If you’re trying to lose weight, walk more steps each day, or push yourself through a brutal morning workout, fitness apps and wearable’s can help. They can truly help you dial in the fat loss or muscle gain when it comes to understanding daily caloric requirements, as discussed previously. Mobile apps and wearable’s are ideal assistants for health, fitness, and weight-loss because they are always with us, and they’re quite personal. Maintaining fitness requires daily habits and lifestyle changes, and a few little nudges in the right direction from your mobile phone might make all the difference.
Some of the apps highlighted here are tracking tools. You can log workouts, count calories, and collect stats about runs, walks, and bike rides to see overtime how you’re improving. Fitness apps can also be coaching apps that put you in touch with a personal trainer or nutritionist who will check in with you once a week. And some, of course, combine all these things.
One of my personal favorite apps for health and fitness is MyFitnessPal. This free app lets you count the calories that you consume everyday as well as tally up the calories you expend, and then see if they balance. It’s compatible with a number of fitness trackers, which means MyFitnessPal can estimate how many calories you burn automatically by pulling in your activity data from your tracker. MyFitnessPal is wonderful at helping you become more aware of your eating habits and just how much exercise it takes to burn off the food you eat.
Another app I love is BodySpace by bodybuilding.com. Its interface (and name for that matter) are a little dated. However it offers by far the largest database of exercises, programs and information found anywhere on the net. If your not sure where to start you can use their program selector and input a few details about yourself and goals and be instantly following a program like “Arnold Schwarzenegger’s blueprint to cut”, or “Jay Cutler’s 8-week living large mass builder.” You will have access to the pros and be training like a pro straight from day 1. To me this is a must have.
Another great app if you enjoy lacing up the running shoes is Charity Miles its an app that tracks workouts, such as runs, walks, and bicycle rides and donates money for every mile you complete. Corporate sponsors foot the bill and make donations on your behalf. All you have to do is look at their sponsorship logos or ads when you fire up the app. Before you workout, you can choose which charity will benefit from your miles from a list.
No matter what kind of motivation or daily prodding you need to meet your fitness goals, there’s an app that can push you in the right direction.
Cardio App Reviews:
Available on: Android, iOS
Earn money for charities every time you run, walk, or bicycle by using the free Charity Miles app. Corporate sponsors (whose information you’ll see as a backdrop image in the app) agree to donate a few cents for every mile you complete. Browse the app’s list of charities, find the one that you support, and then hit the road. When a lot of people use Charity Miles, those little bits of money add up.
Available on: iOS
The best bicycle-ride tracking app I’ve tested is Cyclemeter by Abvio. This iOS-only app collects a wealth of data, is very accurate, contains several well-thought-out features, and appeals to fitness enthusiasts who participate in more than one sport. Despite the name, you can use Cyclemeter to track walks, runs, and other activities. It does not include a calorie-counting component, but it is packed with data about your biking outings.
Map My Fitness
Available on: Android, iOS, Windows Phone
The company that makes the Map My Run app for runners also makes a slew of similar apps for different sports, such as Map My Ride for cyclists and the more general purpose Map My Fitness. Although it might sound like Map My Fitness will give you the widest range of supported activities, really all the apps have settings that let you track different sports and workouts. In other words, you only need to download one of the apps, and you can use it for almost any activity (Map My Fitness has more than 600 activities). But beware: The free app keeps some of its features behind a subscription pay wall, starting at $5.99 per month or $29.99 per year. As with most fitness apps for running, walking, cycling, etc., Map My Fitness uses GPS to track the routes you travel, and shows you a map of the ground you covered when you’re done. It also displays length, in both time and distance, as well as pace, maximum speed, and a few other statistics.
Workout App Reviews:
Available on: Android, iOS
Sworkit coaches you through workout routines that are designed to meet your goals, whether it’s to improve your cardio health, become more flexible, increase strength, and so forth. Within sections, you can choose to work on certain parts of your body, too, such as doing a strength workout that focuses on your core. One extra feature I like is that Sworkit’s includes music options from Spotify, so you can stream a premade workout mix. Paying for a Premium account unlocks even more workouts.
