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Lark App Will Coach You to Better Health

Written on September 29, 2014 at 10:07 am , by

We’re all pretty hard on ourselves, especially when it comes to failed attempts at eating clean all month, weekends included. But those failed attempts don’t mean we’re forbidden from patting ourselves on the backs for the accomplishments we do make, like sleeping for a full seven hours or taking the stairs.

Julia Hu understands the struggle to accept this, which is why she created Lark, an app that not only automatically tracks your sleep and activity (you can input your food), but gives you encouraging messages along the way. Think of it as your personal health coach that always has your back.

Launching today, the app (which is completely free—score) uses Apple’s HealthKit to monitor your zzz’s and fitness levels and syncs with your other health apps and wearables. Translation: You’ll be good to go when you upgrade to the iPhone 6 or snag the Apple Watch.

Lu and her team knew that only displaying health data could actually backfire and cause users to overeat and fall into an exercise rut, so they worked with behavior-change experts from Harvard and Stanford to develop the concept of a coach that chats with you based on your goals. “Women tend to be a lot harder on themselves when it comes to weight,” Lu says, “and 96 percent of people don’t stick with their diet regimens or their weight-loss regimes. The app is friendly and you’ll feel much more self-motivated.”

We’re so excited to see how this app will really help people feel better about their journeys to living happier, healthier lives. After all, the journey of getting there is just as important as the results.

“If you really try to enjoy what you’re doing right now, you can be a lot happier,” Lu says. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

More from FITNESS:

Everything You Need to Know About Apple’s New Health App

5 Things You Need to Know About the Apple Watch

Top Healthy Eating iPhone Apps


The App We Can’t Wait For

Written on August 21, 2013 at 3:55 pm , by

Fitting in a workout, wherever you go? Yes, please. Photo by Jennifer Koplin.

Fitting in a workout, wherever you go? Yes, please. Photo by Jennifer Koplin.

When you’re traveling or in-between gym memberships, what do you do? Sign up for the free three-day membership? Pay $30 for a single barre class? If you’re like me, probably not. Which is why I just about jumped out of my chair in glee when I read this article about an Australian app that’s going to go global, sooner rather than later.

The FitUsIn app, founded by Vanessa Picker, will allow users to book gym visits at the last minute—without having to meet with a gym representative, sign a contract, etc. I’ve always been a big fan of Lifebooker, the site/app that lets me make discounted beauty appointments, usually at the last minute. So, I have high hopes for FitUsIn.

And Vanessa isn’t just a fitness fanatic who wants to work out wherever she goes—she co-founded Play Forward, which help bring organized sports to children in need. She’s even a fellow for The Resolution Project, a nonprofit that empowers young entrepreneurs.

(Related: Want to run the 4-Mile NYRR race in NYC on Sept. 7? You can be a part of the Resolution Runs team, which means your involvement will go directly to supporting the fellows, including Vanessa. Get details here on Facebook, at @ResolutionProj on Twitter, or send a note to info [at] resolutionproject [dot] org.)

You heard it here first, FITNESS friends. Vanessa, we’re waiting!

100 Million Pounds Lost by MyFitnessPal Users

Written on July 18, 2013 at 10:52 am , by

Whenever we ask you about your favorite apps, MyFitnessPal is always a popular response. The company has been helping people get and/or stay in shape since 2005, and they hit a huge milestone this week: The MyFitnessPal users have lost a total of 100 million pounds over the years! That’s amazing! Check out the awesome infographic from MyFitnessPal for more fun stats.

BONUS: Scroll down to the bottom of this post to hear Mike Lee, the Co-Founder, tell his story about why he created the app. (Spoiler: It’s a cute love story!)

MyFItnessPal App Infographic

Infographic courtesy of MyFitnessPal.


