How to Row On a Rowing Machine Like the Pros

WHY YOU NEED TO ROW

Before anything else, I’d like to emphasize the importance of rowing. Rowing is a great exercise that offers full body workouts. When you row, both your upper and lower body muscles push themselves to move the rowing machine. Rowing is even known as a total-body builder. I mean, doing this for a minute can burn about 11 calories! But here’s the thing: WITHOUT PROPER FORM, YOU WON’T GET MAXIMUM RESULTS. If your form is poor, soon enough you might say hello to an injury on your lower back since the usual crime is committed during the drive phase of rowing.

TWO TERMS YOU NEED TO KNOW

We’ll talk about technique in a bit but first, let’s discuss the two terms you need to know.

  • Split time – This refers to the time it takes to row 500 meters. You should go for 2 minutes or less. In order to raise your speed, push out with more force and don’t just work your arms quicker.

  • Strokes per minute – This is how many times you row in a minute. Maintain 30 or fewer strokes per minute.

Those two terms will help you during your workout. Keep them in mind.

HOW TO ROW LIKE A PRO

Are you ready to partake of the main course? Basically, there are three steps to row like the pros. Here they are:

The Catch. This is the start of it all; the beginning position. First, sit on the machine (obviously). Ensure to strap your feet on the footrests tightly. Don’t tighten too much and don’t allow it to be too loose. The important thing is to keep your feet in position during the workout. Now you’re ready to do the catch. To do this, your knees should be bent, your arms and shoulders should be relaxed, with your arms extended in front of your knees, and your hands gripping the handles. In this position, your back should be tall and upright. This is an essential part. The paddle handles should reach behind the rowing machine as if you’re dipping the water with the handles. Remember not to lean too much and overstretch.

The Drive. This is where you press through the bottom of your feet to extend your knees. The motion will engage the core to aid lever your body backward. Once your knees are straight, continue the backward leverage by gently pulling the handles toward your chest and over your knees, as if you’re drawing the paddles forward through the water. Keep your elbows tucked in when you draw your arms toward your chest. You’ll know you’re doing this step right if your back is slowly becoming vertical while you move backward without leaning far back.

The Recovery. This steady, controlled motion returns the rower to where it once was—the beginning position. You do this step with little or zero resistance at all. To do this, you move forward from holding the handle at chest level. Don’t rush. It should take you twice longer to move forward than when you go backward and pull the handle.

After the recovery, you’re ready to do the catch again. Perform the steps by thinking like a pro. And pros remember this:

60% of power must come from your legs, 20% from pulling with your arms, and 20% from bracing the core.

Use your God-given legs for every stroke by pushing them against the footrests.

If you’re interested in buying a rowing machine we have a very popular rowing machine buying guide that you can check out.

5 Common Rowing Machine Training Mistakes

rowing machine

  1. You don’t warm up. Maybe you’re thinking, “Warm-ups aren’t that essential, it’s just a waste of time,” I’m sorry to inform you but skipping the warm-up session is a big no-no. You need prime your body to allow you to get the optimum merit of from your effort and prevent you from having injuries. Then, when you row, start with a few reverse lunges, hamstring stretches, pushups, and walkouts. You can help your hamstrings open up by adding a push-up when you’re doing a plank. This can also strengthen your abs and open up your chest and lower back.

  1. You only use your arms. Rowing with just your arms is not the right way to use your rowing machine. Maximize its use by using the proper form because if you do so, about 60% to 70% of your power will come from your legs. The rowing machine isn’t all about the arms.

  1. You sit in the back row during class. The front row is usually for regulars, so they say. But actually, if you’re a newbie, you should sit as close to the mirrors in the front row as possible. Sitting there will keep you updated of what the instructor is teaching. It’s also easier to ask questions if you’re in the front row of the class.

  1. You set the damper too high. See that lever on the side of the erg’s flywheel? It rules the flow of air into the cage. A lot of people set it to 10 because it seems more challenging and motivating. Obviously, since it’s on this list, that means it’s wrong. It’s a mistake because it will increase your chances of weakening your form and tiring your muscles even before you reach a solid exercise session.

Try to imagine riding a bicycle. You wouldn’t set the gear to the point where pedaling is almost impossible, right? The same goes with a rowing machine. Even competitive rowers don’t paddle a canoe that’s heavy for them. They drive a light and narrow vessel instead. Olympic rowers also set their dampers at around 3 to 5 when they compete.

If you’re aiming for something challenging, then speed up the flywheel where strength should be applied, like in a smooth, fast rowing shell.

