Because I’m APPY…..A look at some notable apps to help you reach your health and fitness goals.

BTW, you’re welcome that the Happy song will now be on repeat in your head all day long.

This blog was written by request :) What apps do I use to stay on track and what apps do I find notable for reaching health and fitness goals?

Great question! Let’s dig in shall we?

1. My Fitness Pal. Should you track your food? Only if you want to reach goals. I have been tracking food for years (and used several apps) to reach both muscle gain and fat loss goals. Once you do it for a while it does become a habit. MFP is extremely user friendly and even remembers your meals. You can save foods or entire meals if you’re like me and tend to eat the same thing over and over again. The FREE version allows you to set your macros (to a point) and set goals for yourself. Word to the wise: Don’t put your exercise in until the END of the day since MFP will recalculate your macros based on caloric burn. By the way, I don’t trust that it knows how many calories I burned…..  Runner up: My Macros (GREAT for bodybuilders/competitors) and Lose It (though most is NOT free).

MFP

2. A-Note. It seems odd for a fitness post, but hang in there. I keep my to-do list on my phone because my phone is always there. A-Note allows you to keep a detailed to-do list all the way up to your goal for the whole year! Want to lose 50 pounds? Your daily to-do better be pointing you towards that goal.

3. Tabata Pro. Not all of my workouts revolve around reps and sets at the gym. I LOVE Tabata Pro (there is a free version, but not quite as good). TP allows you to set your rest, work and preparation times and you can play any playlist through the app. I don’t know about you, but I cannot workout without music….it’s physically impossible. This app is awesome for all the FREE workouts I have on the blog.

4. Inspiration: I’m not going to lie; I use Instagram for inspiration a LOT. Be careful who you follow and make sure that they are making life brighter. Pinterest is also a great source of inspiration, but be warned; it can also be a HUGE time sucker.

 

Notable APPS:

  1. Nike Training Club.    NTC       This is marketed to women, but fellas can enjoy it too! I do use this app during the off season to help with cardio. You have access to loads of different workouts and you can track what you have done. As you complete workouts you receive badges and prizes like smoothie recipes and all-star workouts. You can also play your music through the app and set up daily reminders so you stay on track.
  2. Nike Running.     Nike Running             You don’t have to have the fancy shoes to make this one work. Just wear it with you on your run. You can friend people in your virtual space and even challenge them to running games. It keeps an accurate record of runs that you can go back and check out as well so you can celebrate the small victories along the way. It also has options to join a training program for your first 5K, 1/2 marathon or full marathon. Get trained by the trainers who know running.
  3. The Fitness Games. This one seriously rocks if you’re the type who likes a challenge or needs to be held accountable for workouts. You gather virtual friends (or real friends) and issue and participate in fitness challenges. The large database makes it easy to incorporate challenges that will suite any fitness level. Have some buddies sign up and get motivated to MOVE.
  4. Map My Fitness and Armour 39. This is Under Armors answer to Nike :) These apps can work together with the Armour 39 wearable device. Map My Fitness can also be run without it. It can be a little more costly, BUT you get a more accurate reading of calories burned, heart rate and even your WILL. The device actually measures how hard you work during your workout.

 

Hopefully, any number of these 8 apps will get you moving towards your next goal. Remember, in the digital age all the information you need is right at your fingertips….

 

Now I want to hear from you!

Do you use any of these apps and how do you like them?

Are there apps not mentioned that you enjoy?

Put your response in the comments below and let’s talk about it!

 

As always, have a healthy day :)

 

Fun Friday Motivation

Courtesy of Nike :)

The question to YOU is this: how far would you go?

Oh the Vanity!

I have struggled with this post for weeks now….so I figure throwing it out just before I step on a plane is the best thing to do :)

I have a confession to make: I work in a vain industry. That can be hard to adjust to, but it is inherently, the truth. I have defended the fitness industry for nearly a decade now, but have recently come to realize what it is all about.

This is NOT to say that I don’t believe in what I do. Health is comprised of nutrition and fitness, along with spiritual health (first place!) and mental health. Here is the issues I face though: vanity tends to be the #1 reason most people seek out fitness. Nutrition? That is the most treasured, yet least sought after. We want the quick fix. We want the weight that has been hanging on for 4 years (or more) to fall off in time for Summer. I do believe in the power of the mind, but some take it too far.

Why is it bothering me now?

Well, I have seen the faces of the truly needy. I have held hands with those who have been beaten and tortured. I have talked with people who feel they are unworthy to be loved. The problem is that during my “day job” I also talk to people who don’t like the way their butt jiggles. I have spoken with those who are blithely unaware of real starvation, yet willing to starve their own body into submission. I have held the hand of those in tears…because they haven’t lost the baby weight.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to mesh these 2 worlds. I believe fitness can be extremely empowering and I believe a base knowledge of nutrition can help us avoid disease. I love what I do! Yet it feels like a daily parade of never-ending “I wants” drowning out the true needs.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to bring you down…I do think a change in perspective is in order though.

