Summer isn’t the only time folks are trying to shed pounds and get fit, and this is one effort that can definitely be helped by using the right app or combination of apps. Add these five iphone/Android apps to your device for the rest of the summer, and beyond, to hold yourself accountable to a healthier – and happier – lifestyle:
If you’re looking for a single, inclusive, and free, fitness app, Lose It! might be the one. Available for both Android and iOS, Lose It! is both a food diary and an exercise tracker. The app includes an extensive food library for you to catalog your eating habits, with both generic and brand name items to select from, allowing for an accurate count of calories and other nutritional measurements.
For those who dread the process of inputting each individual food item, Lose It! even includes a bar scanner to automatically input your specific meal into the program. Fitness and health naturally vary from person to person, and Lose It! allows users to set their own calorie budget and overall goals. Along with being a food diary, Lose It! also allows you to input your daily exercise routine to determine approximately how many calories you’ve burned, as well as your weight.
Putting all of this information in one place takes a lot of the guesswork out of fitness, making it much easier to set goals and follow through.
One of the most popular free fitness apps on the market, Nike Training Club is a sleek, well-designed tool for those looking for a personally tailored workout plan. The app has a very simple, clean layout, streamlined to get you working out quickly and without fuss. Users are prompted to select their fitness goal from a list, including “get lean”, “get toned”, “get strong”, and “get focused”.
Each category has a very specific set of activities, with pictures and videos to help guide you through your workout. During the activity, the voice of a personal trainer tells you how long you have been going, as well as providing helpful tips about specific exercises and nuggets of motivation to keep you on track. Along with the helpful voice of your trainer, the app also allows you to embed a custom playlist to keep your tunes going. As you workout, the app logs your progress, giving you an idea of what you have accomplished.
To reward you, the app includes small rewards like bonus exercises and digital badges to show off to your friends on Facebook. For those seeking a personal trainer without all of the cost, it doesn’t get much better than Nike Training Club.
For those who are interested in tracking their heart rate, the available options such as special watches and chest monitors are often bulky and inconvenient. Rather than relying on some new piece of equipment, Instant Heart Rate allows you to check your heart rate using your smartphone’s camera.
All you have to do is hold your fingertip up to the camera, which the app scans for color changes indicating your heart beat. The process is quick and easy, taking less than 30 seconds to scan and log, and provides helpful information about your heart health.
Like other apps, Instant Heart Rate allows you to track your progress and share with friends via Facebook and Twitter.
For those who prefer to do their running outside rather than on the treadmill, there is often the problem of both finding a good route and tracking progress. RunKeeper, available for both Android and iOS, allows users to easily map their runs, tracking both time and calories burned.
The app utilises GPS to give an accurate record of your run, providing you with information about the distance you covered, your average speed, and how often you have been running. This information is stored in the app, providing you with goals and metrics to track your progress, as well as the option to share this information with your friends.
You can even send your friends encouraging messages to keep them going. For users looking to take their run to the next level, RunKeeper recently added the premium option of consulting with expert personal trainers on topics such as nutrition, stretching, and hydration.
Any good workout needs a good soundtrack to keep you distracted and pumped up while you sweat it out. FIT Radio provides you with a nicely selected non-stop mix of music to keep you moving.
Rather than sifting through your music library, full of songs you’ve already played a thousand times, FIT Radio puts a professional DJ in charge of the mix. The app offers options based on genre, with high quality mixes by real DJs, spinning all the best top-40, hip hop, electronic, and more. If you hear a song that you like, it is easy to bookmark and save for later.
Unlike apps like Pandora or Spotify, FIT Radio plays music continuously, without pausing for intrusive advertising. The app is well designed and easy to use, connecting seamlessly with Facebook, allowing you to share your favorite mixes with all your friends.