The holidays are over, the kids are back in school, and you're ready to jump back on the health wagon. Thanks to these little helpers, getting in shape is easier than ever. By Anthony Cave, REDBOOK.
A woman can only bake so many brownies for school bake sales, so run away - for an equally good cause. Charity Miles donates 10 cents per mile for bikers and 25 cents per mile for runners to the charity of your choice. Once you choose an organization, the app automatically tracks the distance you cover, and does all the work. Charity Miles, free, iPhone/iPad/Android.
Don't know where to start? Let your coach help you - virtually. Fitness Trainer automatically creates workout routines based on your body weight and offers exercises that can be done both at and outside of the gym as. Three mediums of instruction - audio, video and graphics - make the moves easy to follow. Fitness Trainer, $2.99, iPhone/iPad.
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Take a break from liking and commenting on your friends' vacation photos, and send them affirmations on Fitocracy. A fitness social network that tracks your progress with points, badges and graphs, the platform allows users to record thousands of activities - from dancing at a party to taking the stairs - and connect with others who have similar fitness goals. You can join community groups that answer health questions, invite your friends and pick up followers as well - think of it as a mini support system on the go. Portable access could be the difference between stopping when you're full, and chowing down on the cake in the Starbucks dessert display. Fitocracy, free, iPhone/iPad/Android.
Instant Heart Rate
Concerned that working out leaves you out of breath in a hurry? Remove any potential worries with Instant Heart Rate, which uses your smartphone's camera to detect the pulse from your fingertip. During exercise, your target heart rate should measure approximately four times what it is ten minutes after exercise. Use the information to see whether you're pushing your body to a healthy limit. Instant Heart Rate, $0.99, iPhone/iPad/Android/Windows.
Have your husband take your bikes out of the garage, and plan a family fitness day. Strava finds the best running and cycling routes, introducing you to hidden sites nearby, and the best options when you're out of town. Compete against locals and even participate in sponsored fitness challenges for the opportunity to win prizes like North Face jackets and collectible honor badges. Strava, free, iPhone/iPad/Android.
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How many times have you uttered, "that sounds great...if only I had the energy?" Make taking a dance class or weekly volunteering possible with Juice, an app that puts the pep in your step by recording your energy, sleep and exercise levels and posting it on a virtual juice bottle. Weekly reports help you recognize activities optimal for your energy state and list ways to improve your energy level, like replacing the morning cheese Danish with a yogurt parfait. Juice, free, iPhone/iPad.
Nike Training Club
Featuring a host of trainers and more than 100 workouts, Nike Training Club tracks your progress and grants you hardcore moves like arm toners, full-range sit-ups and a Roman rotator, where you rotate your elbows at shoulder height, from the likes of Olympic soccer star Hope Solo and Ary Nunez, Rihanna's trainer. Now, you can be a diamond in the sky, too. Nike Training Club, free, iPhone/iPad/Android.
Say "om," and take a deep breath. Pocket Yoga features 27 different yoga sessions, ranging from 30 minutes to an hour across three categories: cardio, power and detox. The app includes images for each pose, down to the breathing patterns, and you can even hook it up to a big screen using an AV cable. Pocket Yoga, $2.99, iPhone/iPad/Android.
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Dig out your knee-pads and skates from the back of your closet. Using the GPS signal on your device, RunKeeper records distance, time, and calories burned across activities ranging from rollerblading to hiking. You can hone in on one goal, like lowering your heart rate or improving your time, while the virtual trainer tells you your progress as you work out. RunKeeper, free, iPhone/iPad/Android.
If you've seen every Twilight movie with your daughter, and can't stop watching True Blood, it's time to download Zombies, Run! The app morphs your workout environment into a quest for survival - a nice change from that tenth lap around the neighborhood - as zombie noises and missions have you running for your life. In addition to tracking your progress, you can earn "power-ups" like medicine and ammo while you trek. Zombies, Run!, $7.99, iPhone/iPad/Android/Windows.
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