Applications, also called "apps," on just about any topic can be downloaded on a smartphone. The question, therefore, is not "Is there an app to help me stay fit?" but rather "Which app should I pick?"
Browsing through the search for health applications can bring up ones that count calories, teach users how to do yoga and track routes and speeds during runs.
Robin Dawson, Susquehanna Striders coordinator, and Roxanna Larsen, Geisinger Orthopedics program manager for sports medicine, suggested different apps based on what they and their friends use.
Dawson uses two different apps together: Endomondo and MyNetDiary. The first app tracks all kinds of sports - running, cycling, walking, skiing, kayaking, roller skating - and monitors performance over time.
MyNetDiary is an online diet log service that allows users to scan barcodes to get a food rating that determines how healthy the food item is.
She uses them together to learn how many calories she has burned so she can put the calculation into MyNetDiary.
Endomondo maps out the miles a person runs, judges how fast the user ran the miles and averages the time. Challenges come through email. For new people, a challenge might be to walk around the block every day for a month.
Users can listen to the radio or read the news while exercising either at a gym or outside.
While both apps can be downloaded for free, Dawson upgraded MyNetDiary to the pro version because she liked it so much.
That app tracks calories, analyzes the food eaten, gives encouragement for the healthy food, gives a red mark if too much of something has been eaten, shows how many calories should be eaten to lose the desired amount of weight and also keeps a graphic of weight fluctuations.
For men, Dawson recommends Fitness Buddy, through which users can choose workouts that suit their needs or create their own, by clicking on whatever part of the body the user wants to target.
The apps also are a tool she recommends to younger people.
"You take the thinking out of it," Dawson said.
She said she was not very computer-oriented.
"Other people might want something more detail-oriented," Dawson said.
Larsen believes the fitness apps are so widely used because, as Facebook and Twitter became popular, so did apps that have websites and that use the social media to announce users' progress.
Larsen has a friend in Georgia who runs that uses Nike+, which tracks runs and progress and gives motivation. Larsen can track her friend when she goes through marathon training.
"Here I am in Pennsylvania, encouraging her in Georgia," she said.
Other apps that she has seen people use are MyFitnessPal, a calorie counter, diet and exercise journal, and MapMyRun, which tracks where a user runs.
She explained that as fitness becomes more of a goal for people, they can try the apps and even the most basic person can become an athlete.
"You don't feel like you're on your own," Larsen said. "You have a team behind you."
Weight watching programs also have apps so that members can stay in contact with each other for encouragement.
Yet even though the apps suggest ways for users to improve, Larsen does not expect them to replace fitness trainers or gyms.
"It doesn't give you knowledge," she said. "It doesn't teach you how to live properly. It's more of a tool. Once you know the tools, then you can do this on your own. Gyms are still going to be popular. Fitness trainers are still going to be popular. It's just a piece of staying healthy. I see them working together."
With people often making resolutions to stay healthy, Larsen believes the apps will encourage people to continue past February.