  1. You value speed more than power. Rowing as fast as you can shouldn’t be your priority. If you’re not an experienced rower and you’re going rapidly, you might not be making a powerful stroke at all. It’s recommended to concentrate on making your core muscles and legs work so that every stroke is a solid and effective one.

If you feel that you’re going too fast that you’re no longer getting a full range of motion or your seat is thumping against the front of the slide with each stroke, you have to take it slow. Rowing 30 strokes a minute doesn’t mean more power is being produced. So what should you do to correct this mistake? Create a rhythm. The ratio of your stroke should be 1:2 when we talk about drive and recovery. You should use up maximum power, relax, then take another stroke.

9 Common Mistakes On an Elliptical Machine

fitness

  1. You don’t set goals.

You can’t achieve goals you’ve never set. So the first thing you should do is set your goals. Otherwise, you’ll be one of those people who perform the same routine again and again. The benefits of the effort you then put on the elliptical machine won’t even be worthy to be called “benefits”. Don’t forget to progressively work out by increasing your resistance as well as the time of your workout. Decreasing the incline on the machine will yield better results too. Aside from setting your goals, make sure you’re tracking your progress and measuring results too. Your goals must be realistic and specific. For example, saying you want to lose weight is a poor goal. The goals you set should be like this:

  • Increase the amount of weight I can lift by 20 pounds

  • Lose 10 pounds

  • To achieve this, I should work on my elliptical using my arms and legs for half an hour every day

  • Weigh myself every Saturday

  • Track my results

  • Accomplish this goal in 70 days

  1. You’re trying to imitate the hunchback of Notre Dame. If you’ve watched this cartoon, you probably know everyone doesn’t find hunchbacks attractive. What more if you’re just acting like one? The key is to stop slouching and stand straight! Most people neglect the importance of standing straight. It’s actually beneficial not just to improve your posture, but to lengthen your abs and provide a better chance to work out your core and upper body muscles. When you hop on this fitness machine with an upper body element, you can engage more muscles and burn more calories.

  1. You’re doing the same workouts. You’ve got to be kidding me! Changing intervals is necessary. It adds color to your dull, monotonous exercise routine with the machine. Intervals also boost your calorie burn. To avoid doing this mistake, you can either keep your pace and change your resistance or maintain your resistance and change your speed.

  1. You stick with zero resistance. Without resistance, don’t expect to see results. No matter how far you think you’ve reached, whether a mile or two in a minute, with zero resistance, you’ll have almost zero results too! Ensure that you’re applying sufficient resistance to push and pull through step. Continue at a moderate speed until you feel like you can’t do more and you’ve done your best.

  1. You leave out your information. You did what? Did you work out without entering your information? Well, that’s a total face-palm starter! Input your information to help you get a more precise count of your calories. Most machines are made for a 150-pound person, but not everyone has that weight. By the way, remember to burn around 100 calories per 10 minutes.

  1. Your machine sounds like it’s ready to take off. If you listen to your elliptical machine while exercising and it sounds like it’s purring, you need to stop. That means you’re not using sufficient resistance and you’re trying to be The Flash. When that happens, you won’t be able to get the maximum number of calorie burn during your exercise. Just work out at a moderate pace with a resistance that pushes you to use your muscles. Keep your heart rate up but safe too.

  1. You’re too hard on your feet. Going until your feet feels numb is a huge mistake. Never put too much pressure on your toes and make them feel nothing at all. When you do this, your feet will get tired faster and you’ll cut your exercise short. Correct this by sitting back into your heels. This will permit large muscle groups to exert more effort and provide you the stamina to endure for longer.

  1. You focus on your lower body. Your upper body needs attention too! You can incorporate the moving handles three days a week to work your upper body out. You can concentrate on your arms for a minute then exercise your legs for four minutes and repeat this interval.

  1. You don’t go backward. If you go backward, it would make your large muscle groups work harder. Going backwards also puts stress on your glutes and hamstrings. To do this, you should slightly sit back and keep your knees at a 90-degree angle while you stride.

If you haven’t bought yourself an elliptical we highly recommend that you read our elliptical machine reviews. Thanks for reading this blog post!

How to Maintain Your Treadmill and Make It Last Longer

Treadmills. Whether you bought them at an affordable or expensive price, they’re still your investment and you still spent money. And one way to take care of it is to maintain it so it could last as long or even longer than its life expectancy. How will you do that? Read these tips and find out. By the way if you’re looking to buy a new treadmill we’ve compiled the top treadmill picks for you to see.

Tip #1 Regularly check your treadmill.

