Will Chris Hemsworth’s new fitness app get you ripped like Thor? [Review]

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Centr is a new fitness app by Avengers star Chris Hemsworth
Centr is a new fitness app by Avengers star Chris Hemsworth.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

I’m a big Chris Hemsworth fan. The guy is walking workout inspiration. I spend hours at the gym hoping that one day I’ll achieve Thor-style arms. But so far, no luck.

That’s why Centr, Hemsworth’s new fitness app, immediately caught my interest. I was intrigued to learn the secrets of the training regimen that keeps him looking like a superhero. So I eagerly downloaded the app, hoping it would help transform my puny arms into guns worthy of Thor.

Trainiac is a fitness expert in the palm of your hands [Review]

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Trainiac Beats iPhone X
Trainiac connects you with a real personal trainer to maximize your fitness
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Have you ever felt sick and thought to yourself, “I should diagnose myself based on a web search,” later wishing you’d sought a professional instead? How about taking on an extensive home-improvement project, only to call in a contractor after struggling to make any real progress?

Getting in shape or losing weight shouldn’t be something you are stuck doing on your own, either. That’s where a personal trainer comes in.

This app turns your iPhone into a personal trainer [Review]

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Aaptiv app at the gym for a spin
Aaptiv offers more than 2,500 audio-guided workouts to keep you motivated and moving.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Getting in shape takes time and motivation. Whether you’re trying to get fit, lose weight, or train for your next race, having the right tool can help you get the most out of each workout.

For some people, hitting the gym a couple times each week is all they need. For others, they need something to offer that extra push. Aaptiv is the trainer you need, right where it matters most.

Best apps to tackle your New Year’s resolutions

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Best New Year’s Resolution Apps
Unless your resolution is to give up your iPhone, these apps are perfect for starting the new year right!
Photo: Tru Katsadne. Graphic: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Every year, people make a pledge to themselves to improve in some way. New Year’s resolutions typically come in the form of personal wellness and fitness, productivity or kicking a bad habit. Sometimes they can be more general.

Whatever your goal is for the new year, there’s probably an app to help. These are some of the best apps to help you on your journey to a better you in 2019.

How to sync your Apple workouts to Strava automatically

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Sync Apple Workout app with Strava to get the best of both worlds.
Using Apple's Workout app with Strava gives you the best of both worlds.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Your shiny new Apple Watch is great for logging workouts. But it comes up short when you want to review your training progress and share your workout history with friends. Everything gets bundled in the Activity and Health apps on your iPhone, which are pretty basic.

That’s where third-party apps like Strava come in. Strava offers all the essential fitness analytics that Apple overlooks. The trouble is, Strava’s watch app sucks for logging workouts.

If only you could have the best of both worlds: logging your workouts with Apple’s excellent built-in Workout app, then syncing the data automatically to Strava. Well, thanks to a brilliant indie app called HealthFit, you can.

Cult of Mac’s 50 Essential iOS Apps [The complete list, sorted!]

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50 Essential iOS Apps
The best and most useful apps for iPhone and iPad
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

With our 50 Essential iOS Apps series, the goal was to help you find some of the best apps for iPhone and iPad. Picking the finest offerings from the more than 2.2 million iOS apps in Apple’s App Store proved challenging. But we highlighted apps that offer excellent features or make life easier in various ways.

To wrap up the series, we’ve sorted the apps by category to make the list easier to browse. We’re also showcasing Cult of Mac readers’ alternatives to our picks.

(You’ll find reader faves linked at the end of this post. That’s especially helpful since one of our must-have apps is about to die an unceremonious death.)

Today in Apple history: Nike+iPod brings fitness tracking to your pocket

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The Nike+iPod Sports Kit was a nifty innovation.
The Nike+iPod Sports Kit was a nifty innovation.
Photo: Apple

July 13 Today in Apple history: Nike+iPod Sport Kit brings fitness tracking to your pocket July 13, 2006: Apple releases its first activity tracker, the Nike+iPod Sport Kit, which combines a portable music player and a smart pedometer.

The product marks Apple’s first step toward the kind of mobile health-tracking initiatives the company will investigate in the following decade — most notably through its iOS Health app and the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Move ring vs. Exercise ring: What’s the difference?

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Don't get your Move and Exercise rings mixed up
Don't get your Move and Exercise rings mixed up
Image: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Closing your Apple Watch Activity Rings can become such an obsession that it’s easy to forget why you’re doing it. It’s not just to keep Tim Cook happy in his giant, ring-shaped office in Cupertino. So, what does it really mean to close a ring?

The Stand goal is obvious. We all know we shouldn’t sit around on our asses all day. But how about the Move and Exercise rings? Aren’t they kind of the same thing? Actually, no. They’re very different, and understanding that difference is massively important if you want to achieve your fitness goals.

Rowing with Apple Watch is like two workouts in one. Time to grab an oar.

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Join the crew with Apple Watch
Join the crew with Apple Watch
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

If running and swimming with Apple Watch don’t rock your boat, you should give rowing a try. It combines all the benefits of cardio and strength training, and you get to do it in a boat. OK, well you’re probably more likely to use a rowing machine at your local gym, but it’s still pretty cool.

The stats that Apple Watch’s built-in Workout app provides for rowers are very limited, so you might want to consider third-party alternatives. Plus, it takes some practice to develop a good rowing technique. But it’s totally worth the effort. Not only will rowing help build a ripped physique. Without this essential skill, you might one day find yourself up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

Go the extra mile with Nike+ Run Club [50 Essential iOS Apps #23]

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Nike+ Run Club app run tracking
Nike+ Run Club offers detailed run tracking whether you're new to running or an experienced marathon runner.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: Nike+ Run ClubRunning is a great form of exercise, regardless of your fitness level. Getting motivated to run is a different story. Some running apps are designed for run tracking, others offer training, or make exercise a game. Nike+ Run Club blends all three to get you started and keep you moving, from your first run to your thousandth mile, and beyond.