Your running shoes have been collecting dust and you’ve been dreaming about kickstarting the family healthy-living plan—after all, it’s been hanging around the top of the to-do list since January. Consider this winning combo: apps that combine your family’s love for all things tech and fun ideas to get moving. From interactive outdoor challenges you can do as a family to healthy eating advice, scroll down to see our favorite apps for active families.
7 Minute Workout Challenge by Fitness Guide, Inc.
You’ve got seven minutes to spare in between carpooling, errands and dinner…maybe. With all the hype about lightening fast workouts being as good for your bod as a full hour workout, why not give it a spin? Yes, there are several seven minute workout apps out there (a few are free), but this version rocks because it combines instructional videos with audio and text, tracks progress and suggests different combos and rest times. The movements are easy enough for the littles to try, too. If you’ve ever tried integral training, you know the faster you go, the better it works. Think of it like Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred without a scary-intense trainer in the background.
Tech-tip: The latest updates for the iPad version allow you to unlock new workouts (there are a total of 36) without paying a fee and the app supports the Apple watch.
Best for: ages 4 and up
Out-A-Bout by Fred Rogers Center
Head for the outdoors and watch your child become the star of his very own story! Out-A-Bout combines outdoor physical adventures, early literacy and fantastic parent-kid interaction in one app. Kids will be given simple instructions like “run fast as a racehorse,’ parents click away and the uploaded pics fill pages of the interactive book. Save it to share with family members or start from the beginning!
Tech-tip: Even though there’s only one storyline, toddlers will get a kick out of filling in the pages over and over again.
Best for: Ages 5 and under
Free on iTunes.
ibitz by GeoPalz
Technically it’s not just an app, but you’ve been thinking about getting a FitBit for months and we love this family-oriented fitness device. Each unit stores up to a month of activity, is water-resistant and come in bright cheery colors. With every skip, jump and hop, your budding marathoners can unlock adventure-in-space style rewards and badges. Hoping to hit the zoo with mom? Keep walking. Hoping for an extra thirty minutes of screen time? Better start hopping.
Mom and Dad, you can set goals for each member of the family, purchase Amazon prizes, receive weekly status reports, organize neighborhood running groups and track your own steps and calories—all from the GeoPalz app on your phone.
Tech-tip: As an extra challenge, check out the GeoPalz website for nation-wide contests, competitions and ideas for an active lifestyle.
Best for: ages 6 and up
Available online at ibitz.com, $34.99.
Stop Breathe Think by Tools for Peace
In the middle of a busy day or week, the best workout can sometimes be one for your mind. Practicing mindful training helps spread healthy doses of all those happy vibes elsewhere in your bod, making it a smooth ride to get to the end of the day and your other quiet time (glass of wine in hand, Netflix on the TV). Learning the basics of meditation is easier when you download Stop, Breathe, Think.
Designed for kids, teens and adults, users input daily feelings and emotions and receive feed-back for best training practices based on their state of mind. Track progress and unlock stickers for checking in, increasing mediation minutes and reaching a happy place.
Tech Tip: The graphics are as soothing as the exercise, making this one of the most popular apps for families and first-timers.
Best for: ages 8 and up
NFL Play 60 by American Heart Association
It was designed to help tackle childhood obesity but this app isn’t just for kids. Avatars run, jump and turn with the player (they have to be holding the device) and ongoing challenges help to unlock badges, meet funky characters and buy cool gear for the home team. Kids will be inspired to get the blood pumping and parents, it’s worth the potential there-goes-my-phone moments when you see how much fun they’re having. There are ways to wage battle on the littles online—consider signing up on your own in order to host play-off matches.
Tech Tip: If the device is shaken just so, the avatar will move without actual movement but we’ll keep that tidbit to ourselves!
Good for: ages 9 and up
Eat & Move-O-matic by Learning Games Lab
Want to know how long you’ll need to walk the dog in order to use all the calories in the cheeseburger you just scarfed? There’s an app for that and it’s a lot of fun. A slot-machine style game let’s little athletes scrolling through tons of different food, including faves pizza and mac ‘n’ cheese all the way to fruits, sodas and desserts. Matching each one with a any number of activities like hiking, biking and even washing a car—it’ll line up with the time needed to feel the burn.
Tech Tip: Each food item includes a good-to-know nutrient info or a healthy alternative.
Best for: ages 9 and up
Free on iTunes.
CycleMap by Ratomic Lab
If a bike ride is on the list of activities the family enjoys, CycleMap is a great tool. Like a Rand-McNally map—only a lot smaller and easier to put in your backpack, users are constantly updating routes locally and internationally. If you are thinking about that family bike-camp trip, this is your go-to app for scouting roads and trails considered by fellow bikers to be safe and wheel-worthy. You have a choice selecting the type of road you want to bike and there’s an option to pinpoint local bikes shops along the way.The Android app will be available soon, you can check here for updates.
Tech Tip: The latest updates includes even more perks when you’re rolling with the littles. Easy navigation will help you find restrooms, points of interest and the best way to get from point A to B.
Good for: Ages 8 and up
Free on iTunes.
What is your favorite app to inspire a healthy lifestyle? Share with us in the comments!
Feature Photo: yue via flickr creative commons