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Top Five Apps for Runners

With an increasing number of apps at our disposal to help guide us, manage or monitor many aspects of our lives, anyone interested in getting fit has little excuse not to get themselves motivated and moving. For beginners to running and die-hard enthusiasts, here are five of the best running apps to get your mitts on.

This free app is great for beginner runners. It is based on giving you a nine-week workout to help you slowly work your way to doing a 5k run. It provides timed workouts and audiovisual coaching tips to get you on the road, as well as interesting training tools and a virtual dog to act as your companion during running workouts.

You can choose your own coach who will create a program to help you meet your targets in a safe way. Even better, when you’re finally up to doing a 5k run, you can use the app to get discounts off entry fees for certain running events in your area.

This all-in-one app is great for those who want to share their running progress with friends and family via social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. If you’re training for charity runs or a fun run, for example, then MapMyRun will allow you to share how you’re getting on with others who may also be part of your running regime.

This app also lets you keep an eye on your calorie intake by tracking the food that you eat – great if you’re trying to stay in shape for your forthcoming running event.

You can also view your route workout information, track your fitness activities, record your workout details including route travelled, speed, duration and distance.

Suitable for Android and iOS, this free app from Nike enables you to get time, distance and pace readouts during running sessions. You can also set yourself running goals, track your progress and help stretch your goals that bit further.

This user-friendly app also has a wide range of social data-sharing features, where you can let others know how your running is going as well as track how your other running buddies are getting along. When a friend clicks ‘like’ on Facebook, the app will post you a motivational ‘cheers’.

You can also choose a ‘powersong’ which will help keep your spirits up during hard workouts.

Whether you’re training for a fun run, 5k run or a marathon, this app offers everything to suit your needs.

This free app has the advantage that it can be used with GPS watches, mobile devices or on the Strava website. As well as being suitable for Android and iOS, it is compatible with the Garmin Forerunner and Garmin Edge devices, which are one of the few app ecospheres beyond the mobile phone market.

Easy to use and with a sleek, minimalist design, Strava offers a wide range of features for the amateur and seasoned runner or cyclist. As well as being able to track routes, and get pace readouts, you can also compare reports of previous running activities undertaken. You also have the option of adding further features to the Strava running portfolio by purchasing Strava Premium.

This feature-rich app uses GPS to enable you to keep track of all of the running routes you take. It is also adaptable for use on a treadmill. Aside from allowing you to post your running activities, you can track them, monitor your footfall patterns and schedule workouts.

Small Steps to a Smaller Clothing Size!

I’m not someone who can claim to have super washboard abs or a slim and slender figure, but I can happily say that I have come a long way since the time that I was too large to see my toes on the weighing scale! In fact just following a few small steps to a smaller clothing size got me so far that in the last year I was able to participate in stage plays as the leading female actress, model for a diamond jewelry brand, and even get that close to a calendar shoot—all without trying to be “noticed” at all! When you take proper care of your body it usually will do the talking for you. So, with this article I’m going to teach you how to lose weight three times faster than most the things that you’ve already tried.

1) Eat 6 small meals a day. I don’t know how some of my friends do it, but I’m never able to pass up good food. As a teen, my girlfriends and I would go to town for parties and while they were like “Oh, I feel like such a pig for eating potato chips”, I was like “Bring it on!” Of course, this usually left me feeling a little more than glutinous and guilty afterwards. I’ve tried for years to shed pounds by not eating, but even when I didn’t eat for days it didn’t work. However, as soon as I started eating 6 smaller meals, I started to see marked improvement.

2) Do something energizing that you love. This next step I forced myself to discover, shortly after I started to see success with step number 1. For years I’ve tried and failed with just about every workout video or exercise gym routine that I put my time to. I’m a person with a short attention span and even shorter available free-time frame, so for me grueling workouts that consisted of rep after rep, three types of crunches in sets of eight, and push-up variations that lasted 20 minutes of precious time were not what kept me coming back for more.

At the age of 19 I finally discovered the physical exercise activity that I secretly thought I was too big for—dancing. Hip-hop leads to jazz, jazz leads to contemporary and contemporary leads to belly dance, which is where I still am at today. After I started dancing I literally shed pounds with sweat. It was awesome! So, probably my biggest advice to you as far as work-out is to find something that you love doing and let that work for you. Not everyone is cut out for the dull halls of a gym and the droning of an instructor. Of course, after you find what you love doing as far as exercise, make time for it every day. Learn to grow with it and make it a passion, something that you love to do, not that you have to force yourself to do just to lose weight.

3) Balance food patterns. It’s commonplace in most family homes to have the small meal as a light luncheon when dad is busy at work, mom needs time to fix the home, and the kids are out to school, while saving the bigger meal for when the family can dine together. While this does produce its fair share of happy moments and a longer bonding time, it’s kind of not so good for your metabolism to go to bed with a big chunk of steak and a dollop of mashed potatoes in your stomach that still need digesting. Some years back, as a family, we decided to have the bigger meal of meat and heavy starches for lunch (even if it meant packing it) and the lighter meal for dinner. Things like stake were saved for lunch only while soup and bread, stir fried veggies and omelets, or cheese and salad were for dinner. This did wonders for my weight loss as well. Of course, if you are in a fully-fledged family household (dad, mom, and kids) then this may be hard to incorporate keeping everybody’s comfort in the equation. It did take some time for us to get used to too, but having snack in between meals helped to balance things out and adjust eating patterns a bit better.

So that’s that. Those are the few simple steps that got me so far, from 69 kilos to 54! The final cherry on the cake, of course, is consistency. I hope that helps! Some women I know have had equal success using weight loss pills like the XLS Medical, but for me, I usually prefer to go the natural route. True, it does take a bit longer, but the results usually last for longer as well. Feel free to share your own ideas and success stories. We’d love to learn from you too!