing your left hand on your ankle and your right hand on your knee.
- Lift your right leg about 45 degrees off the floor.
- Switch legs, extending your left leg while hugging your right leg to your chest. DON’T LET YOUR FEET TOUCH THE FLOOR AT ANY POINT. (See, we said it was hard…)
- Switch hand positions each time your switch legs, placing your right hand on your right ankle and your left hand on your right knee.
- Do between 5 and 10 reps for each side.