If you’re like most people who work from home, you could be a little more active. While most of us led a fairly sedentary lifestyle behind a desk before transitioning to a telecommuting life, it only got worse from there. At least that is certainly the case for me!
Over the years, we’ve seen a host of great fitness motivation apps available for Android and iOS devices that can help us exercise more, take more steps, and even drink more water. Today, I’m sharing some of my personal favorites. It may be December, but there’s no reason not to start now! The more you get fat and out of shape before the new year, the harder it will be to recover.
Note: Achievement is another little app I’m testing. It links to your Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, Garmin, Apple Health, Runkeeper apps, and more. It then rewards you for healthy behavior in the form of points that can be redeemed for cash. It’s pretty slow to add, but it’s pretty “set it and forget it”. You can choose to link your apps and let it trigger the behavior automatically. That’s what I’ve been doing. There are some health surveys you can take, but I’m not interested in sharing any more personal information with the app at this time. You can learn more about Achievement here.
1. Healthy Salary
I’m not very good at sticking with exercise. Like many things in my life, I am all or nothing. I go through cycles of binging and purging on most things. I eat well for a while, then I eat everything. I exercise faithfully for a few weeks, then I’m done for months.
However, one thing that always motivates me is money. (I’m not the only one. There are Studies Proving Cash Incentives Motivate Weight Loss.)
HealthyWage is commonly known as a site that allows you to bet on your weight loss. If you don’t meet your goal, you lose your money. If you win, we’ll give you your money back plus a share of the pot.
They also offer step challenges. This was a better option for me, as HealthyWage weight challenges start with a minimum weight loss of 10% (some 6% challenges are often open as well). I don’t want to admit that I need to lose so much weight. For now, I just want to focus on getting in shape.
In step challenges, your goal is to increase your steps by 25% over the course of two months. Regardless of the entry or how many people fail, this is just going to be fun money. Your earnings will not be much. You have to be more afraid of losing!
Price: Each challenge is typically $30 per month for the duration of the challenge (step challenges are typically two months). But, if you don’t lose, it costs you nothing! You get your bet back plus your share of the rest of the pot. (If you don’t meet your challenge, you’ll lose your bet.) If you are not participating in a challenge, there are no ongoing charges.
learn more here
StepBet is similar to HealthyWage Step Challenges. And you can do both at the same time!
This app is from the same people who brought you DietBet (and RunBet and soon to be SweatBet). The games here vary in length. Some only last four weeks (plus a one-week training period). Some last several months.
With the StepBet and HealthyWage apps, you need to wear a fitness tracker like a Fitbit or Apple Watch. You cannot enter your steps manually. Unlike weight loss challenges, you don’t have to weigh yourself or take pictures or videos. Good.
One thing that slowed me down was that I hadn’t taken my FitBit out of the drawer for many, many months before I decided on a whim that I wanted to join one of these challenges. I then had to wait about a week for the apps to set my daily average and calculate my gaming goals. This was true of both StepBet and HealthyWage, so keep that in mind if you do things spontaneously like me.
Price: Most StepBets cost around $20 to $40 to enter. Again, if you don’t lose your bet, it costs you nothing. You will probably get a little more. (Wondering how much extra? I’ll share that in a future post.)
Do you want to join me in a StepBet? I will host one starting January 1, 2019! It’s a fun 5 week game where we will motivate each other to stay active and earn some money in the process. To join, download the StepBet app and enter the game code WORK AT HOME.
Grokker offers a little bit of everything, from fitness to yoga and even recipes. You can stream your videos on TV devices like Roku as well as looking on the web or through their smartphone apps.
This is another app that satisfies my need for variety with everything from HIIT to yoga. Some days, I just don’t have the time or the desire to do a full 30, 45, or 60 minutes of exercise. But that doesn’t mean you don’t want to exercise at all. Short 7 minute workouts are included.
This is a newer app so not a lot of feedback is available right now, although there are some people in my community who have already liked it.
Price: $14.99 per month
I always knew I was lazy. I never knew how lazy he really was until I bought a Fitbit. He is embarrassing.
With that being said, I feel like I need to move to avoid the embarrassment. The Fitbit app also has little challenges you can participate in to increase your steps. Mine buzzes if I haven’t taken at least 250 steps in an hour. This really struck me that I rarely get up from my desk from the time I sit down in the morning until it’s time to head out.
The new app also allows you to track exercise, sleep, and food and water intake. And if you have one of the fancy new Fitbit smartwatches like the Versa or Ionic, you can also listen to music, monitor your heart rate, on-screen workouts, guided breathing sessions (yeah!).
Price: Free although you will need a Fitbit to follow your steps
Buy FitBit at Amazon
5. On Demand Beachbody
This is the company behind popular fitness programs like P90X and INSANITY. If you need coach or group accountability, Beachbody on Demand might be a great option for you. This app offers custom designed exercise and eating plans based on your goals.
Workouts can be streamed to your TV via devices like Chromecast, Roku, or Amazon Fire. You can also view them on your computer or laptop or in the iPod, iPhone and Android apps.
Price: $39 every three months after a 14-day free trial
6. Digital Squad
A year or two ago I fell in love with spin classes at the local YMCA. But, as someone used to being in control of his time, he hated having to be there at a certain time and on certain days if he wanted to take a class. And there was a lot of wasted time. I had to cross the city by car. I had to get there early if I wanted a bike. A 30 minute class was turning into a one hour test. I hate wasting time!
I have been reading Peloton reviews and saving my money for years. This March, I finally invested in the bike that’s not going anywhere. I LOVE IT! It’s the only exercise routine I’ve been able to follow. Six months later, I’m still riding five days a week most weeks. And it has expanded so much in the last 6 months. Now you can do floor classes, run/walk, stretching, yoga, outdoor classes. They even have Tread classes now that they have their own treadmill. (I only use my own treadmill, although I still take the Tread classes.)
Even if you don’t invest in the bike, Peloton has a digital subscription. You won’t be able to track your stats like you can on the bike or the Tread, but you can access over 10,000 classes with new ones being added every day.
Price– Free trial then $19.49 per month for digital-only members
When it comes to working out, I get bored easily. It’s one of the reasons I love my Peloton so much. I need variety in the duration of the classes, musical genre, types of exercise. If you feel the same, check out Sworkit. They have everything from yoga for back pain to full body boot camps.
Workouts range from 5 to 60 minutes and are available on demand. You can also get recommendations based on your goals and current fitness level. And this is another one that you can watch in the app or stream to your TV with Apple TV.
Price: $79.99 per year