Available on: Android
Simplicity at its best, Gym Buddy is designed to be your no-frills aid in the gym. It can track supersets with ease, can juggle and record multiple lifting programs, and times your rest periods with a 30-, 60-, or 120-second automatic timer.
Available on: Android, iOS
If you’re really serious about getting into great shape then this is one that you’re seriously going to want to take a look at for access to the world’s largest online fitness community along with countless workouts, programs, and other goodies to sink your teeth into. As far as fitness tracker and social fitness apps go, this really is quite unquestionably the cream of the crop, and there is no denying the quality of both the app itself and the vast, vast amount of content that is on offer.
With programs available from guys like Lee Labrada, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Stoppani and Jamie Eason, you know you’re getting the best of the best, with no compromises or skimping on quality. BodySpace definitely receives a very strong recommendation from me. I’ve been using it for about 3 years now and thought it’s a little clunky and non-user friendly in the beginning. It does offer some powerful programs and information
Free; $7.99 per month or $39.99 per year for Premium
Available on: Android, iOS
FitStar creates custom workouts for you based on your fitness level. You start by doing a few workouts with the app and you give it feedback as you go about which exercises were too tough, too easy, or just right. The app uses that information to create a routine that challenges you in all the right ways. FitStar was purchased by Fitbit in 2015 and now works with some Fitbit devices. The in-app coach is former NFL player Tony Gonzalez, a beefy workout buddy who is nothing but a bundle of positive, cheery feedback, and absolutely no excuses.
Free; $49.99 per year for Premium
Available on: Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Web
This app works best with the use of a fitbit tracker cost range from 30$ – 300$, but you don’t actually need a tracker to use the mobile app. Without a tracker, the Fitbit app can count your steps (provided your carry your phone all day long), help you track the calories you consume, log your weight, and record other health information, such as blood pressure and glucose levels. If you do own a Fitbit tracker, the app is even easier to use because it logs a good amount of information about your activity automatically.
Huawei Fit fitness tracker
The Huawei Fit is a watch based fitness tracker with a 1.1 inch e-ink display real-time heart rate monitor, steps, sleep, and calories. It has a touchscreen display that is backlit for use at night. The manufacturer claims a battery life of 6 days. It has the following sensors: accelerometer, gyro, CAP-sensor, heart rate sensor. It has notifications for calls, texts, social networks updates. It includes inactivity alerts which remind you to move if you are sitting for a long time. It has extra features such as: has customizable training plans for running. Included accessories: USB charging dock. Its dimensions are 1.5 x 0.4 inches (width/thickness) and it weighs 1 ounces.
Garmin Forerunner 35 fitness tracker
The Garmin Forerunner 35 is a watch based fitness tracker with a 1.3 inch monochrome LCD display real-time heart rate monitor, steps, sleep, and calories that is backlit for use at night. The manufacturer claims a battery life of 9 days. It has the following sensors: GPS, accelerometer, optical heart rate monitor. It has notifications for calls, texts, calendar alerts, social networks updates. It has socialization features: share goals with friends, social media interactions. It includes inactivity alerts which remind you to move if you are sitting for a long time. It has a find my phone feature. It has extra features such as: connects to ANT+ external heart-rate monitor, auto pause during workouts should you stop momentarily, has customizable options for walking and running. Included accessories: USB charging clip. Its dimensions are 1.4 x 0.5 inches (width/thickness) and it weighs 1.2 ounces.
It doesn’t matter where or when you start, so long as you do
There are literally hundreds of other apps, and fitness trackers and its really about personal preference and features you prefer or don’t prefer. I personally feel that technology and science have brought some wonderful additions to the health and fitness realm and these are must have tools for long term sustainable success. However I do realize that not everyone is a fan of being tethered to their mobile device or some other gadget, so to that end I say, at least consider tracking your workouts or nutrition manually via pen and paper. Having better picture of what you’ve been doing and where you’re at now, will help you get where you want to be later.