Over the past few years, the inception of the smartphone has changed the way people think about fitness. Medical professionals advise that keeping track of your fitness progress is key to achieving health goals. Dieticians and physical trainers alike recommend that patients monitor what they eat and how they exercise to stay healthy. Now that smartphones and smartphone apps have taken off in popularity, many people use their devices to help track fitness goals. There are many workout apps available, so this month we will take a look at some of the best.
The most popular exercise app on Apple’s Apps Store is called Fitness Buddy. This app acts like a personal trainer in your pocket, planning and tracking your workout. However, what makes this one of the best workout apps is that it provides detailed instructions for up to 1,700 exercises, so you can learn new ways to workout. Fitness Buddy can track your fitness plans in a calendar, and you can even view and export your workout history. With such a full feature set, Fitness buddy is one of the best fitness apps available.
Nike+ is a great fitness app for keeping track of your running and walking exercise. The app tracks your distance and time, and even shows you a picture of the route you took on a map. You can set specific challenges for yourself and compare results to past efforts to see your progress. You can even play your music library through the app, and a voice will tell you when you’ve achieved a milestone along your run, such as the halfway point or your average mile time.
You don’t have to be a hardcore runner to keep track of your exercise. With Moves, you can track your general activity level throughout the day. The app will track things like daily steps, stairs climbed, and the occasional jog or bike ride, and provide an estimate of calories burned during those activities. The app runs in the background on your smartphone throughout the day and shows your daily activities visually in a timeline.
Click here to learn more about Moves and other fitness apps
Keeping track of your diet is just as important as monitoring your exercise. It’s not fun to count calories and track your food intake, but Lose It! makes it easy. With Lose It! you can set a long term weight-loss goal and determine how many calories you should eat each day to achieve it. By entering what you eat throughout the day, you can make sure you are on track. The app lets you take a photo of the barcode on a food, and will track the calories from the item you scan. You can also search the app’s database of common foods if no barcode is available.
Much like some of the other apps here, Daily Burn helps you keep a daily record to track your nutrition, workouts, and weight. The app gives a range of calories to eat each day and the opportunity to set goals based on your fitness goals, age, weight and gender or activity level. I have used Daily Burn myself, and it is an excellent tracking and fitness tool.
The power of Daily Burn can even be magnified through the use of external fitness tracking devices.
While not an app, FitBit is a fitness tracking device that you can wear on your wrist. The device shows your daily stats: distance traveled, calories burned, steps taken and the like. It will also help you monitor you sleep, an often overlooked but essential part of staying fit. Needing to be charged only once a week or so, the FitBit stays on your wrist and sends data to your fitness app of choice. It can even be integrated with Daily Burn. The newest FitBit Force has been receiving a lot of hype and for good reason.
Check out this FitBit review from the New York Times and see what you think.
Track and Succeed
Although we have taken a look at some of the best fitness apps, keep in mind that there are many apps available. Each of these has its own advantages and disadvantages. Use a few, and see which is the best fitness app for you. I would love to hear your favorites.
By tracking your progress and keeping yourself motivated, you can achieve your fitness goals. If you want a few hints on how to stay motivated, read my post on how to stay motivated to achieve your long term goals.
Best wishes for a happy, healthy life,