Before and after you use your machine, examine it first. If there’s anything wrong, try to fix it immediately. Neglecting this tip is crucial because there may be times when your treadmill is faulty, and you wouldn’t want to get injured during your workout. What will you examine? The following:

  • The frame – its bolts must be tight

  • The running deck – it should be dry

  • The running belt – it shouldn’t show signs of wear and tear and shouldn’t be frayed around its edges

  • Other bolts and screws – they should be tightened just right; not loose and not too tight

Tip #2: Keep it clean.

Ensure that you’re cleaning it after every use. Leftover sweat can cause the treadmill to rust over time and rust will stop the treadmill from performing well and looking good. You can clean it using a slightly moist or dry towel/rag. You need to clean the handrails, frame, and the console. All metal should be dry.

The walking deck’s perimeter, which attracts debris and dust, should also be cleaned once or twice per week. The treadmill’s deck is one expensive treadmill part so make sure you attend and take good care of it. If the deck needs to be waxed, you can either apply it or apply it from an internal reservoir. Keep that reservoir full. Check your model to know what option you should follow for this part. Also, wipe down the surface of the deck with a soft cloth once or twice a week.

Clean the area beneath the belt as well, since dirt coming from shoes or the poor air circulation can cause contaminants to stay there. When that happens, the belt will wear faster.

It’s essential to clean the area underneath the treadmill too. Make sure you always remove the dust because it can get stuck in the walking belt and reach the inside of the motor bonnet. You can use a vacuum with an extender want to get rid of the debris and dust under the treadmill.

Do ensure that the power cord is kept away from the base of the unit and the incline mechanism. Doing so will prevent the cord from breaking and the need to be replaced.

You can purchase maintenance kits for treadmills too. They are available on the market so you could clean the deck, motor, and belt. A kit includes:

  • Cloth – this absorbent cotton cloth is for the removal of dirt, dust, and debris from the treadmill

  • Surge Protector – this keeps your treadmill’s monitor and electronics protected. It prevents them from spikes in current and voltage.

  • Belt Cleaner – this keeps the treadmill’s belt clean. It also helps the belt look pleasant. The belt cleaner can also be used on treadmill surfaces.

  • A Replacement Key – this one replaces keys that were broken or lost. It comes with a clothing clip and a safety tether as well.

Tip #3: Regularly check the tension of the running belt.

You can do this by lifting the mid part of the belt on the machine’s side. It would then be lifted about 10cm off the deck of your treadmill. Always set the tension of the belt. If it’s too loose, it would seem that the belt is slipping under your feet. Adjust it by using the back roller bolts placed on the rear end of the machine. Check your manufacturer’s recommended level and follow it.

Tip #4 Keep your treadmill belt lubricated.

To do this, you need to spread the belt lubricant under the belt. This essential tip is for the smooth movement of the belt even after a long term use. Be careful about the lubricant you’ll use. If you use the wrong type, it could make the belt too greasy, making it lose its grip. Check if your manufacturer offers a maintenance kit for your treadmill and purchase that just to be sure. Don’t take the risk of guessing what lubricant you could use.

Tip #5 Conduct a Routine Maintenance

To keep your treadmill in its peak condition, perform a routine maintenance. That includes making sure the power cord is disconnected from power after every use and before you clean it. Otherwise you might get electrocuted. Also, the motor should be checked once a month to ensure that the dust particles have not accumulated on it.

With 5 Tricks Running in the Winter is No Problem

winter running

  1. CONCENTRATE ON YOUR PACE AND DISTANCE.

Instead of focusing on your heart rate, focus on your pace and distance. During winter, your heart might not precisely measure how hard you’re working out. Your heart rate may also rise a little higher as temperatures drop in order to pump blood to your extremities. Your oxygen requirements, however, will increase more rapidly. If you train depending on your heart rate, you might harm yourself by attempting to keep your usual numbers. Concentrate on reaching your target mileage at a rational pace. Use your monitor to ensure you’re not being too hard on yourself.

  1. WEAR WARM CLOTHES.

During winter, you must double the layers of your clothes. You can purchase an expensive jacket but if you don’t have enough money or you’re a penny-pincher (even though you don’t admit it), a few layers will do. Here, let me give you some tips on what to wear:

  • Top – Should comprise of your regular tank or tee, a long sleeved shirt, a light jacket or sweatshirt. On a chilly day, you can forget the jacket. Wear something with pockets to keep your phones, ring, and keys. If the temperature is extra cold or if you’re the type of person who gets chilly easily, invest in a warm wool layer. Wearing a jacket is a must on wintry days. They’re ideal for running because they’re light and most of them have bright colors and reflective areas, helping other people see you especially if you’re running at night.

