Want to shed holiday pounds? There's an app for that
Whether it's because you've overindulged in eggnog and sticky toffee pudding this holiday or your New Year's resolution is to get into shape -- January is a popular time to hit the gym.
But it's hard to make those resolutions stick, especially because many people aren't educated on how to eat and exercise properly. While personal training can help, it can also be costly.
New apps for smartphones and computers are now making it easier to have all the guidance of a personalized workout designed by a trained fitness consultant, without the hassle -- and price tag -- that goes along with it.
Weight-loss and exercise apps such as Lose It, Nike Training Camp, Calorie Counter and iFitness make it easy to track your progress on your mobile.
Greg Hetherington, former BC Lion and founder of Train with Greg, says that having a personal training app on your mobile device or computer allows you to add variety and intensity to your exercise routine whether you're travelling or at home.
"With this app people get personalized exercise programs, follow-up and tailored direction for a fraction of the cost," he said. "Then they can track their progress online."
Hetherington says that sticking to New Year's resolutions, particularly for someone who is new to working out, is about setting reachable goals and appropriate time frames.
"People often try too much up front and then two months later they can't keep up," he said. "Schedule two or three sessions a week and don't break that commitment."
Hetherington also advises to remain realistic when indulging in food and drink at holiday dinners and parties.
"Moderation is really important. Saying you can't eat certain foods is unrealistic. The key is to pace yourself by taking smaller portions instead of loading up your plate with too much food," he said. "Also remember to consciously chew your food. When you gulp down food without chewing, your body doesn't feel as full and you're likely to eat more."
Curtis Christopherson, general manager at Innovative Fitness, cautions against using the holidays, bad weather or increased social commitments as an excuse not to exercise.
"It's not a time to switch gears. Most people actually have more free time to exercise because businesses slow down," he said. "When your eating and drinking goes up you should look to incorporate more activity into your routine."
Personal training gift certificates also make a great last minute Christmas present.
"It's a great gift for people who have everything. It's the gift of health. The monetary value of that is going to go a long way," Christopherson said.