If your schedule is already tough, and still seems to get busier every day, most likely you rely on technology to keep yourself going. When and where do health and fitness fit? You squeeze it in when and where you can. Fitness experts understand how busy we are, so they decided to work with us by building a variety of health and fitness apps we can access from out mobile devices, with the goal of keeping us motivated and on track.
According the MobileHealthNews.com, the mobile fitness app market is quickly growing, and will quadruple by 2016! Here are some of the best and brightest out there right now.
UP from Jawbone
UP, now for both Android and iPhone, is a holistic approach to fitness. You are encouraged to wear your wristband as much as possible (even when sleeping) for the most accurate welness tracking. Not only does it cover diet and exercise, but it also monitors how you sleep, when you've been sitting too long, and sends every step you take back to the app on your phone. The wrist band has a 10 day battery, so don't worry about it losing power midday. The program can also be integrated with other fitness apps on the market like MyFitnessPal (see below). The whole package adds up to $129.99, which is pricey compared to the dozens of free apps out there, but after using it, many fitness professionals reported they couldn't live without it.
Fitbit puts logging calories and activities in the palm of your hand, and provides a giant food database (plus room for additions) for you to choose from. The app also allows you to program your own personal fitness goals and keeps you on track. Although the app is free, if you would like to upgrade and add one of their tracking devices, similar to the UP system, the price will range from $60-$100.
My Fitness Pal is a very popular fitness and diet app. Not only is it free, but it also boasts a searchable food database of 3,256,00 different items, room to add personal recipes and is flexible enough to work with you on any diet plan. It also has interactive discussion forums to share support and motivation with other like minded individuals.
Lose It is a basic, free app for mobile devices that has one goal. Weight loss. Using the app, you are guided through a personalized weight loss program that tracks not only calories, but carbs, fats and protein, as well as exercise. Over time it creates a graph based on personal data to give you a look at how you are progressing.
Fitness Builder is seriously intense. If you want a good workout, there are 200 different options that the program can be prompted to pick automatically, in order to build the optimal workout to reach your goals. Beside the 5 fitness timers and multiple calculators (BMI etc.), you also have the option to contact professionals with any personal fitness questions. For $9.99, it's like having a personal trainer everywhere you go.
C25K (Couch to 5K)
If nothing else, you have to love the name Couch to 5K, and really the program is just that. Ideal for beginning joggers/ runners, for $2.99 an individual is taken through a nine week endurance building program. As you progress, the program will prompt you to warm up, cool down, walk and run. By the end of those nine weeks, you won't believe how far you've come.
Run Keeper (free), and Run Keeper Pro ($9.99), make tracking your workouts an interactive social activity. The app uses your GPS to track route, elevation, and speed and then uploads it to the Run Keeper website to review and share. The pro version even shouts updates through your headphones every five minutes to keep you going.
Good Food Near You
The Good Food Near You app is ideal for road trips or traveling for work, because no matter where you are, it works together with your GPS to guide you to the nearest healthy food options. No more roadside greasy burgers necessary. Download now while still in Beta.
A fantastic app to take shopping, Fooducate uses your smart phone's camera to scan barcodes on different food, and returns with a grade (A, C-, etc) based on ingredients and nutritional value. Wouldn't it be great to know which foods actually pass? And what a great way to explain to kids what they should be eating. The basic version is free on Android and iPhone, but more specialized versions targeting diabetes or gluten allergies, may cost a few bucks.
Did you know that in Japan, the most popular topping for pizza at Domino's Pizza is Squid? We didn't before checking InRFood today. The app and website have an enormous amount of information about food. It keeps detailed track of ingredients and nutrition values, as well as product recalls and health news worldwide. The app is still in Beta, so check it out before a price tag appears.