Note: Before you purchase any new clothes, check your closet first. You might have thin but warm fabrics that can work. Who knows, you might have an old sweater deep in your closet you forgot about!

  • Bottom – Shouldn’t be just shorts! Running tights are standard for both men and women for winter days. Women usually have their leggings just hanging in their closets, so that’s their advantage. Going back to running tights, opt for something fleece-lined. If that’s not enough, wear a pair of shorts on top of those tights. For men, you can purchase wind briefs—this kind of underwear comes with a windproof panel on the front.

  • Accessories – Could comprise of a headband or an ear warmer to prevent heat from escaping the top of your head and protect your ears. Knit or fleece hats can also be worn. But the most fundamental accessories are the gloves. You can get cheap knit gloves in stores. Wearing a layer of gloves would work too. There are even insulated, windproof gloves which are warmer than a layer of knit gloves. If ever you’re considering a scarf, do wear a neck gaiter instead. You should also protect your eyes and your sunglasses will do the trick.

  1. WEAR PROPER FOOTWEAR.

Keeping your feet dry as much as possible would be the target here. So for socks, wear warm ones that actually fit into your shoes. If you want, you can check out The Smartwool PhD Run socks that have a thin version. I recommend you wear wool socks because they have the ability to keep your feet warm even when they’re wet. If you don’t own wool socks, you could use synthetic wicking fabrics. Just never use cotton.

As for your shoes, you could use your summer shoes if you have warm socks. If you’re dead serious about running during winter, you need to upgrade your shoes. Opt for shoes that have water-resistant uppers; they keep the water out. You can also buy almost entirely waterproof shoes but they’ll be expensive. Other shoes also come with a built-in gaiter that keeps the snow away from your ankles.

  1. DRINK WATER LIKE IT’S SUMMER.

This is a crucial trick. You may think that since it’s cold and dry outside, you won’t sweat. That’s a wrong notion. You might not feel it, but your body can lose as much fluid in winter as it does in summer. So drink water after every run and stay hydrated the whole day. You can always gauge how much sweat you lose on your run using your sweat loss calculator.

  1. KNOW YOUR LIMITS.

Last but not the least, know when to not run. Staying wet and cold outside your house for too long can lead to frostbite or hypothermia. Check the weather forecast before you make your way out. You can set a backup plan in case the condition outside becomes perilous. For instance, you can run around areas that make it easier for you to get home in case of an emergency. If you still want to run outside but you can’t, check if there’s an indoor track in your area. Small tracks are still better than no tracks at all! Know your limits and don’t push yourself too much.

Home Gym: The Most Crucial Equipment

home gym

  1. POWER RACK

This will be the centerpiece of your home gym. It’s not just safe to use, it also allows you to perform almost anything that’s important. Thanks to the J-hooks, you can perform any free weight move. The pins will also save you if you fail to catch a lift. A power rack may require much space but it’ll be worth every penny. New racks can be sold less than $500 and that would be sufficient in a home gym.

Here are the factors to consider when you’re about to purchase one:

Factors

Questions to Ask Yourself:

Strength

Can the rack handle your abilities?

Are the pins strong?

How about the joints, are they bolted or welded?

Should it be bolted to the floor or can it tip?

Is it at least an inch thick?

Can it hold more than 1,000 pounds?

Hole Spacing

Does it have 1 to 2-inch hole spacing?

(Note: This space will let you accomplish a full range of motion if you’re doing a bench press. This means you also won’t hit the pins and it’ll give you the chance to drop the weight in case of emergency. A 4-inch hole spacing means the pins are either too high which would limit your range of motion or too low which won’t allow you to drop the weight.)

Width

Is it 46-50 inches wide on the inside?

(Note: A rack that’s too wide won’t allow you to hit the uprights when you’re racking weight. A rack that’s too narrow won’t allow you to get your feet sufficiently wide for particular lifts.)

Height

Is it too tall for my room?

Do I need a tall or open rack?

Accessories

Do I need a rack that comes with dip attachments, pull-up or chin bars, band pegs, or pulley systems?

  1. BARBELL AND WEIGHTS

Finding a barbell is kids’ stuff. Choosing what type of barbell to get isn’t. Barbells can be Olympic or standard. Olympic bars are usually 7 feet long. They come with a 2-inch diameter sleeve. Their bars are tailored for hefty weight and large, compound lifts. On the other hand, standard bars are one inch in diameter. They have with 1-inch holes through the plates. Unlike Olympic ones, they aren’t made for heavy lifting. These bars can easily bend and are usually unable to hold more than 200 pounds. Weight plates can be found in almost any store. They usually cost $1 per pound if you buy from stores but if you check the classifieds and flea markets, they could cost only 50 cents per pound.