BONUS: How MyFitnessPal Got Started Video:



Yoga on the Go: Practice Anytime, Anywhere with Yogify

Written on March 27, 2013 at 10:00 am , by

Stretch those muscles anywhere. (Photo courtesy of EA Sports)

Written by Carrie Stevens, editorial intern

Wouldn’t you love to have access to a studio-quality yoga class whenever the desire to practice strikes? A calming atmosphere and knowledgeable instructor make for a restorative flow that keeps yogis coming back for more. So if you can’t get your om fix live, we recommend checking out Yogify, a new app from EA Sports.

Studio yoga flows promise different sequences every time you unroll your mat, and Yogify offers more than 30 hours of practice across 50 progressively challenging classes. The app can be downloaded for free and contains five complimentary classes. Think of it this way: once you master sun salutations, then you can try warrior poses. And thanks to audio cues and photos, you’ll have no trouble applying the basics to a beginner flow class. For intermediate and advanced yogis, there are three levels of classes available, so there’s no reason why you can’t up the ante when you feel mat time might be getting mundane.

After you’ve used the five complimentary classes, the app offers pay-to-download programs that focus on building strength, balance and flexibility.  Like its free classes, these workouts span three levels and help you perfect certain poses and engage specific body parts. We bet workouts like “Superman Abs, “Teddy Bear to Tripod,” and “Inversion Excursion” will fire up your muscles and keep your practice fresh.

For more information, visit the Yogify website.

Right now, Yogify is only available on iOS. For you Android lovers, we recommend checking out yogatoday.com – the website posts one free yoga class per week, and you can get an unlimited access for $9.99/month. Keep calm and om on, friends.

Now you tell us: What’s your favorite fitness app?

Sweat Like a Celebrity—For Pennies

Written on November 30, 2012 at 1:27 pm , by

Stone’s bootcamp app is available beginning on December 1. (Image courtesy of Lacey Stone)

“If only I could afford a personal trainer and chef to work with me every day, maybe I’d have a body like Halle Berry.” Sound familiar? With legions of new fitness apps being released by celebrity trainers, you can train like a star in you own home or gym.

One recent release that caught our eye: Lacey Stone’s Extreme Bootcamp. Nicole Kidman, Amanda Seyfried, Brooke Shields and more have called Stone, a former college basketball and tennis player, their trainer. “I had many people tell me, ‘I wish I could take you with me in my pocket.’ I thought creating an app would be the easiest way to help everyone get fit,” Stone says. So that’s why she developed her new bootcamp app, available in app stores starting December 1 (just in time to help you squeeze in some quick workouts during the hectic holiday season). Click for video previews of the segments, which range from Abs & Arms to Medicine Ball & Cones.

Love training with apps? Try out a few from master trainers:

How Your Next Run Could Help Fight Childhood Obesity

Written on September 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm , by

Those miles can do more than boost your endurance. (Photo by Laura Doss)

The numbers paint a clear picture: Nearly one in three American kids and teens are overweight or obese, according to Michelle Obama’s health initiative Let’s Move! So it wasn’t surprising when her husband, President Obama, signed a proclamation a few weeks ago that declared September as “Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.”

We have a few too many candles on our birthday cakes to directly impact those statistics, but we can take steps to promote healthy habits to the little ones in our lives (like leading by exercise example and cooking nutritious meals with them). And one new way to help—while fitting in our own workouts—caught our eye. In the case of fighting childhood obesity, yes, there’s an app for that.

The Saucony Run4Good app allows people to support the cause by earning donations for miles run,”says Chris Lindner, Chief Marketing Officer of Saucony. “The GPS-enabled app tracks your mileage. Each month, when a collective predetermined mileage goal is reached, Saucony will double its current donation to selected youth running programs.”

The free app is part of Saucony’s Run For Good Foundation, which was launched in 2006. To date, the foundation has awarded nearly $1 million to over 100 organizations dedicated to getting kids active through running (these include American Diabetes Association chapters, YMCA locations and United Way groups). Monthly leader boards allow users to “challenge friends and join teams that compete together to accumulate mileage toward the monthly goal,” Lindner says.

