It may be December, but that doesn’t mean you need to begin preparing your bodies for human hibernation with the plush comfort of excess fleshy weight. Rather, why not take this opportunity to do what no one else is doing? That’s right: Get your ass in gear.
To do so, you will have to deny the umpteen offers for chocolate-covered jingle bells (yes, they exist); find the courage to resist the seasonal silent killer, frosted tree-shaped sugar cookies; and, yes, you will have to find it in you to stay sober at the office holiday party, having one (or several) fewer drinks than you did last year.
This year, I dare you to get in shape before the New Year’s resolutions crowd.
As further motivation to hop on the bicep-curling wagon early, remember that gym-goers can always recognize those who don’t frequent the land of lifting. Perhaps it’s your clumsiness on the treadmill that gives you away. It could very well be your blank stare at the weight-lifting equipment. Or, likely, it’s the tags you forgot to take off of your new Under Armour fitted compression mock, which are noticeably dangling on the nape of your neck.
With the help of these friendly little ass-kicking apps, you won’t be one of those aforementioned.
Men’s Health Workouts (iPhone and Android)
Have you ever seen someone walking around the gym with a sweaty moleskin notebook? While it’s cool – and utterly hipster – to have a moleskin journal/mock-PDA, it’s not that cool to do so at the gym. When it’s dripping with sweat. And pages are dampened, discolored and mutilated with, again, sweat. Join the rest of your generation, and go mobile! This app offers exclusive mag workouts, tracks your reps and sets, monitors your rest periods, and also allows you to email your results (if you’re into that kind of thing). FYI: This is for chicks, too.
Up by Jawbone (iPhone)
How many times have you slept in? Forgotten to eat lunch due to your intensely compact schedule? Eaten mac & cheese as an afternoon snack and were then utterly confused why you absolutely needed a nap before the end of the day? Skipped a workout and felt off for the following 24 hours? But have you ever realized that these things are all interconnected? Surprise! They are. Up by Jawbone is a handy little bracelet, which syncs to your iPhone via app. It tracks your activity and sleep and inspires you to move more, sleep better and eat smarter. Watch a demo/ad to see exactly how freaking awesome this gadget is and why it’s worth your cash.
Hatha Yoga – Your portable yoga studio (iPhone and Android)
We’re too busy with cardio and weight-lifting to take a few seconds to breathe, stretch and rid our bodies of the built-up lactic acid. Newsflash: It is extremely important to find the time to do so. Stretching and building lean muscle is just as important as crushing weights and pounding the life out of your tennis shoes on the pavement. This app includes hours of professionally recorded instructions, allowing the ability to create countless workouts; it features visuals to guide proper form, posture variations depending on user expertise and much more. Don’t be alarmed by the price! It’s worth it. If you’re the yogi type, you could also try these other practical yoga apps – Office Yoga and Yoga in Bed (Hey! Get your mind out of the gutter!).
Gorilla Workout (iPhone)
Don’t have the cash to join a gym? No sweat. Or, more appropriately, please do sweat! This app provides all of the workout techniques that you could get at a gym; it has more than 40 workouts designed to use your body weight and features video demonstrations as workout aids. While no equipment is needed, some household items like chairs or a doorway pull-up bar could prove handy. This app gives you a quick and easy fitness assessment, which allows you to follow workouts based on skill and fitness level.
Beergut Fitness (Android)
Let’s not get crazy — the holidays (and your 20s) are a time for a few liquid indulgences. But this little gem of an app will help you calorically track your drinks. By cataloging your day’s calorie intake, coupled with your day’s exercise, it will tell you how many drinks you’ve “earned.” Similarly, if you’re in the red, it will tell you how many cals you need to burn before lifting that frothy brewski to your lips. Drink and be [beergut-free] merry. I hear a Sam Adams’ Winter Lager calling your name!
You may think we’re missing a few biggies. Rest assured, we also like a few other apps we’ve previously mentioned. You might like the offerings of Nike + GPS, a comprehensive and well-rounded run-tracker; PumpOne, a database of workout plans; Thin-Cam, a photography-based food diary; and Lose It!, a weight loss progress tracker and reporter. We’re also a fan of the P90X app and are anxiously awaiting Women’s Health‘s Look Better Naked app, coming soon.
Now, go get your ass in shape pre-holidays!