COLUMN: A new app, a new you?

Every year, thousands of people add "get into shape" to their list of New Year's resolutions.

How many people actually follow through with this personal goal? The numbers are low, but they are slowly rising.

More and more success stories are popping up in magazines and online. People who could hardly walk up a flight of stairs are now running 5Ks. Everyone wants to know ... what's the secret?

Truth be told, it might be smart phone apps.

The Apple App Store and Google Play are filling up with apps to help people reach their weight loss and fitness goals.

For those who watch their calorie intake, the Calorie Counter by MyFitnessPal is among the most downloaded for Apple and Google.

The app allows you to document what you eat and how much you exercise. From there, it automatically keeps track of the amount of calories you have consumed and how many you have left for the day.

There is no more carrying around a food journal and no more tracking in your head. All of the information is right there on your phone, for free.

For those who enjoy following a strict, structured plan, Weight Watchers has launched its 360-degrees online program.

After joining the program online, you can sync your information to the free app on your phone or tablet. You can follow their points system and set mini-goals for yourself with a personalized profile that caters to your every dieting need.

With the app, you can find recipes, read success stories, document your progress and find workouts designed for all sizes and schedules.

A popular trend that is popping up all over the United States is 5Ks. Everyone wants to feel the success of running across that finish line!

More apps are being made to help you get off the couch and properly train for that big run.

A top-selling app, and my personal favorite, is Zombies, Run! 5K Training by Six to Start. It is an eight-week program and audio adventure for beginners that helps you prepare for a 5K run.

You get a series of instructions from walking, jogging and running, combined with a gripping story about being chased by zombies delivered straight to your headphones.

Technology is making it easier and cheaper than ever to get into shape. If you have a smart phone, you have all you need to get on your way to reaching your goals.


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