Resolution check! How are those promises you made on January 1st to get fit and lose a little weight holding up? For lots of busy moms, things like work, kids, carpool, homework, afterschool activities and all the responsibilities of life can get in the way. If that vow to get healthy this year got put away with the Christmas decorations, stay tuned because help is as close as your smartphone. From food journals to exercise trackers, the plethora of diet and fitness apps out there can make it easy for a busy mom to get back on track. We’re taking a look at seven of our favorites.
There’s a (Diet and Fitness) App for That
I started using Lose It! a few years ago and it helped me lose about 30 pounds. It’s free to download, and while you can upgrade to Premium for more features, the basic version packs a pretty good punch. The app remembers your most frequent meals, and you can build recipes so your all your home cooked masterpieces get counted, too. Scan barcodes or snap photos of what you eat and the app adds it for you. Activity earns you more calories, so choose from a list of exercises or connect to your Apple Health or Google Fit apps to get credit for all that hard work in the gym.
This food journaling app also taps into the vast resources of the LIVESTRONG health and wellness community. It’s a diet and fitness app that offers the usual food tracker and extensive database, but for all you moms counting macros out there, My Plate also gives you protein, carbs, and fat grams and percentages so you can keep your ratios where you want them. If you like a more structured “eat this now” plan, you can choose an 8-week meal plan to stay on track. There’s also a fitness element to the app, with a workout designed by celebrity trainer Nicky Holender. The app is free, but you can upgrade to Gold for a few more features.
Starting a new exercise plan (or sticking with one!) can feel overwhelming. What’s the best exercise for me? How do I get started? Should I join a gym? I decided to get fit after giving birth to my son, and I needed something quick and easy I could do during his naptime. I found Leslie Sansone’s Walk-at-Home videos and fell in love. The moves are easy for my clumsy self, and you can pretty much do it anywhere. The Your Daily Walk app does charge a fee that you can pay monthly or yearly, but you get a different workout each day instead of just doing the same video over and over.
Simple and FREE! Once my little guy started school, I wanted to boost my fitness level a bit and hit the pavement. I’ve never been a runner, so walking it was. The Map My Walk app tracks your steps and distance pretty accurately, giving you split times and letting you know when you’ve hit another mile marker. You can save your workouts to track your progress and remember your routes. A calendar lets you see your monthly workouts at a glance. There are more features available with the MVP membership, but the free version works great for me.
Despite the “Couch to 5K” name, you don’t have to train for a 5K race to use this app. In fact, it’s pretty useful if your only real goal is literally getting off the couch and getting on the road to running. The app “walks” you through a plan that starts slowly and builds your stamina so you’re able to run 5K, or about three miles, in eight weeks. Based on walk-run-walk intervals, the app prompts you when to walk and when to start your run. Intervals build over time until – ta-daaaa! – you’re running 5K without stopping. The best part? It only takes about 30 minutes a day. The app is free, but you can upgrade to the Pro version.
Combining the best of diet and fitness app trackers in one handy package, My Fitness Pal boasts lots function for the low, low cost of FREE! The app claims more than 5 million foods in its database, and you can enter them manually or scan barcodes. The buddy system is alive and well on My Fitness Pal, with so many members that you could easily team up with someone you know to support each other in your health and fitness goals. Fitness gear giant Under Armour owns My Fitness Pal along with Map My Walk and Map My Run, so you can integrate info from them into your plan if you like.
What’s better for a busy mom than a workout that only takes seven minutes? Nothing, I tell you! This free app has versions for your smartphone, tablet, or Apple Watch, so it’s about as portable as it gets. You can build your own workout by choosing from a number of individual exercises, or just hit up one of the workouts from the library. Can you get fit in seven minutes a day? Who knows, but what do you have to lose? Note that there are many versions of the 7-minute workout, but this is the “official” plan developed by Johnson & Johnson.
What are your favorite diet and fitness apps? Are there any we might have missed? Offer up your suggestions in the comments below and we can try them out!