It's that time of year when fitness is everyone's goal. But getting going and keeping up momentum isn't always easy. Apps and wearables can help make the process a whole lot easier by helping with motivation.
Getting fit is not easy. The thought of sitting with a jar of Nutella, plus spoon, while Netflix feeds entire shows into our brains is far more appealing than sweat, pain and self-drive. But once you get up and going it'll become easier, make you feel better and eventually will even get addictive – in a good way.
So how do you get off the couch and start burning calories? Using gadgets, that's how. This kit will measure your progress and set goals so all you need to do is kit up and get out the door when it tells you to. Yes this is cheaper and less loud than a personal trainer, so why not give it a try?
We've found the best apps and devices to help you and separated them into sections for Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, GPS watch and activity tracker.
Android - RunDouble C25K app
The RunDouble app C25K is aimed at getting people off the couch and able to run 5km in just 9 weeks – or longer if needed.
The app is free to download via Google Play and aims to get a training plan in place that simply needs to be followed to hit goals. The app lets you choose pace so that 5km target can be reached as gently or as quickly as you fancy.
C25K works by offering training prompts through your headphones, while you're listening to your music as you go. The first run is just one minute long, making it an excuse-free way to get anyone up and active.
If you've got an Android Wear device, the app will work with that too for at-a-glance stats while you're out running.
iPhone - 5K Coach app
The 5K Coach app is free, easy to use and clear with its readouts of what you've done and need to do. Plus it'll let you pull your data into MapMyRun if you wish to make the jump to a larger scale app once you break through your 5km goal.
The app is designed by olympians and professional runners and aims to appeal to everyone – from those who want to run 5km, to those who want to walk it.
The training schedule is personalised to you and how fast you want to hit 5km, with workouts from 8 weeks up to 32 weeks. This includes GPS map tracking, music playlists from within the app, diet and hydration tips, plus feedback on your performance.
Windows Phone - Total Couch to 5K app
The Total Couch to 5K app gives a 9-week training program to get anyone off the couch and out pounding pavements.
The app maps the run as you go, as well as offering audio cues through your headphones while running. This app will even give you an estimated 5K finish time based on your running ability as you go.
A workout plan page in Couch to 5K displays what you have ahead of you, as well as your achievements so far. Therefore, if you're going to have to miss a day, you can rearrange it for another. It'll even let you post workouts to Facebook if you're that person.
GPS sports watch
A GPS sports watch is a great way to track your runs accurately while keeping your training separate to you smartphone, meaning less battery drain for one thing.
The software offered by GPS sports watches can be versatile and taps into a wider community that helps keep up motivation. Garmin offers the best software right now with its Connect platform, which also has one of the largest user bases.
For a starter price watch, there's the Garmin Forerunner 10 that sits at £100. This tracks your runs with GPS, offers a virtual pacer to hit goals and works with Garmin Connect.
Garmin Connect allows the upload of training programs by others. There are a few couch to 5km workouts which can be sent to a Garmin watch with the touch of a button. Of course you can also arrange your own, meaning total freedom and no pressure.
The Fitbit Charge HR is ideal for beginners. Day-to-day it will track steps and calories burned to generally encourage more movement. It also roughly measures distance travelled, minus GPS, so you can assess your runs.
The nice thing about the Charge HR is its ability to measure your heart rate. This allows you to train within a heart rate zone, meaning you know how far you're pushing yourself. Rather than getting lost focusing on distances, it allows you to focus on improving your health directly.
The Fitbit Charge HR also enables you to put the device into exercise mode and after you've completed the activity, you can set what it was that you actually did, like a run.
Heart rate headphones
JBL has released a set of headphones that are able to record the wearer's heart rate. This data can then be fed into a connected smartphone for more detailed sports readings and bespoke training.
By using heart rate you'll be able to know exactly when you're pushing yourself to improvement, stopping you from getting lazy as well as avoiding overtraining.
These are the first headphones to offer this with Jabra Pulse already over a year old now. But what's special here is the software infrastructure backing the smart in-ears. Heart rate can be pulled into the Under Armour Record platform via MapMyRun, which the company now owns, to be used directly or shared as final readout data with others apps thanks to the nature of this platform.
MyZone fitness tracker
For some the thought of running outdoors is a little too much. The MyZone tracker is great for gym goers, although it is outdoor ready if you get to that stage.
The MyZone MZ-3 tracker is essentially a chest strap worn heart rate monitor that delivers heart rate data to the connected app on a smartphone. What it also does is show heart rate zones on a monitor in gyms with compatible hardware. This allows people to train in certain zones that help them reach goals, that way it's based on heart rate, making a level playing field for everyone, regardless of fitness or ability.