If you've made a resolution to lose weight to improve your health this year, a smartphone can be a helpful tool for sticking to it and achieving goals. These recently-launched apps each have a different tactic to encourage users to stay on track and stay healthy through 2013 and beyond. And best of all, they're all free!
Nike Training Club: Designed especially for women, Nike Training Club (for iPhone and Android) is like a personal trainer with more than 100 full-body workouts loaded and ready to go. It offers 30- to 45-minute workouts requiring minimal equipment for all fitness levels from novice to advanced. The app provides instructive videos for every drill or exercise, so it doesn't matter if you've never done a single push-up. Just in time for the new year, Nike Training Club recently added shorter 15-minute workouts from female celebrity athletes and trainers. Forget using that old excuse about not having enough time for a workout!
Fitocracy: Named Mashable's top innovation in health and fitness, Fitocracy (for iPhone and Android) is an online fitness community (who are called Fitocrats) with a game-like twist to motivate people to get active. Use the free site, iPhone app, or the recently released Android app to join fitness groups or create your own. Each logged workout earns points to help reach new levels and unlock rewards like a video game. It's a fun way for friends to hold each other accountable virtually, even if they aren't able to work out together in person. It's also a great way to track workouts and keep consistent with the support of a community.
Thryve: While counting calories and logging everything you eat can be a helpful weight-loss tactic, it's not for everyone. Thryve is a new iPhone app that's like a portable food coach designed to help users track what they eat by focusing on portion size and food groups. Thryve gives a score for each meal and checks in post-meal to ask you to rate how you're feeling. The more meals logged, the better the app can help you learn how to eat for your body. Like many of these apps, Thryve also can connect users if they'd like to compare meals, tips, and ideas.
Though not brand-new, these two apps are especially relevant for the Krazy Coupon Lady community. They're not only free but also offer the opportunity to make money through healthy activities!
GymPact: Each week, Gym Pact users pledge an amount of money for every day they pledge to go to the gym. If they fall short of their pact, they have to pay up. The app (available for iPhone only) uses GPS to verify gym locations. Running and biking workouts can also be logged with the integration of Runkeeper, another app that uses GPS. At the end of each week, GymPact splits the money paid out by the people who missed workouts among those who stuck to their pacts. Though each weekly payment is only usually around $1 to $3, the desire not to lose money is great motivation to hit the gym. When there's money on the line, people are less likely to skip a workout.
Diet Bet: Diet Bet (for iPhone only) is a weight-loss game that uses a very powerful incentive: Money. Users join a game and bet a certain amount that goes towards the pot. As more players join, the pot grows. Once the game officially starts, everyone has four weeks to try to lose 4% of their body weight. Everyone who loses at least 4% splits the pot. Get this: An amazing 86% of DietBetters lose weight in four weeks, and the average winner loses over eight pounds and wins $96!