New Year’s resolutions are all well and good, but for most of us, January is still a holiday month – a time to relax and slowly get into gear for the incoming year. But now, it’s suddenly February, and if you’re like me and haven’t quite gotten on top of your fitness goals yet, now’s the time!
No matter what my goals are, I’m always big on consistency. We’re all human, and we all know motivation ebbs and flows, so engraining habits into your routine is crucial to success. James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, and health guru Dr Paul Hermann, who I spoke to on Casper Podcast, both talk about creating consistency when trying to form a new habit to solidify long-term change.
Bottom line is that consistency is key. So, when I set out to create a new fitness goal, I first consider the ultimate reason why I want to achieve it. When you ask yourself what the purpose behind the goal is, your answer needs to be compelling. Fitting into a size eight pair of jeans isn't gonna do it, so think about it carefully and keep asking yourself, ‘why?’ until you get to the core of why you want to accomplish it.
It may be an emotional reason, such as, ‘I want to run more so I have more energy to play with my young kids’, or ‘I want to be the best version of myself for my family so that I can continue to be there for them in years to come’.
Alternatively, it could be part of a broader goal. Personally, exercise fuels my mental performance at work and gives me more energy throughout the day to accomplish more.
Or it could be as simple as I feel better both mentally and physically after a workout. I recognise that it’s vital to my general well-being, and I deserve to feel good.
Once you've worked out your why, you'll need to figure out a way for you to work at this that's sustainable with your lifestyle. Remember, we're looking at the long-term here!
This is about being realistic about your life, your family obligations, and any other commitments you have during the day. If, like me, you’re juggling family life, aging parents, and multiple workplaces, then you may not have that much time to spare.
However, honesty is the best policy when it comes to your schedule and time. Even if it’s just ten or twenty minutes a week, the key thing is to be able to stick with it. When you are honest with yourself and plan a realistic time that fits into your life, you are more likely to reach your goal.
Finally, all you have left is to get started! This is where fitness apps can help you develop both consistency and accountability, helping you achieve your short-term and long-term goals. Instead of having you go through a bunch of 'top apps’ on the app store, I've selected a few that I've tried and think will work for anyone regardless of fitness level, so I'm going to dive right in and share the apps that have helped reach my fitness health goals.
I really like Runmeter. It includes an immense but useful amount of data about your run, including pace, fastest pace, average pace, run time, stopped time, ascent, calories, temperature, and total run time. It also gives you graphs for elevation and pace per mile.
You can pick whether you’re using Apple Maps or Google, and it’ll show you a map of your run – you can even change the map's orientation to show the way you are going. The maps can show distance and interval markers and automatically include temperature, wind, humidity, and sunrise/set times, giving you all the information you need for your workout.
Runmeter is exceptionally customisable, and you can link it up with many other devices and apps, such as to record your heartrate. You can even control your music through the app, making it a one-stop-shop for your running.
This one has been around for a long time and is still one of my favourites, particularly when I want to keep track of my nutrition as well as my workouts. The app gives you helpful tips on nutrition and exercise, and you can set goals, do a challenge, set reminders, and sync other apps.
It also now features workout routines so you can pick and choose workouts consistent with your timeframes, and for the social (and accountability) element, you can invite friends or be part of a community to help you stay on track.
As the name suggests, there's an array of workouts to choose from that only take seven minutes at all levels, categorised as beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The app features everything – Hit, Core, Strength, Tabata, stretches cooldowns, and much more.
It's great for the time-poor, but they also have longer workouts if you want to do a more extended session. The workouts are a lot of fun, easy to follow, and the music is pretty motivating, too!
The app allows you to customise your workout, check your progress, and set reminders – leaving very little room for excuses – and as a bonus, it connects well with Runmeter!
Runkeeper is a GPS fitness app for iOS and Android. Running with the Runkeeper fitness tracker app, you can track your progress in real-time and it will give encouragement for more activity. Whether you want to go for a run, walk, hike, or anything really, this app has you covered.
One of the best features is the audio encouragements, which you can customise to the voice and phrases you like best – it makes for some great motivation!
Once you complete a run, much like Runmeter the app gives you basic stats like distance, time, pace, calories burned, and a breakdown of splits for each kilometre. The app also shows pace, elevation, and steps taken, and can also connect to your favourite playlists through Spotify or Apple Music.
Peloton is a subscription-based health and fitness platform designed to help you reach your fitness goals. You can access Peloton workouts anytime, anywhere, with access to 30+ world-class trainers. It's a fantastic workout!
With Peloton, there are so many classes to choose from that everyone can find something they vibe with, but what really caught my attention was the quality of coaching.
You'll feel like you're in the studio with your favourite trainer, who will continue to guide you with technical cues, progressions, and regressions. This is a great one if you want to bring the training studio home; you honestly feel like you're there!
Okay, folks, that's it from me, give them a try. I'd love to hear your feedback on your favourite app (even if it's not mentioned in this feature) and why you love it!
If you haven't listened to our podcast on forming habits with Dr Paul Hermann, I suggest you do – it's great to get some insight into how we can create healthy habits.