Whether it is improving health or managing finances better, about 87
percent of Americans will make resolutions for 2013 and there are plenty
of apps to help them achieve their goals.
Nearly half of New Year's
resolutions are about setting health-related goals, which is the most
popular category, according to a recent survey by online broker TD
Rather than jumping into a rigorous fitness routine, a
new app called 5K Runner suggests it might be better to ease into
things slowly and focus on building sustainable habits. The iPhone app
helps couch potatoes ramp up their running distance to 5 km over the
course of eight weeks.
"You're slowly building this routine into
your daily life with a lot of success and after eight weeks you're
literally running 5K, which is pretty big if (initially) you're not
running at all," said David-Michel Davies, the executive director of The Webby Awards, an annual ceremony honoring Internet companies.
The app guides runners through each run, alternating periods of running and walking for 35 minutes.
also recommends Nike+ Running and RunKeeper, two popular and free
fitness apps, which use GPS to track distance traveled, speed and
calories burned. Both apps are available for iOS and Android devices.
is another component of good health and a focus of many apps. Fooducate
is an iPhone and Android app that helps shoppers make healthier
purchases at the supermarket by allowing them to scan the barcodes of
products and get insight into how healthy the product is.
database, which contains over 200,000 products, displays a grade for the
product and information on its contents. It can show whether there are
hidden additives or the probability of containing genetically modified
"There are a lot of healthy people out there who
unknowingly buy products that have an inordinate amount of salt in
them," Davies said.
DietBet is an app for people with a
competitive streak. Available for iPhone and on the Web, it allows its
users to join in a four-week weight loss challenge to lose 4 percent of
weight. Everyone bets money, which goes into a fund, and submits proof
of weight lost. People who meet the challenge split the money.
comes back again to how people get motivated," Davies said.
"Gamification is something that technology has really enabled and for
some people it really works."
To stay on top of finances, Davies
recommends Mint, which provides a visual view of all financial accounts
and is available for iOS, Android and on the Web.
© Thomson Reuters 2012