Pardee Hospital

WIN 2016

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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2 7 w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m W I N T E R 2 016 S P I R I T O F W O M E N SHUTTERSTOCK W hatever your fitness goal, there's an app that can help you achieve it. As a supplement to your workout routine, the right fitness app can boost your motivation to exercise consistently, track your calories burned, train for an event, pace your workouts, monitor your progress and compete and connect with other exercisers. Of course, these techie tools won't do the work for you. And they're not necessarily substitutes for a gym membership either. "Many fitness apps don't teach proper form," says John Douthitt, general manager of MCH Mission Fitness, affiliated with Medical Center Health System in Odessa, Texas. "If you exercise incorrectly, it can lead to injury, which can lead to inactivity, which is the opposite of what you want." But innovative apps like the following four can definitely help you get in shape. Bonus: Each of these apps offers free iOS and Android versions so if you get tired of one, you can easily switch to another without investing anything more than your time. 7 MINUTE WORKOUT The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting in 150 minutes of moderately intense activity and at least two strength training sessions each week. 7 Minute Workout is a high-intensity interval training app that can help you work toward that goal in seven- minute bursts throughout the day. According to a University of Florida-Gainesville review in JMIR mHealth and uHealth, which analyzed 30 fitness apps, the 7 Minute Workout rated highly because the exercises were structured and explained well, even for beginning exercisers. How it works: Using just your own body weight, you'll do 12 exercises in seven minutes, including jumping jacks, planks, wall sits, push-ups, squats, crunches, chair step-ups, triceps dips on a chair, running in place with high knees, lunges, side planks and push-up and rotations. 7 Minute Workout provides video and text descriptions of each exercise so you can execute them safely. MAP MY RUN Map My Run tracks your running route as you jog, using GPS. You can run on the routes the app recommends or create your own. Douthitt says he used Map My Run to train for a 5K race despite a bum knee. "When I was training and not necessarily enjoying it, I started seeing that I was improving," says Douthitt. "Then, each time I ran, I wanted to see if I could improve a little. It was amazingly motivating." How it works: Consider it a virtual coach. "It has a voice that will tell you how far you've run and your pace, which is a form of motivation," says Douthitt. Each week, Map My Run will send you an e-mail that summarizes where you ran, the duration, your distance and your pace. SWORKIT LITE PERSONAL WORKOUT TRAINER This interval training app offers comprehensive workouts that combine aerobics, strength training using your own body weight, and flexibility for a well-rounded routine. How it works: Each 30-minute workout is randomized to create a fresh workout every time, so your body has to work harder because you're constantly using different muscles. One caveat: The exercises may be too technical for beginners, so work up to this one. MY FITNESS PAL If you're trying to lose weight, this calorie-counting app/ electronic food record can help you see how many calories you're taking in compared with the number of calories you're burning through exercise, with the goal of hitting a specific calorie count each day. It offers a database of more than 5 million foods—everything from major supermarket brands to regional fast-food restaurant chains. My Fitness Pal also documents how many grams of fat, protein, carbohydrates and sodium you've ingested, which can be especially helpful if you have a medical condition, such as diabetes or hypertension. How it works: Throughout the day, you simply enter what you consume and how much you exercise, and the app tallies how many calories you have left to eat for your daily calorie allotment. The app helped Douthitt stop snacking at night: "I'd get to the end of the day and find out I didn't have any calories left to eat, so I'd read a book or go for a walk instead," he says. • Before using any ftness app, take the time to program it correctly. If you use an app to count your daily walking or running steps, for example, and it asks for your walking and stride length, go to the trouble of measuring them. Otherwise, "the information an app provides can be inaccurate and misleading," says Jim Kirwan, author of "The Exercise Factor" (Morgan James Publishing, 2015). To stay motivated, take on a project like a 5K or 10K walk or run, and use a ftness app to track your daily progress. "With the feedback from your app, you can see day to day, week by week the progress you're making," Kirwan says. "It becomes a little game, a little competition with yourself, to try to improve your time and distance." Make workout apps work for you

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