Four apps to help you master motivation

Have you ever had a day when you have plans to go for a long walk or even longer bike ride and then are secretly glad when it starts to rain, because it means you can spend the afternoon on the couch? (This might have happened to me last week...)

Even the most enthusiastic of fitness buffs can get waylaid by life. With work, family and household obligations taking up so much time, one might be inclined to spend any downtime they have reclined with a book rather than up and active. But being active can  actually give you more energy. A study from the University of Georgia found that regular exercise significantly contributes to increased energy levels and a reduction in fatigue.

Of course, knowing one should engage in physical activity and actually doing it are two separate things. A little motivation from someone — or thing — never hurt, so here’s a roundup of apps that will help you get moving, even if just for 10 minutes, on a regular basis.

Alert yourself

Most cellphones have an alarm built into their clocks. Set it for a certain time of day, and when it goes off, that’s your time to get moving — a walk around the block, a quick run, skipping rope. Hit snooze on the alarm before you start moving, and when you hear the alarm again you’ll know 10 minutes (or however long your snooze function is) has passed. Often, knowing you’ll hear a finishing bell sooner rather than later is enough to actually get active instead of just thinking about it.

Track it down

Sometimes just marking down that you’ve been active is enough to keep you motivated — especially when those days start to add up. With the app Wonderful Day ($1.19 in app stores), enter your tasks, walking or yoga, for instance, and check off each day you complete the activity — a green dot means you did it, and red one, you didn’t. Once those dots start adding up, you’ll be inclined to want that sea of green to keep growing. Simple and effective.

Know you should be active, but aren’t sure what to do?

Sworkit, short for Simply Work It (free in app stores), is made for those who have a busy schedule, whether it be from work, travel or life in general. Pick the duration of your workout, and what type of activity you want to do (cardio, strength, stretching or yoga). Sworkit will devise a plan for you, and all you need to do is follow along as instructed. Best of all, no fitness equipment is required.

Get moving and give back

Will feel-good vibes with your fitness help get you moving? Charity Miles (free in app stores) allows you to put your physical activity to good use. Once you register, log into the app each time you’re active and pick a charity to reap the rewards. Cyclists earn 10 cents per mile tracked, runners and walkers 25 cents per mile. A great way to do some good for others while you’re taking care of yourself.