Let’s check out the factors to consider.

Factors

Questions to Ask Yourself:

Type

Should I settle with a standard type?

Am I strong enough to own a bar for heavy lifts?

Olympic Bar

Is it chrome plated?

Is it difficult to damage?

Am I willing to pay extra for the quality?

  1. BENCH

Saying you need a bench is an understatement. There are particular movements you cannot do without a bench such as a dumbbell pullover, bench press, and dumbbell row. Invest in a decent bench and you’ll be thankful you did.

I recommend you check gym sales, gym auctions, and classifieds. You can always settle on a used by durable one instead of buying a new one twice the price.

Ready for the factors? Here they are:

Factors

Questions to Ask Yourself:

Your Needs

Do I need one that can support 200 pounds or do I need one that can handle 600 pounds including my body weight?

Height

Is the bench right for my height?

Can I place my feet flat on the floor while lying on it?

Kind

Do I need an adjustable bench?

Price

Should I buy a new bench or look for a sturdy but secondhand one?

  1. DUMBBELLS

Don’t be a dummy, buy dumbbells! They can be considered more flexible than barbells. They’re priced at numerous points that can suit your budget. Plus, you’ve got an extensive variety of choices. Plate-loadable dumbbells are the most economical ones. They can either be Olympic or standard, making it hassle-free to match your barbell plates. There are also selectable dumbbells that are made by PowerBlock and Bowflex. They aren’t cheap but they’re a great alternative for people who have limited home gym space. They’re also a little hard to find in heavier sizes.

Let’s check out the factors you should consider.

Factors

Questions to Ask Yourself:

Price

Am I on a budget? (If you are, you should go for standard handles.)

Do I have enough money to install a commercial-style dumbbell rack?

Type

Will I settle for a selectable or a plate-loadable dumbbell?

Fixed dumbbells are safer to use and more comfortable, should I buy them instead?

Weights

Do I have extra 2.5 and 5 pound plates?

  1. PLATFORM

Your home gym won’t be a home gym without at least a simple platform. “Why do I need one?” you ask. Because a platform can protect your equipment and floors. You wouldn’t want your wife (or husband) to scold you for causing concrete to crack! Besides, having one will deaden the sound caused by the clanging weights. Store-bought platforms consist of a couple sheet of plywood with its top layer made of either rubber or rubber plus hardwood. They usually cost hundreds of dollars. However, if you don’t have enough money but you have the time, you can make your own platform.

Here are the steps:

  1. Choose a rubber. A ¾-inch-thich horse stall mat will do. That’ll cost about $40. You only need a single sheet if you’re planning to use a wood insert on its top. Buy two sheets if you want the platform to be made entirely of rubber.

  2. Cut the mats depending on the size of your room.

  3. Get 2-4 sheets of plywood, depending on how big or small your platform is.

  4. Cut a single piece of rubber into sections that have a width of 2 feet if you want to place the wood insert on top. Place them on the platform’s edges, where weights will strike. Then put one piece of 4-feet hardwood between the sections.

  5. Screw them all down to secure them.

That’s it! Once you have this crucial equipment, your home gym will be ready for you!

To Hire a Personal Trainer or Not

fitnessAre you one of the doubters? Maybe you’re thinking about getting one but then you come across an article saying you really don’t need a personal trainer. Well, let me break it down for you.

Having a personal trainer might be awkward in the beginning. That’s because they’re guiding you and the moment might be unexpectedly intimate. You might cry if your personal trainer is a little harsh with your training, but that’s part of their job. You hired them to keep you going and to help you reach your fitness goals. Sure, there may be uncomfortable and embarrassing moments, but I’m telling you if you can afford, hire a personal trainer. Let me give you eight reasons why you should.

  1. They can help you perfect your form. Correct posture and technique are crucial in training and a personal trainer can demonstrate that for you. They would know its importance because they studied about it and are certified to train. A personal trainer will make sure you’re doing the proper form, preventing you from experiencing any injury.

  1. They can help you set attainable goals. Let’s be honest, when you’re too excited, you set goals that you feel you can accomplish at a short time. Those goals have a tendency to be unrealistic and improbable. That’s why you need a personal trainer. They can help you build muscle, be stronger, or lose weight. Whatever your main objective is, they can aid in setting goals that are reasonable. They can keep track of your progress as well. They’ll know what you should do based on your current fitness level. They can also help you set specific goals if you’re training to compete or participate in an event. It’s ideal to have a personal trainer when you’re aiming to achieve a particular level of fitness before doing something you want. They’ll keep you right on track and even guide you with your diet.

