Helpful Apps to Jumpstart Your Fitness Goals

January 1, 2015 Updated: January 1, 2015

Starting a healthy diet and fitness routine can be hard. Maintaining that routine for weeks, months, and hopefully a lifetime can be even harder.

While relying on the support of family and friends may be ideal, they can’t be with you every second of every day to make sure you stay on track.

Luckily, there are a bunch of great apps that can help you with every aspect of your wellness journey.

The following are some of my favorite health and fitness apps, which can help you with your diet, exercise, and even sleep routine:

MyFitnessPal. This app is the mobile version of MyFitnessPal.com, a comprehensive diet- and exercise-tracking site, where you can connect with a large community of people also dedicated to their health.

After creating an account, you can easily set custom or recommended goals for calories, macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats), micronutrients (such as vitamin and fiber intake), and more, based on your height, weight, and fitness level.

MyFitnessPal has an enormous database of nutritional information for almost any food you can think of. You can also track your workouts and weight, so it’s easy to look back after all your hard work and see how far you’ve come.

Available for iOS, Android, and Windows. Price: Free.

Full Fitness: Exercise Workout Trainer. This app is a must-have for anyone who is serious about lifting. Full Fitness provides explanations for hundreds of exercises, including video instruction; a logging feature, so you can keep track of your sets, reps, and weights for each exercise; and even a stopwatch for timing your rest in between sets.

Not sure what routine to follow? Full Fitness has 30 pre-made routines designed to fit specific fitness goals, like weight loss, strength, or enhancing definition of certain muscle groups.

Available for iOS. Price: $1.99.

Lift—Your Daily Coach. While not specifically a health app, Lift can be immensely helpful when trying to create a new habit. It features a community of coaches and people with the same goals as you, all focused on working together to achieve those goals.

Daily notifications keep you focused on your goal, and tracking your little and big accomplishments keeps you motivated. Use Lift to lose weight, get fit, eat healthy, or just become a happier, more productive person.

The app also allows you to ask any of the other users for advice. For an additional $14.99, you can turn on the premium coaching feature to get one-on-one advice from an expert in the field.

Available for iOS and Android. Price: Free.

SleepCycle. One very important aspect of health and fitness that many people overlook is sleep. Without adequate amounts of quality sleep, your performance in the gym, and elsewhere, can suffer.

SleepCycle tracks and analyzes your sleep patterns based on your movement while you’re asleep. It can then determine when you are in your lightest sleep phase, which is the best time to wake up.

When you are awakened by an alarm from deep REM sleep, you typically feel groggy. SleepCycle’s alarm—which you set as a 30-minute window—will only wake you up when you’re sleeping lightly, helping to maximize quality sleep, which you need to fully recharge.

It also gives you a detailed report of your night’s sleep, including time asleep, percentage of quality sleep, and a chart of your sleep patterns.

Available for iOS and Android. Price: $0.99.

If you are looking for a little motivation, these apps are worth a try. Use them to jump-start your fitness goals in the new year for a happier and healthier you.

Katy Hajzer is a freelance health and wellness writer with a passion for fitness and nutrition. Visit her blog at www.lifteatlovesleep.com.