I have a personal story about that and it has unfolded just over the past few months. You see, I was into the vanity part of fitness (admitting you have a problem is the first step!). I paid undo attention to my clothing size and how the muscles of my body were shaped. And I truly hated jiggle. So, I spent hours in the gym and pumped my body with protein to grow tight and lean….and it was all going according to plan, until it didn’t. I began having joint issues, then all of the sudden my strength just gave out. Poof, done. I wouldn’t stop though and simply adjusted over the years. Finally, over the last 6 weeks, I have been living out a promise I made to myself at the beginning of the Summer. It’s working. I had told myself I wouldn’t worry about weight or size, I would do yoga, walk and whatever truly felt good. And that is precisely what I have done. I discovered that I had developed an intolerance to gluten, yeast, eggs and whey….so my diet has none of that (or as little as possible). I eat for energy and to feel good. I move daily, but never push myself too hard (no pain, all gain).

This is a different approach for me. I have been in a “weight loss” phase since I was 9 years old people! I have always struggled to keep my weight down. I’ll admit I was quite fearful embarking on this feel good approach, but guess what? My weight hasn’t been an issue. I don’t weight, but my clothes have gotten much looser and my belly doesn’t struggle with the pooch anymore. It’s like my body finally got happy because it was allowed to be happy.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If I was needing to lose 50 pounds (I’ve been at that doctor appointment love), this relaxed approach probably wouldn’t work. My thought is this though: stop trying to beat yourself up about it. It really is a lifestyle and honestly, yours should look different from everybody else. You can’t punish your body into changing 30 years of damage in 2 weeks, no matter what the infomercial says. If you want to try that hard new workout, do it because you want the challenge…not because you think you’re past all hope.

I challenge you to peel back the corners of your world and think bigger. Take a deep breath and take in the bigger picture because the world is a whole lot bigger than your butt! Once your mind can get focused on something other than your own perceived failures, you’re more free to make the needed changes.

Michelle

A Very Special Post

Opportunities rarely come along where I can combine passions with needs….and this is where my calling lies.

We’ve all been called to stand for something. My calling exists in the realm of human slavery and exploitation. What does that have to do with fitness and health? More than you think….

Beginning of Life is a my partner in Chisinau, Moldova. I visited them for the first time in January of this year. After a brief stay, opportunities to truly bring about change began to unfold. You see, Moldova is one of the largest exporters in Eastern Europe. Exporting what? People. Not goods. Not animals, but people who are treated like no more than a common farm animal…or worse. Beginning of Life has implemented a holistic approach to healing those who have been victims of trafficking as well as beginning prevention programs to prevent further exploitation.

Where does health and fitness come in?

First, most victims of trafficking and/or abuse tend to disassociate themselves with their bodies. They can even develop a hatred toward their own bodies. By creating a Safe Space with an environment to learn about your very own body and how to properly care for it, we will open up a new world of confidence and faith in those who once felt hopeless.

Second, controlling ones body is the most basic of human rights. We should have the right to feed our body well (not worrying about being starved) and move our bodies in ways that feel good. The Safe Space we are working on will provide classes on nutrition, movement, and various forms of exercise ranging from dance to yoga to kickboxing.

Third, self-defense classes will be an ongoing part of the BOL ministry and will be offered to victims as well as family. These classes do not exist to promote further violence, rather they will teach each individual that they are worth defending their own life and the lives of their loved ones.

Fourth, trainings will be held 2 times per year to ensure that these girls have the skills needed to make a living. Upon the initial trainings (once the center is funded and opened), many girls will be able to teach various classes and be directly involved in training clients to take better care of what we truly have been gifted: our bodies. Scheduled trainings* will include the following:

  • Boxing
  • Kickboxing
  • MMA Training
  • Dance/Hip Hop
  • Yoga
  • Pilates (mat based)
  • Strength Training
  • Cardiorespiratory classes
  • Nutrition for fitness
  • Nutrition for disease prevention
  • Suspension training (TRX)
  • Self Defense

Fifth, the staff at BOL will have access to this Safe Space during off hours so that they can take care of their own fitness and health requirements as well, thus effectively restoring the energy needed to change their side of the world.

The most common question is WHY? Why am I raising awareness and funding for another country? Well, I love them deeply. Moldova is not highly known by most and they need help, just like other countries. Truth be told, this is not the last Safe Space I am spearheading. I am working on a program for girls through my church now and plan on developing a Safe Space here within the next year. Changes are happening, but help and hope are needed….

