MommyHealthiest

Nourishing body, mind, & soul.

Fitness Made Easy! Apps, Trackers, And More!

on January 15, 2015

Fitness made easy with all the apps available nowadays, as well as fitness tracking bands & monitors. There’s truly no excuse that can be made for not moving and leading a healthy lifestyle! There’s apps that will having you running a 5K in 8-9 weeks, doing yoga, training you like a trainer or having a trainer come to you like Uber sends a car! How about a wrist band that vibrates to tell you to get off your butt when you’ve been sitting on it for too long or a 7 minute workout! Even health insurance companies are getting on board, like Oscar Health Insurance for New York and New Jersey providing Misfit bands for their clients to help them get a healthy start in the right direction.  Yep, no excuses and all this is available!  

Let’s start with the food tracking apps:

My Fitness Pal – Calorie Counter: I love this app and use it myself when I want to make sure I am hitting my goals of eating the necessary amounts of protein, carbs and fat. My weight training requires me to eat a certain amount of each food category in order to build muscle and maintain it. This App can simply be used as a check system for yourself and keep you on track or to see what needs to be tweaked to achieve your goals. It counts your calories, gives you pie charts, and breaks down macros into grams so you know EXACTLY what you are eating. This app has a food database of over 400 million foods so you can find what you ate and keep an accurate count. This also helps you track your exercises too, but predominantly made for calorie counting.

Lose It: Another food logging app where you can combine your workout journal and food diary into one. The food library is extensive and 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.

Healthy Tip of the Day: This app teaches you something new everyday. Some tips are obvious and some you will be amazed by. You’ll learn about how you when you lie it increase internal stress, addictive foods cause cravings and bloating, and so many more interesting tips.

Nutrition Tips: Did you know that cut melon must be thrown out after two hours? Or that the leanest beef cuts include round steaks and roasts? Or that oysters contain protein, calcium, phosphorus and iron? This colorful app has fun factoids like these and more than 500 others to help you have a safe and healthy diet.

Healthy Out:  This app gives you nutritional labels and healthy options at all of your favorite restaurants. Find your restaurant and then specify your restriction or nutritional need, whether it be fat free, gluten free, heart healthy, or a specific diet. This app can suggest modifications to dishes or break down the calories, carbs, fat etc. Pretty cool and a great way to enjoy a night out!

Good Food Near You: Perfect for frequent travelers, this app recommends healthy food options based on your location, which is tracked by GPS. It targets popular casual dining restaurants, fast-food restaurants, grocery stores and convenience stores nearby. Tap one of the suggestions and a lengthy list of healthy menu items appears, complete with calorie, fat and carb totals. Once you decide on a place, simply let the built-in map guide you.

Noom Weightloss Coach: Noom combines a pedometer and a nutritional coach into one. It allows the user to log meals and workouts, while it simultaneously counts your steps throughout the day. Not only does it offer positive encouragement, but it sends you wellness articles as well as nutritional recipes to keep you on track. The food in the database is all color coded, teaching the user which foods are healthy and which foods are not so much.

Apps for tracking your gym progress, workout routines and even teaching you to exercise:

7 Minute Workout:  No time to go to the gym?! Experts have put together 12 exercises that can be performed in seven minutes. The catch: these are high-intensity workouts with little rest. You need to push yourself; otherwise, the program is ineffective. 

Human: This is for a casual approach to exercise. It simply encourages you to reach your “Daily 30″ – 30 minutes of physical activity, whatever that may be for you. Whether it’s running, dancing, or doing jumping jacks, all that matters is that you are being active for 30 consecutive minutes at a time. Human will track your movements and let you know when you’ve achieved your goal for the day. Good for beginners.

Sworkit Lite: This App wants to be your personal trainer and it tries to do it without requiring you to go to the gym. The app has a number of built-in exercise regimens depending on what you need and that includes yoga. You can also craft your own if you need to and the app includes over 160 exercises that you can craft yours with. no-gym approach is great for people who can’t afford that kind of lifestyle

GymGoal ABC: Learn the basics of weight lifting with your new gym buddy. This app has 280 exercises with step-by-step animations and written instructions to help you perform various exercises and workout routines. It has 52 workout routines for all levels and the ability for you to add your own images. While you can’t log your daily workout routine, there are calculators for computing target heart rate, BMI, BMR and body fat percentage.

Fitness Buddy: Very similar to GymGoal ABC, but it’s one of the few I’d recommend actually paying for. You can download it for free and get features like step-by-step, detailed exercise walkthroughs. But getting the paid version comes with videos that makes those walkthroughs much more intuitive, because you’re watching an actual person perform them. The best part? It’s only $1.99.

Fitness Builder: An amazing fitness App, worth it’s $9.99 fee. It’s got over 1000 workouts, which can be picked automatically by the app’s technology to create the best session for you. It’s also loaded with over 7,000 images and videos, five fitness timers, complete tracking capabilities, an arsenal of calculators and the ability to ask their exercise physiologist a personal question.

iFitness: One of the most popular paid Apps and offers more than 230 exercises sorted by body regions or muscle group plus 100 instructional videos. Like GymGoal, you can add and edit custom exercises of your own. Also on hand: 12 routines created by fitness experts, workout and weight logs, graphing technology, the ability to e-mail said workout logs to yourself, stop-watch timers and more. Not as glitzy as Fitness Builder and it will only cost you $1.99 🙂

iTreadmill: Too busy to hit the gym? Turn on this app, put it in your pocket and go about your day as it accurately tracks your steps, distance and average speed. While most pedometers are not equipped to work in pockets and purses, this one is! You can even set the Pacer Dial, which ticks off beats to keep you marching up to speed. The counter automatically pauses when you stop and restarts when you move again. It will cost you $1.99.