  1. They ensure you follow your exercise routine. If you have no personal trainer supervision, you might not follow the plans you’ve set for yourself. For instance, you might set a goal at night to exercise an hour before you prepare for work, only to wake up and decide to sleep again instead of working out! Doing this once is okay. But doing it twice? Thrice? That’ll be intentional and will be hard for you to do exactly just that! With a personal trainer, however, they will hold you accountable for your actions. They’ll see to it that you’re committed and that you follow your goals. Plus, going to meet your trainer sounds scarier (and therefore will most likely happen) instead of telling yourself that you should go to the gym.

  1. There will be no wasted time. With a personal trainer, you’ll waste no time. You’ll be doing what he has assigned for you to do because you know he’s looking. Some people go to the gym to wander, walk around more, and work out the way they want until the time they desire. If you hire a personal trainer, you’ll be encouraged, if not forced, to wholeheartedly perform every exercise. They can also teach you how to use each machine properly instead of you just guessing how that certain machine works. Less guessing time means more workout time and more workout time means better results.

  1. They can help improve your mental health. A personal trainer can help you overcome depression or other health issues using physical exercise. Medical health professionals even recommend that you exercise as part of your treatment if you’re suffering from a mental health problem. A personal trainer can serve as your source of inspiration while somehow being your unofficial therapist. Your personal trainer can be your friend. Sometimes you tell them what happened last week or how your work is going. And that’s all right. You should build good rapport to eliminate awkwardness. A personal trainer also knows what exercises you should perform to release the most endorphins to help you improve your mental health. What’s great about hiring one is they’re not just hired to help you reach your fitness goals, but to develop your overall health. It may sound a bit weird at first, but trust me, you’re better off with a personal trainer.

  1. They can challenge you. A personal trainer can challenge you when he/she thinks you’re improving and your exercises become boring for you. He can and he will take it to the next level if you’re ready. In addition, he can help you form good habits such as making the right decision when it comes to your diet. Your personal trainer can be your motivator, life coach, and nutrition guide. With one by your side, achieving your fitness goals will be possible.

  1. They can adjust to your schedule. Always busy? Don’t worry! A personal trainer can fit right into your schedule. Whether you’re available an hour before work, on your lunch break, or after work, they can train you. Personal trainers are flexible and they will completely understand your schedule. Hiring one won’t be a hassle because they can make an appointment at a time that suits you.

  1. They can personalize your training plan for you. Your personal trainer can make a training plan that will help you with your fitness goals. For instance, there may be some exercises you’re not capable of performing or you don’t enjoy. They can give alternative exercises which you might prefer instead. They can also lift you up so you could keep going when you think your workouts are too difficult.

The BEST Running App Is….

running appWe all know running is one of the most effective ways to burn out calories. It also helps you build your stamina. However, running without an app these days would seem boring. Plus, you need to take note of your progress, right? You’ll need an app to tell you how many steps you’ve taken, how far you’ve gone, how fast you’re going, and how close you are to attaining your goals. But with so many running apps available, it’s acceptable to get confused. That’s why I’ve listed the top three best running apps. Enjoy!

TOP 3: RUNTASTIC

Runtastic is for someone who’s sick and tired of a typical running app. With its modernly designed interface, you can do almost all fitness activities aside from running such as skiing, biking, kayaking, and snowboarding. This app even features a “Story Running” that will allow you to listen do an audiobook for $1 while running. The story isn’t long; it only lasts for about 40 minutes, which is perfect for a good exercise. After all, doctors recommend you target at least 30 minutes of exercise every day.

This powerful and easy-to-use app is a great tracker too. It keeps a detailed log of your workouts, motivating you to beat your previous record. Your comprehensive statistics and monthly workout charts will surely keep you running.

You’ll also love the built-in coach in this app. It guides you while you run and help you reach the goals you’ve set. Aside from that, Runtastic also has an auto-pause mode for convenient tracking.

This app is compatible with Runtastic Orbit, Runtastic Moment, MyFitnessPal, and Apple Health.

TOP 2: RUNKEEPER

Runkeeper is another laudable running app that focuses on keeping you motivated. It has a user community of more than 50 million runners that will keep you inspired. This app even offers rewards! No wonder it’s a favorite among athletes and professional runners. The accuracy of this app’s steps tracking, distance, and pace is one of the reasons why it’s loved.

