Work Out While Fasting With These 6 Bodyweight Workout Apps
By Dr. Mercola
With the advent and widespread use of smartphones and tablets, apps have become ubiquitous and there is one for just about anything you can think of, from cooking to weather reports.
Fitness apps are a burgeoning app market and I am an advocate of harnessing this technology for strength training and health monitoring. There are plenty of inexpensive and free apps that can help you achieve a healthier body, without spending a cent on a gym membership or exercise equipment.
The market is swamped with fitness related apps, so here is a list of the best bodyweight workout apps you can use at your own leisure.
Best Bodyweight Workout Apps
- You Are Your Own Gym ($4.99) (iOS/Android)
Offering 200 different exercises, you can easily choose your own workout plan by muscle group. There are also videos demonstrating the workouts so you can follow the correct form to prevent injuries. Programs of various durations, such as Guided Programs or Quick Workouts, are also offered due to the time constraints that can impact your ability to work out.
- 500 Bodyweight Challenge (Free) (iOS/Android)
Featuring assorted full body exercises, the app’s main appeal is the time challenge that motivates you to improve your workout within a set amount of time. For example, for one challenge you will have to complete 50 squats in just seven minutes. The app also features videos you can follow to execute each workout correctly.
- Gorilla Workout ($0.99) (iOS/Android)
This app offers four difficulty levels that can be adjusted to your current fitness level. Apart from that, the app features more than 40 exercises including push up and squat variations that target different muscle groups.
- Boot Camp Challenge ($3.99) (iOS only)
Created by Lori Patterson, a veteran U.S. Army trainer and certified personal trainer, the app’s unique feature is an 18-day program that can provide rapid results. The app contains over 200 different exercises, each with accompanying videos. This app also allows customized workout programs, so you can focus on your favorite exercises.
- Fitness Trainer HD ($1.99) (iOS only)
This app has unique features not found on the other apps listed here, such as a BMI calculator, and a workout calendar feature that tracks your completed workouts. With a library of more than 450 exercises, the app caters to beginners and pros alike. Each exercise also contains images, video and text that allow you to maximize each workout and achieve the best results as well.
- Sworkit Pro (Free) (iOS/Android)
The emphasis of this app is on modifying your workout regimen to fit your schedule. You can choose from a list of workouts that target specific body parts and then conveniently fit these exercises around your schedule. Aside from comprehensive videos for each workout, this app offers support from an actual trainer. This benefit requires you to upgrade to a premium account for a small fee.
My Personal Favorites
In addition to the exercise apps mentioned above, there are a great number of apps that can augment your workout and support a healthy life style. The information they can provide is helpful in keeping track of what you eat and other health metrics. Here are my personal picks:
- MyFitnessPal (Free) (iOS/Android/Windows)
The app’s main feature is a calorie counter that allows you to track the calories consumed for each meal. Aside from that, it has an extensive database of foods, and you can also add your own food. It’s a powerful tool for tracking your diet and works especially well in conjunction with fitness apps.
- Fitness Builder
This is the app I personally use to track my workouts. It features the largest library of exercise videos and images. The best features of this app are the access to a personal trainer, calculator and workout tracking feature.
- Nike+ Running and RunKeeper
This is a great app for those who are into running outdoors instead of a treadmill. It lets you map out your route, monitor your running speed and count the calories burned. It also lets you compare your stats to your previous sessions to track performance.
- Endomondo Sports Tracker
The app is designed to be your virtual personal trainer, and without the cost of an actual one. When you enter a goal, an audio coach motivates you while you exercise with feedback and exhortations. Rounding out the app are features such as heart rate monitor, and a speed and distance tracker for running sessions.
An Important Note on Cell Phone Usage While Exercising
I’ve written about the dangers of prolonged usage of wireless technology before, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss this technology outright.
You can definitely exercise without using a mobile device by signing up for a gym. However, those who do not have that luxury may need a more economical way to get healthy. In these cases, fitness app technology can serve as a powerful fitness adjunct that is held right in the palm of your hand.
When using your mobile devices, I suggest keeping them on airplane mode to minimize wireless EMF exposure especially at times you’re not using them. Cell phone use has been linked to tumor development and altered brain growth, so I suggest limiting your usage and keeping it away from your body when not in use.
Working Out With Intermittent Fasting
In addition to using the bodyweight workout apps mentioned above, I highly recommend combining your exercising routine with intermittent fasting — a method of eating meals within a specific window of time. Fasting actually has health benefits, such as:
- Lower risk of heart disease: it normalizes your insulin and leptin sensitivity, acclimating your body to burn fat instead of sugar as your energy source
- Weight management: fasting produces increased levels of human growth hormone (HGH), a fat-burning hormone
Intermittent fasting is inspired by the eating habits of our ancestors. During periods of food privation, they adapted their bodies to cope with intense physical activities.
When beginning the intermittent fasting method, I recommend consuming your first meal at 12 noon, and then the remaining meals at regular intervals within the next eight hours. When incorporating your exercise into this schedule, it is best to do workouts an hour before your first meal.
Discover more about burning fat for fuel, the fitness apps mentioned in this article and how you can effectively integrate them with intermittent fasting, by reading my latest book, Fat For Fuel, and the article “6 Bodyweight Workout Apps for Your Phone and iPad.”