Fall is here, which means less sunshine, cooler weather and more reasons to stay inside. Who wants to go on a five mile hike when it’s 40 degrees outside and the sun will set at 5:30 p.m.? Maybe one of the Ice Road Truckers, but not too many other people. It’s just a fact that it’s harder to exercise and keep active when the days are so short that the only sunlight you see is out the window of your boss’s office at work.
That doesn’t mean you can’t stay active during the colder months (even though we tell ourselves every year that chewing so much on Thanksgiving DOES burn calories). There are tons of apps and tools that can help you stay fit from the comfort of your living room; while Cox’s Pano WiFi and extensive network of hot spots ensure those apps are always on and connected no matter where you happen to be.
Nike+ Training Club
Nike’s free training app boasts over 150 different workouts that can be tailored to your preferences and current fitness level, and it includes video guidance from personal trainers who’ll walk you through the very best way to do each exercise. It’s like having your own library of workout videos.
Johnson & Johnson Official Seven Minute Workout
This is the original seven minute workout, developed by the Exercise Physiology Department at Johnson & Johnson. These high intensity workouts provide excellent cardiovascular benefits on those days or weeks where you’re just not up to longer exercises.
The Lose It! app tracks how many calories a day you’re eating, balancing that against the amount of exercise you’ve done, and displays exactly how much more or less you need to eat in order to either maintain your current weight or drop some pounds. Few things are more motivating than seeing a little exercise is going to enable you to eat 200 more calories today while remaining on target to lose a few pounds this month.
Much like Nike Training Club, Sworkit acts as your own handheld personal trainer, walking you through a variety of exercises that are tailored to your own fitness level. You can even enter the amount of time you’d like to workout, from 5 minutes to an hour, and Sworkit will fill that time with an appropriate range of exercises.
If you need a little extra push to get up and go, the Charity Miles app is a great way to motivate yourself. Select a charity from their extensive list and Charity Miles’ corporate sponsors pledge to give a certain amount of money to that charity per mile that you run, walk or bike, even if you do all of this in place from your living room.
Tep provides its own form of motivation. Instead of altruistically using your workouts to contribute to charity (which you can also do while simultaneously using this app), you instead take care of a pet giraffe whose health and happiness is dependent on the commitment you show to your exercise routine. It’s like a Tamagotchi for your health.
Smart Jump Rope
This particular piece of “tech” has been around a long time, at least since the 1600s, and there’s very good reason for its staying power: an hour of jump rope can burn up to 1000 calories, roughly on par with running 7 to 8 miles over that same span. It’s arguably the best cardio exercise you can do.
As with everything these days, we now have fancy jump ropes that will connect to apps on our phones and keep track of calories burned, like the Tangram Smart Rope, whose apps are linked below: