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Exercise iPhone apps for the motivationally challenged

by Megan O'Neil

We think about exercising. We talk about exercising. But in the daily face-off between the couch and the treadmill, the couch always seems to win.

It’s hard to get motivated to hit the pavement (or the gym) after a full day of work, family and friends -- especially when there are soft cushions to sink in to or a "Grey’s Anatomy" rerun to watch.

However, unless you are genetically blessed or you don’t mind packing on the pounds, exercise is a must. That is why we have created a shortlist of apps that will energize even the laziest of individuals to get moving.

Lace up the sneakers with these iPhone apps

Numerous studies have shown that a motivationally-challenged individual is more likely to exercise if they have an exercise partner; someone they have to meet on a regular basis at a set time. The Health Cubby Social Fitness & Weight Loss app ($6.99) has this important social structure built in. It allows you to team up with other people and view each other’s exercise schedule and weight loss progress. You don’t want to finish last, do you?

We also like the Workout of the Day app ($1.99). For the lazy, completing one exercise a day is a good place to start. And the variety means you will never get bored.

A personal trainer is another viable option. Download the Virtual Trainer app (free) and let it guide you through 120 different programs, including conditioning programs, boxing programs and hill programs. The visuals are great. Tap on any part of a digital human body, and a list of targeted exercises pop up.

You don’t have to run a marathon or pump iron to exercise. Walking, that thing humans did before the invention of the automobile, is one of your best workout options. The Walk Fit app ($2.99) is a great guide for walking fitness. 

iPhone apps for making exercise entertainment

Who doesn’t like to hear nice things about themselves? The Affirmations for Cardio Workout with Music app (99 cents), with its flowing stream of energetic music and positive affirmations, will help you keep your chin up even if you feel like giving up.

Warm and fuzzy messages not your thing? Try the Power Workout Music app ($1.99) or Cardio Workout Music ($1.99), which come loaded with high-energy workout music that you can jam to as you run, squat or lift. 

iPhone apps when its time for an intervention

If the more traditional exercise options just aren’t working for you, it might be time to explore some additional alternatives. The Lose Weight Custom Hypnosis app ($1.99) will guide you through six hypnotic sessions that can help set you on track when it comes to your exercise routine. There are short, medium and long sessions, as well as numerous personalized options.