Stop Texting and Start Flexing
The iPhone CAN make you healthier and more fit. It won’t do so on it’s own, of course, but if you want to get yourself in better shape, the iPhone can help like almost nothing else on the planet.
That said there are way, way too many health and fitness apps vying for your attention in the App Store. And it can be hard to figure out which ones are worth the download.
Consolidate your workout journal and food diary into one (or start keeping them) with this handy tracker. Inputting data can get tedious but the food library is extensive and includes name-brands plus generic categories like fruit, coffee and chicken (broiled, oven roasted, etc.). Each food type includes accurate calorie, carb, fiber, fat, sodium and protein values, which you can track on a separate page. Add in your daily exercises—including the intensity and hours spent—and it calculates how many calories you ate, how many you burned and how much more you can eat that day. For added motivation, a graph based on your data shows how much weight you’ve lost.
The Nike+ Running app is designed to help you reach your goals. Focus on speed or distance, and stock up on digital trophies as you hit new milestones. The app comes with GPS and a time tracking capability, as well as a calorie counter. It also has built-in training programs for distances ranging from 5Ks to full marathons. Plus, Nike+ syncs up with your music and gives you the option to program “power songs” that play when you need an extra boost. Want a workout pal? Buddy up with friends on the app to track each other’s progress and challenge one another.
Recommended by both LifeHacker and ESPN, Fitness Buddy has an archive of over 1,700 unique exercises (plus 1,000 HD videos and animations to guide you), so you’ll never get bored. You can also specify particular routines specific to your goals, from losing weight to building bulk in your chest.
My Fitness Pal
Of course they motivate you in the gym, but you can’t always have your personal trainer reminding you about calorie counts and carbohydrates while you’re at home or dining out. Enter My Fitness Pal, an app that not only logs your workouts, but keeps track of your calories (because everyone knows the perfect body is not built by burpees alone).
Fitbit started as a companion app for Fitbit’s popular line of wearable activity trackers and then grew up into a full-fledged tracker of its own. Fitbit will track all your activity, log food and drink intake, and has the ability to link up with your friends for fun competitions.
The speed and ease of use of Fitbit are important because you’ll be opening the app a lot during the day to see how you’re doing. Fitbit feels more like a scale in your gym locker room, a passive device that only gives you information when you check it. For that reason, it can be harder to make using the Fitbit app a habit, which is a crucial part of changing your lifestyle.