So, what can YOU do to make a difference? Well, the easiest and most quickly effective route is to click the button to the right of the page——— There you can donate to funding this Safe Space in Moldova and be a part of changing the history of a nation…and perhaps yours as well. Also, *consider a trip to Moldova to participate in trainings. If you are a certified master trainer or instructor, I would be THRILLED tyo have your expertise with us. Don’t confine yourself to the classes listed above. Think outside of the box and bring in a fresh perspective. If you’re interested, please email me at michelle@michellecfitness.com

You can also let your voice be heard. Tell everybody in your social network what if going on and the steps being taken to make a change. Write, speak, act it out in mime…whatever gift you have use it! You will never be the same, nor will you ever want to.

As I close today, I ask only that you consider how your role will play out here. Commit to being used for something bigger, maybe even something that scares you. Live your life louder than ever before. You won’t be sorry, and you surely won’t ever be bored :)

Check out my friend Peters story about his Moldova. This will give you more insight into a people so very dear to my heart.

Hello y’all

I was born in Russia but I live in Moldova within 38 years. My name is Peter. I’m married and have 2 daughters.

I work a lot with US teams translating to them in different country sides, visiting different villages, seeing lots of people, listening lots of stories. I started to translate in 2001.

Our country has awesome nature and people are very hospitable to strangers over here. The main religion here is orthodoxy. There are people, who consider themselves to be believers, following traditions only. People hear about God but don’t know Him personally. There is difference to hear and to know.

We have many Evangelical organizations over here but there is a huge field of non believers as well. Our goal isn’t only bringing Gospel to non believers but also making disciples. Unfortunately, there are some obstacles for reaching people.

Most of our non believers, as everywhere, have only one goal and that’s materialism. But there is a huge difference from other countries. Our people can’t reach that because of lack of work places all over the country. Good diploma will not give you a good job and that’s why people are leaving the country, I’m speaking about our young and young adult’s generation. Some, who can’t leave it trying to reach their goals by criminal tendencies. Our country is well-known because of sex traffic and black market (internal organs). There lots of children, who are left by parents trying to survive in different orphanages. I just mentioned about some obstacles we have over here.

Believers need to make up something new for get attention of such people. I also wanna tell you God is doing miracles over here working in hearts of people giving them salvation. I can’t describe that by words because there aren’t such words, which are able to describe them.

God is good and He never leaves us or forsakes us. I’m glad I live here because living here I should rely on Him everyday having no assurance at the future, without regular job. I can testify that God is always with my family and me, even if I think a situation is terrible, He brings me through it giving a joy and a peace. Peace, which can’t be described by words. He has His time and He is always on time, He is never late.

Be willing to be loud,

Michelle

The Nike Foundation, The Girl Effect, and YOU

I have recently partnered with The Nike Foundation and The Girl Effect to spur a movement. This movement has the potential to change lives, therefore affecting change across our entire globe.

 

The Girl Effect believes that our future lies in the young women across the globe. These are the same young women from our neighborhoods to our neighboring countries and beyond. These are women whose rights are bled, who suffer daily and who need hope.

 

I am a Safe Spaces Ambassador for the Nike Foundation and am on a mission to provide Safe Spaces for girls to grow, learn and find their passion and power. My first project is set to launch in Chisinau, Moldova…but we need YOUR help. Funding for these projects is a necessity. You can be a driving force of change and have a hand in abolishing modern-day slavery….if you are willing.

 

Learn more about how YOU can get involved in Safe Spaces HERE. Your donation can mean a brand new life for a young girl who just may be the next world changer.

Think like NIKE

 

Oh my, how I do love me some Nike. Anybody who knows me can testify that this girl has some serious cases of Nike crush. The funny thing is they don’t endorse me…at all.

So what is it? Is it their style? Maybe. I do like the bright, eye-catching styles. Is it the functionality? Well, I have to admit there have been times I have been less than pleased after a purchase (have you ever tried to actually workout in shox? Really?), but I keep coming back. Why?

The answer lies deeper than the above questions. You see, Nike has a brilliant marketing and advertising team. BRILLIANT I SAY! There is nothing like a Nike commercial to get my blood pumping to my tired muscles. Nike begs me to do more and well, just do it period. And I do! They also offer athletes so much in the realm of training advice and workouts. I’m talking wannabe athletes here…like myself :)

So, how does this apple to you? Will you reach your goals if you strike out on a Nike shopping spree? No. BUT….is you take the JUST DO IT tagline to heart, your goals become more than reachable.

There are so many things in life that we cannot control. We cannot control when our kids get sick, when an assignment is overdue, when the bills don’t get paid (ok, admit it…you CAN control that one), when stress closes in on us, etc. We can control our workouts and how we move forward towards our goals. Not only can we control it, but we MUST if we ever expect to change.

So, my advice to you is this: watch yourself a Nike commercial, slip on your shoes and JUST DO IT! SWOOSH!!!! That was you…passing your goals :)

Oh, and if that doesn’t do it, take a big dose of “SUCK IT IN AND SUCK IT UP”. This is not available in stores. In fact, only a few possess it and are willing to dig deep to find it. Are you in?

Michelle

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKz9RRTpH1A

 

 

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