So the next time your motivation to lace up your sneakers is flagging, think of the benefits of your workout beyond the calories and stress that’s burned off. Your mileage could add up to awesome active opportunities for some youngsters out there.

More from FITNESS:

Fit Favorites Finale: The Year’s Best in Fitness Motivation and Inspiration

Written on February 24, 2012 at 9:39 am , by

Sofia Vergara always seems to wow us on the red carpet, like she does here at this year's SAG Awards. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

As the big awards season circuit draws to a close with this Sunday’s Academy Awards, we wanted to share a few last picks for our fitness-related moments, ideas and people worth celebrating. Check out our other best of picks here and here!

Most Fun Red Carpet Moment of 2012 (so far): Sofia Vergara at the Golden Globes

The Modern Family star told Ryan Seacrest that she hit the gym for two sessions daily leading up to the awards “for the first time in my life.” She then flexed her strong biceps and said, “Gunnar Peterson [her trainer] here…But cake over here [pointing to her torso].” Vergara worked hard to achieve her killer curves, but admitted that she treats herself too. We love an honest celebrity! It makes her seem more relatable—it really is all about moderation.

Most Classy Runners-Up: USA Women’s World Cup Team

Although Japan took the gold during a finals shoot-out, Team USA inspired a new generation of soccer fans with several come-from-behind wins earlier in the tournament and the way they took second place with grace. We were also introduced to some up-and-coming athletes. One standout? Hope Solo, with her amazing goalkeeping skills and inspiring muscles, which were later showcased on the cover of ESPN’s The Body Issue.

Best Free Fitness App: Nike Training Club

Sweat like a celebrity (Lea Michele), athlete (Shawn Johnson) or trainer (Ary Nunez, who puts Rihanna through the paces) during more than 85 custom routines contributed by these big names and more. You can even set your own soundtrack and share your successes with your pals on Twitter and Facebook! We find ourselves repeatedly tapping back to this app for the physical results and for the rewards we can earn for racking up workout minutes, including tips, recipes and more.

Most Popular Unisex Workout Trend: CrossFit

Everyone from Bob Harper to Jessica Biel has touted the powers of CrossFit, a strength and conditioning program that mixes resistance training, running and plyometrics in a high-intensity, efficient workout. Learn more about the sport and follow along as one of our readers tries it out in the March issue of FITNESS!

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Now tell us: What celebrity, athlete, workout or fitness tool earned your kudos this year?

Hot Topic Tuesday: What If You Got Fined for Skipping a Workout?

Written on January 24, 2012 at 9:36 am , by

Would this app keep you motivated? (Photo by Alexa Miller)

Many of us pay a hefty price for a membership, but what if it cost you more money not to go to the gym? That’s the concept behind GymPact, an app for your iPhone or iPod Touch (and soon to be on the Android), that lets you set a penalty fee if you don’t stick to your gym agenda.

How does it work? You tell the app the number of times you want to go to the gym every week and the amount you’re fined if you don’t meet your goal. At the gym (or your local park, yoga studio or swimming pool), you can check in using your iPhone’s GPS or Wi-Fi on your iPod Touch. If you meet your weekly schedule, you’ll get cash from the people who missed their workouts.

Now tell us: Have you tried GymPact? Would getting fined make you stick to your fitness routine?

Fit Links: Eat for Great Skin and More Energy!

Written on December 2, 2011 at 3:36 pm , by

Peppers can help prevent crow's-feet. (Photo by Blaine Moats)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Cool iPad Cases!

Written on March 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm , by

We’ve all been working extremely hard on the new iPad editions of Fitness (now available on iTunes).  If you own one, we highly recommend you check out the April issue! It’s chock full of extra video workouts, recipes, and fitness/fashion product features!  Here are six of our top picks to protect your precious tech accessory–do you have a favorite? 1.Dannijo $150

2. Marc by Marc Jacobs $60

3. Dooney & Bourke $65

4. Asos $36

5. Treesje (available 4.11.11) $98

6. Lodis $158