5 apps to boost your health & fitness

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Everywhere people go these days, they tend to bring their phone.  Smart phones give us the opportunity to keep track of how fast we go and what we eat.  Why not take advantage of this opportunity to monitor your journey towards good health?

Strava display on your phone
Strava uses GPS to track where you go and at what pace.  If you have your earbuds in, it will tell you your splits too.  You can upload data from many GPS brands (Garmin, TomTom, Suunto, Timex, Soleus) if you prefer to use a watch or other devise.  The best thing about Strava is the community.  You can see what other people in your area are doing on the same routes and cheer on your friends from around the world too.  If you go out with someone on the same route, Strava can recreate your route with each person having an icon.  The icons then move based on the pace recorded.  Activities to choose from include running, cycling, hiking, skiing, wakeboarding, and canoeing.  Every workout it logged on a calendar making it easy to see what you have done I the past. Basic Strava is free, but if you subscribe you can have access to other areas on the sight that will look at how your power and strength increase over time.  Activities to choose from include running, cycling, hiking, skiing, wakeboarding, and canoeing.  Every workout it logged on a calendar. (Follow me on Strava!)

Zombies, Run! is an interval running app for those who need something beyond running to occupy their mind while working out.  Rather than wondering ‘how much farther?’ the app distracts you by providing a storyline of a zombie attack.  The free version provides 40 different scenarios to avoid boredom during training, as well as plateauing.   For a season pass, you can access 120 more.  Create a playlist from your personal music library to serve as your soundtrack as you avoid the zombie horde, find supplies, and save the world one run at a time.

Handy little counter to keep you on track
My Fitness Pal focuses on monitoring calorie intake.  You can also log workouts which is used to advise you on overall calories burned and consumed.  Once you start entering everything you eat or drink, as well as seeing the calories of each item, you will soon learn to manage portion sizes and make healthier choices.  The unique feature of My Fitness Pal is that it remembers what you tend to eat.  It saves you time from having to re-enter the same breakfast over and over again.  You can also add recipes and join in chats in the discussion forums.   The app supports multiple diet trends so no matter that you can or cannot eat, you have options to work with.

Get a plan and stick to it!
GAIN Fitness is free but offers a subscription service for exercises to target a specific area of your body or specific disciplines (such as yoga, kettle bells, pain relief, and basketball).  You simply tell the app where you are (home, work, gym), how much time you have, what your fitness goals are and the app creates a workout for you. You can decide if you want music to motivate you or not as you complete the custom workout.  The narration gives you clear description of the exercise while other audio cues (rep counting and encouragement) are provided too.

Jamo on your iPhone
Jamo lets your iPhone act just like a Wii controller as you dance along with the program.  The phone monitors your movements and gives you a score based how well you follow along.  Appletv, Chromecast and ever your browser will project the game on the big screen for you to follow along with.  The best feature of this app is that your can channel your inner choreographer and create your own workouts.  Fitness instructors and dance teachers can even monetize their routines via the app (all you need is a video camera).  Or you can be nice and simply share with friends using the community links.

Most of fitness apps offer a free level of service. Why not download a few today and see if they are a good match for you and your goals?  Or leave a comment below and let us know which apps you love that we have missed.

1 comment:

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