I held off getting a smart phone for quite a while. I thought it would be distracting, and while it can be a little too enticing at times, I really love it and find it to be a great tool for fitness and nutrition. I have tried dozens of health/fitness applications and keep only a few on my phone now. I have picked the ones I use most often and will explain what I like about them and how they are beneficial. Obviously none of these are essential for success in one’s diet and well-being, but they are just additional tools that one can use. 90% of the applications I’ve included are free.
A couple of apps that I don’t go into detail about are the “Kettlebell360” app, which has some useful Kettlebell exercises and the “Seconds”, which is an interval timer app (I usually use my GymBoss timer if I need one, but sometimes I don’t have it on me)
#1 MyFitnessPal – free
This is an application that goes with Myfitnesspal.com. Any info you add on the website is synchronized with the app and vice versa. It is similar to CalorieCount. It lets you track your diet and exercise. On the actual website, you can add in your own recipes and calculate the nutritional information, and then once your recipe is saved, you can add it into your food diary. If you look at the screen shot below, I have entered a recipe of mine as “Tahini Lemon Dressing”, so from now on I can easily add it to my diary. I don’t keep a strict food and exercise diary, but I find it useful from time to time. It’s a very stable and easy to use application.
You can add friends and share your News feed or choose to keep it private.
#2 RunKeeper – free & Polar Ft7Heart rate monitor
Last summer I read a bunch of reviews on different kinds of Heart Rate Monitors. I decided to purchase Polar FT7 with heart rate strap. I got one of the “men’s styles” because I love red and black. This is one of the pieces of fitness equipment I use 80% of the time. The reason I bring it up is because it goes hand in hand with the next application, which is the RunKeeper. RunKeeper is used to track your distance, time and pace while running. You can use it indoors and outdoors, and if you also have a heart rate monitor, it can synch with many of the treadmills, as well as your RunKeeper app, so you’ll be able to keep track of your heart rate, calories burned, distance, pace and time. I usually use the RunKeeper for outdoor runs, since it seems to be more accurate.
At the end of your run, you can add notes and choose to post the details from your run to different social medias. If can also give you Workout Reminders, Workout Plans and keeps track of your personal records. During your run, you have the option of having a voice tell you how far you have gone. You can also turn that function off, as it can be a bit distracting if you also have music playing.
#3 FITRadio – free
FITRadio is a handy app if you are in need of some upbeat music for a work out and don’t have a playlist of your own handy. It has different categories and often mentions the BPM in a certain category of songs, which can be useful if you’re wanted to follow the speed and rhythm of a song, as with running and cardio kickboxing.
I’m not a humongous fan of some of the music, but I have discovered some cool songs from this app which I have now added to my own personal playlist.
#4 Zombies, Run! – price fluctuates
So, a few months ago I wanted to try to get back into running. I found it a bit hard to get motivated, and I was intrigued by this Zombies, Run! app…I was also immersed in the Walking Dead series. I got this while it was on sale, and used it when I was starting to go out and run. If you aren’t sure what the app is about, you are basically trying to survive and out run zombie invasions. You listen to a story unfold in your headphones and when you are told there are zombies approaching, you need to run faster in order to outrun them. The further you run, the more supplies you gain and the more you progress in the story. If you are too slow, you will be told that you have been caught by the zombies and have to start over. The creepy thing is, the closer the zombies get, the louder they become in your ears. This application is probably something you won’t want to use all the time, or for months and months, but it may be just what you need to get up and running! Just be careful if you run/jog in an area with traffic, since you may become immersed in the story and if you’re told to run faster, you may forget about the real life dangers surrounding you, not just the zombies. The makers of this app occasional make updates and add onto the story.
It’s not an app for everyone, but it is a clever and original one all the same!
Extra: Good Life Fitness App – free
If you are a member of a Good Life gym, you may find their simple free app useful. It gives you the times of the group exercise classes, locations of other gyms, your class schedules, etc…I use it just for the group class schedules, in case I forget what time a class is at.