Runkeeper will keep track of your workout in real time too! It also offers audio updates about your speed, total mileage, pace, and calorie count. You can also set your personalized goals and check your progress. In addition, it has advanced training plans made by professional fitness coaches to help improve your stamina and overall fitness.

Unlike other apps, Runkeeper allows you to play your favorite songs from your iTunes library or Spotify and match the rhythm of the songs with your running pace, eliminating the need to skip tracks. Impressive, isn’t?

Though the paid version is expensive, your money will be worth it.

This simple, highly accurate app is compatible with Apple Watch, Fitbit, Pebble, MyFitnessPal, other health apps, and as mentioned earlier, iTunes and Spotify.

And we’re down to the last! Ready? The BEST Running app is…

STRAVA!

This is one fun running app. It’s like playing a game with your best friends. It’s perfect for runners who love to overcome challenges, compete, and set personal records. Strava focuses on improving pace distribution and interval timing rather than long-term goals like running five kilometers.

Strava features GPS tracking. It also lets you check the activity feed of your friends and when you can invite them to a challenge. You can also set goals, join monthly challenges, and see leaderboards.

This powerful app offers a goal tracking feature that will allow you to set the distance, time, segment or power goal, and track the progress while you’re running. You’ll like its Suffer Score that’ll measure you how hard you’re trying, Race Analysis that offers comprehensive insights to take your training to a higher level, and Power Meter Analysis that’ll show your performance second-by-second.

If you’ll like that, you’ll love its Live Activity Map feature which gives you a visual representation of how you’re doing against other runners. This feature works by tracking pace distribution across different segments in your run. Through this feature, you’ll see how fast your friends crossed a segment and whether you ran faster than them.

Strava is a great running app that encourages you to join a community. You can even find new friends and socialize with others with the help of this app. Plus, you can connect with some of the best runners in earth!

Although its membership is costly and you’ll have less control over what to share in public, owning this app will help you achieve your running goals. If you try to look at it, Strava being public will help you stay motivated because you know your activities can be shared via Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

This powerful app is also compatible with Apple Watch, ANT+, and Bluetooth LE sensors.

Ways to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Weight Loss Goals

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  1. Let Your Thoughts On Wellness Be Greater Than Your Thoughts On Weight Loss. To keep you motivated, focus on being fit instead of losing weight. I’m telling you, there is a difference. If you concentrate on being fit, you’ll devote yourself to eating healthy food. If you focus on losing weight, you might consider going back to your old diet once you’ve lost weight already. If you pay attention to what you’re consuming every single day so you can get fit, you’ll eat less and eat only what’s healthy. In addition, don’t be a perfectionist. Don’t pressure yourself with the food you eat. Sometimes, a bowl of ice cream would be good. Being too hard on yourself won’t help you stay motivated. Remember that you’re eating less and consuming healthy food not just to lose weight, but also to be healthier.

  1. Set Your Goals, Write Them Down, And Place Them Somewhere You Can Always See Them.

How can this keep you motivated? If you always see your goals, you’ll be reminded of why you started in the first place. Your targets will fire up your spirit; you’ll want to reach them and be successful. I suggest you place them near your mirror or in the refrigerator to remind you that you have to reach those goals. Seeing these goals will cause you to be consistent in getting fit and therefore losing weight.

When setting your goals, remember to make them attainable. Don’t set goals that are just going to stay a dream because you have no intention of reaching or it’s too impossible to reach. Your goals must be reasonable. Attempting to accomplish too much might not work, as well as trying to attain too little. Consider the time as well. For instance, aiming to lose one pound each week is more realistic and attainable than aiming to lose six pounds in one month. By the way, your goals will be nothing but a wish unless you start making them happen. So make sure your lifestyle can support your goals. Modify and improve your lifestyle if you must. It’s also better to set small goals first and celebrate when you’ve attained them, before setting new goals. Remember, smaller goals are easier to achieve and the feeling that you’ve reached one goal will inspire you to pull off the next ones.

  1. Keep Track of Your Progress.

Getting inspired might be difficult while you’re at it. After all, losing 100 pounds can’t be done overnight. To help you reach your weight loss goals, keep track of your improvements. Hit the weighing scale at the end of the week and write down your weight. Over time, you’ll notice that the pounds have been dropping. You don’t have to lose a pound every week. Again, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just be consistent and work harder.

