Back in our pre-kid days, fitting in an afternoon run before happy hour was easy. These days, finding time to exercise either means rising with the roosters or sneaking out to the gym after bedtime stories. But even if parenting means there’s less chances than ever to keep up with healthy habits, with the help of apps getting fit has never been easier. From tracking what you eat to sharing your stats with fellow exercising mamas via Facebook and twitter, fitness apps (all available through the Windows phone) can offer the accountability you need to kick off the year with a healthier routine. We’ve sifted through a slew of apps to find six gems that will help you get back in shape, or stay that way.

Don’t let the name fool you– runtastic isn’t just for joggers. With more than 12 million users, it’s a customizable app covering just about every form of indoor or outdoor exercise. Whether you’re a cyclist, power walker, or yoga guru, the app records a full range of stats, including how far you’ve traveled and how many calories you’ve burned. It’s also customizable, with a notes section that lets you record what went into a particularly good (the kids slept in!) or bad workout. Progress can be shared with other moms using Facebook and Twitter, too.

Gone are the days of paging through dog-eared calorie counters to compare the fat content of Hershey’s vs. Ghirardelli. A virtual guide, MyFitnessPal is loaded with nutrition information for more than a million foods. In addition to what’s on your grocery list, the app includes calorie counts from popular chains, including Panera Bread and Peet’s Coffee. Exercise tracking tools help record burned calories. Personalized weight loss charts are also included with the free app. If you happen to eat something that’s not included in MyFitnessPal’s database, it’s easy to save new foods and favorite meals.

Gym PocketGuide
We all get stuck in the same rut in the weight room. Whether it’s arm curls or thigh squeezes, unless a personal trainer shows you the ropes it can be hard to learn new ways to tone up and melt fat. The Gym PocketGuide app from Bodybuilding.com is filled with step-by-step explanations for almost 100 exercises. Even better, there are detailed photos from the app’s workout library to guide you through moves designed to either gain muscle or loose fat.

Water Log
Just because moms are master multi-taskers doesn’t mean we always remember the basics, like drinking those eight glasses of water a day. If you’re pregnant or nursing, it’s especially important to keep hydrated. The same goes for taking in H2O during workouts. Thankfully, the Water Log app sends automatic reminders when it’s time gulp a glass. The simple program also includes a smart graphic that visually charts water intake.

Sure, you can’t make it to your yoga class nearly as often as you did before having kids. But remember, every little pose counts. A new Yoga-pedia “pose of the day” loads to your phone every 24 hours, making it a easier to fit in a minute or two of relaxation. In addition, the app includes a video illustrating a variation of the sun salute and a visual guide offering almost 100 good reasons to strike a pose.

Pssst…Here are three insider tips we want to share with you about getting fit with apps downloaded straight to your Windows phone.

  • Did you know that Pinterest is much more useful than pinning your dream nursery or your to-die-for chocolate chip cookie recipe? You can pin your favorite fitness apps right to your Start screen so you access them with just one simple click. Even at a full jog. Seriously.
  • Just like you can take a new car out for a test run, you can similarly try out a fitness app before you buy them at the Windows store to make sure you’re getting the fitness app that’s right for you and your lifestyle.

What apps do you use to help you keep in shape? We’d love to hear your thoughts below. 

— Sara Billups

photo credit: Ed Yourdon via Flickr