Saturday, December 6, 2014

My Favorite Health and Fitness Apps

"What are some of your favorite health and fitness apps?" I get this question enough in my inbox I thought I'd put together a list. There's an App For That!

Here are some of my favorites:

RxmindMe, MFP, Lose It, Map My Walk, Sworkit,
Daily Workouts, Steps, Waterlogged, AllTrails, Simply Yoga
(left to right) 

Calorie counters and diet tracker, track food intake and exercise, calculate recipe calories, set calorie goals. I love all three of these. I kind of wish I could take a little of each and build one that suits me.

My Fitness Pal (FREE)
Lose-it (FREE)
Sparkpeople (FREE)

Nothing like seeing your eating and exercise day in B&W. I know tracking is a pain but these apps make it pretty easy, you can usually see what needs to be adjusted pretty clearly and bottom-line they are effective...
A researcher at the University of Texas has published a study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research looking at efficacy of a free online weight loss program. The study looked at 1,258 randomly selected users of SparkPeople and found that those who entered their weight into the site at least four times per month lost an average of 11 pounds per month more than those that didn't, and those who made at least one post on the site’s forum during the time they used the site lost over three pounds more than those that didn't. 
I am not as faithful in logging as I was in the first 2 years (daily then, I used online) now it's every few days or so. The study above is great motivation to do it more.

Waterlogged (FREE) Track your water intake. I love this one though I fully admit I rarely make my goal :( they need to create an app called Coffeelogged I'd ace that one.
RxMindMe (FREE) - Reminds you to take pills (or vitamins) This app changed my life! Seriously I never forget my vitamins and it's all because of this app.

Fooducate (FREE) - Helps people make more informed food choices, scans grocery items, create shopping lists, get alternative suggestions. I still eat things they hate from time to time because well I like whatever it is but knowledge is good.
CalorieKing (FREE) - Another food search database with carbs, fats, protein counts of foods.
Calorific (FREE-ish) - Shows pictures of "what 200 calories looks like" on a plate, we all know most people suffer from portion distortion, this app confirms it. The basic collection of photos is free or pay a few bucks for more pictures.

I use these exercise apps often when weather conditions (triple digits) won't let me walk or hike. Also if you think a burpee is something a baby does after a bottle of milk these apps are great to for learning what certain exercises look like.

Daily Workouts (FREE) - Your own personal trainer with video instruction, 10-30 minute full body workouts, 50 targeted area exercises, countdown clock.
Simply Yoga (FREE) – Video demonstrations of poses.
Sworkit (FREE) - Circuit training workouts with video instruction, 5-60 minute full body workouts.

Can't afford one of those fancy exercise wearable trackers (umm that would be me) here's a way to track steps on your phone: pedometer, step counter, tracks calories, distance, steps, they run in the background and suck battery life a bit but they are fun.

Have a friend or family member competition, who takes the most steps in the day, kids versus parents, winner chooses the movie on movie night.

Steps (FREE)
Moves (FREE)
EBWalk Everybody Walk (FREE)

Map My Walk (FREE) - Track your walks by GPS, integrates with My Fitness Pal.
The Walk ($2.99) - Walking adventure game. Most people have heard of Zombies, Run but since I'm not a runner (more like walk as briskly as I can with my short legs) I found this fun alternative.
AllTrails (FREE) - Find hiking trails near you, 50,000 trail guides. People rate the hikes but just remember one person's "easy" hike is another hard so look at grade and terrain info, learned my lesson glad I bring poles.

And a few for emotional health...

I meditate 15 minutes a day. I've been doing it a little over a year now and it's really helped my focus. Here's 2 fun tools I use:

Calm (FREE) - Guided Meditations.
Insight Timer (FREE) - Meditation Timer.

and I love a positive thought to start the day...

Daily Inspirational Quotes of the Day (FREE)

Oh but with all these great apps there are also a few hideous ones. Do me a solid and Sign The Petition to get rid of some of those.

Do you use phone apps in your healthy new life? Do you have a favorite you want to pimp. Add it in the comments.

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Gwen said...

Zombies Run doesn't require that you run! I started using it with the elliptical and then just walking.

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Oh that is cool to know... cause LOL I wouldn't want to be too slow and have my brains eaten every day ;) that would be depressing.

Lisa Reese said...

I love Figwee. It helps me estimate my portions when I'm away from home by showing me what 2oz of something actually looks like!! Great for us visual people!!

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Ooh I hadn't heard of this one. Just Googled it... cool.

pugsmom said...

I don't have an iPhone and have NEVER been able to find anything I've ever tried to download once it says it is finished. I'm to cell/computer/technically challenged that I still have to read the book to get the benefit. Wish I understood all that "app" stuff. LOL

Linda Wagner said...

Thank you for all of the information, especially the recipes. I am getting ready for a GSV and am trying to compile as much info as possible. I started trying different foods to see what i like so I can stock up some beforehand. I will have to make a nice donation to the local food pantry to clean out cabinets and restock.