  1. Get Rid of Your Old Diet Plan

Forget your old food habits. Throw them away. Keep them out of the house. It’s not a piece of cake but it’s a must. Imagine craving for snacks with high-fat content all the time. How can you improve and lose weight? Stop saying “I’ll just have one slice”. And for goodness’ sake, when you go to the grocery store, stop buying food that you know won’t help you reach your goals. The “just in case” statement you say to yourself while holding your favorite junk food won’t help you at all. So what do you do? But healthy snacks instead. Aim to buy oatmeal instead of cookies. Have a variety of healthy snack choices to choose from when you’re at home. If you don’t have any junk food at home, you won’t be tempted to eat them; so make the wise choice of welcoming healthy snacks and sooner or later, you’re going to love them.

  1. Incorporate Music in Your Workout Routine

Can’t seem to stay motivated? Create a playlist of your favorite songs and listen to them while you’re running, bicycling, or jogging. Music can help your mind divert from the pain and difficulty of working out. It’ll set the mood and keep you going.

  1. Reward Yourself with New Workout Clothes

You’re probably thinking, “Finally! Shopping!” Good news, buying new clothes for your workout will motivate you! After reaching your (small, attainable, and realistic) goal, purchase new workout clothes. You’ll feel better wearing them and therefore your workout will be better. Some fresh workout gear can make you look good and when you know you do; you’ll get thrilled to exercise. Plus, it’s difficult to get committed as the days pass by, so it’s a great way to reward yourself for all the hard work. New clothes will also boost your confidence so go ahead!

  1. Find a Partner.

This is another effective way to stay motivated. You can find a friend you can work out with whether you’re in the gym or in a fitness class. It will make you feel better if you have someone to talk to. However, if you feel that a friend won’t help you stay fired up, you probably need to hire a personal trainer.

24 Home Gyms You Must See

 

  1. This design by Phil Kean Designs shows how glass walls perfectly create a bright, cozy atmosphere inside the home gym. It looks stunning!home gym

  2. Meanwhile, this soft and steel grey themed home gym by Brandon Architects defines class and simplicity.home gym

  1. This well-ventilated gym which opens into the courtyard would probably keep you working out all day long! Credits to Rick Ryniak Architects.home gym

  1. Check out this basement home gym plus dance studio by Rule4 Building Group! Stylish and wise!home gym

  1. Aiming for a gym that gets you close to nature? Be inspired by this gorgeous home gym taken by David Giral Photography. Even the engaging wooden ceiling pulls you closer to nature.home gym

  1. This home gym with a bright interior makes exercise sound good! It even has an airy atmosphere.home gym

  1. Lane Design + Build presents this traditional home gym that connects to the backyard.home gym

  1. Turn an old two-car garage into and expansive home gym! Thanks for the idea, Hibbs Homes!home gym

  1. Just gazing upon this custom designed home gym by Arc Design Group will surely make you want to break a sweat!home gym

  1. The warm yellow shade of this home gym makes you want to work out smiling, with happy thoughts! home gym
  1. If you don’t have much space at home, check out this compact but smart gym incorporated with mirrors. home gym

  1. Thanks to mirrors, your home gym can seem visually larger than it really is. Credits to Dave Brewer Homes. home gym

  1. Everyone knows the color green is good for the eyes. Using it for your home gym is a great idea to make the room seem larger. It also sets a lively mood! Credits to Cathy Zaeske for this photo. home gym

  1. Not a fan of dark themed gyms? Then you’ll appreciate this blue and white home gym that comes with a plush seating area. Looking at it is relaxing, isn’t? home gym

  1. Even the corner of your room can become a workout area if you’re just willing enough to exercise! All hail Spinnaker Development for this idea. home gym

  1. Check out this home gym by Jaffa Group Design Build that incorporated mirrored cabinets for extra storage space. Impressive! home gym

  1. The black and white wall art decoration by Victoria Martoccia Custom Construction makes this home gym look elegant and alluring. home gym

  1. If you already have dark walls, adding colorful artwork to make your gym vibrant and stimulating is a brilliant idea. Thanks to Sullivan, Henry, Oggero and Associates for this! home gym

  1. Take a look at these large glass windows that visually connect the home gym with the canopy outside. What a beautiful view! home gym

  1. Simply green. This home gym by Capstone Dwellings, Design-Build is one eye-catching workout zone.home gym

  1. Check out this relaxing home gym by Curt Hofer & Associates. Is there another view as bewitching as that?home gym

  1. This home gym with cedar wall home gym and custom rubber flooring by Atmosphere 360 Studio is sophisticated, modern, and definitely Instagram-worthy!home gym

  1. This home gym by Celebrity Communities is the exact definition of EXQUISITE.home gym

  1. A home gym and a bar? Sounds pretty good to me! This gym by Vonn Studio Designs looks stunning with colorful stripes. What a great way to use the basement!home gym