Fitnotes: This App lets you do what you do and simply offering to keep a log of it. It’s a free app that features no advertising, includes an exercise database to help you properly categorize your workouts, a workout log so you can keep track of what you’re doing, and you can create custom routines and workouts tailored to yourself. It’s a must have app if you go to the gym or participate in DIY fitness.

Endomondo: This App is considered one of the best of the best when it comes to fitness apps.  It acts like an electronic coach, allowing users to set goals and giving feedback in real-time during a variety of exercises. The app keeps a history of your recorded and manually logged workouts, and offers user-made routes for runners, walkers and bikers. Like many fitness apps, Endomondo offers a social networking feature that unfortunately has no privacy button yet.  The in app purchases is actually a $2.50/month subscription service. With that you can create a personal training plan, analyze heart rate, get rid of ads, and several more features. It’s extremely popular, highly rated, and there’s a website so you can keep tracking stuff on your computer.

Workout Trainer: This App has been recommended by virtually everyone. It’s very popular and aims to be an all-in-one solution. You can customize workouts, view instructional videos on how to do exercises, and follow along to workouts. There is also a social aspect that you can include yourself in if you want to. The premium version includes HD exercise videos, access to custom training programs, weekly workout challenges, and more. It costs $6.99 per month with the only downside is you don’t get any price breaks for buying the premium version for several months at a time.

Hot5 Fitness: This offers high quality step-by-step workouts led by the top trainers in the industry. From abs and core to yoga and flexibility and everything in between. Hot5 contains tons of pages of 5-minute video workouts of every variety and difficulty level. Whether you’re looking for a quick 5-minute core blasting after a long run or a full 45-minute yoga session in your hotel room, this app offers something for everyone. It is incredibly simple to use with a beautifully designed and user-friendly interface. Even the least tech savvy person will be able to navigate this app in no time. Best part? No WiFi needed! You can literally do it anywhere.

Fitocracy: This App enables you to work with trainers to reach your fitness goals, as well as stay motivated by joining the Fitocracy community. It claims to make exercise fun by not only allowing you to track any workout, but also earn points, unlock achievements and beat quests. You can use the free workouts provided by the app or you can create your own and you’ll also be able to rearrange workouts, add supersets and circuits or save routines. The Fitocracy community feature means you can follow other “Fitocrats” for daily inspiration or conversation, as well as support but there is also plenty of competition if you need that to motivate you.

Cody: It’s like Facebook for fitness. Cody offers users inside connections to a fitness community where they can share and complete workouts by following new and old friends. This app allows people to track their own progress through a timeline and other users can like and comment on your daily workout activity.

Handstand: If you are in the Los Angeles area, this app is like Uber for personal training services.  Very convenient to have a trainer come to you within a moments notice!  

Yoga Apps:

Pocket Yoga: Great App if you are just getting into yoga. There are over 200 poses along with animations and voice instructions to show (and tell) you how to do them. Cost is $2.99.

Yoga Studio: This yoga app is great to take your practice anywhere. There are over 16 hours of ready-made classes for any level. Classes range from 15 to 60 minutes and offer modifications if you need them. It’s one of the best ways to keep practicing when you can’t make it to a yoga studio.

Running Apps:

RunKeeper: Frequently compared to Nike+, this App offers a tracking system to runners, cyclists, hikers and skiers alike (Nike+ is only for runners). The app uses GPS technology to track your route and speed, and automatically uploads your data to the RunKeeper website (runkeeper.com) after your workout. You can log in to view a history of all your activities, see the exact paths you’ve traveled (including elevation!) and share your progress with a built-in option to post to Facebook or Twitter. A free version and a $9.99 Pro version that shouts updates at five-minute intervals through your headphones.

Runtastic: This App will track runs, jogs, bike rides and walking using GPS to map your workouts in real time. The app will calculate your time, distance, pace, elevation change and calories, among other things and it features a personal training diary to help you monitor your progress. You can compete against yourself by challenging a past activity and there is also a voice coach to provide you with audio feedback based on your personal preferences such as per mile or at certain time. An integrated music player allows you to listen to your favorite songs and you can optimize training goals by selecting your heart rate zone, calorie goal or pace goal. You can also manually enter workouts such as spinning, weight lifting and CrossFit and there are a range of other apps in the Runtastic range dedicated to different sports. There is a free version and a Pro costing $4.99.

C25K: This App is perfect for the beginner runner. It will take you to no mileage to a 5K in a 9 week program. It has MyFitnessPal integration, allows you to create music playlists to workout to, and various tracking features for when you go out running. The App also includes zero to 10K, 5K to 10K, and half marathon training programs to follow as audio coach prompts you along. Cost is $2.99.

Map My Fitness:  If you’re looking for one, all-inclusive app that will take on all your fitness-related tasks, this is it. There is a free version of the app, and also a $5.99-per-month version and a $29.99-per-year subscription that will buy you perks like audio coaching and customizable splits. But for the typical exerciser,the basic package should cover your bases.  It’s fundamentally a workout tracker, allowing you to either manually log the time you spend exercising and what you do (choices range from firefighting to yoga to mowing the lawn), or to use the phone’s built-in GPS to record distance and time during a run, walk or bike ride. One feature that elevates MapMyFitness above other workout trackers is its “Routes” option — simply click “My Routes” to see maps of your usual walks and jogs, or try “Nearby” for popular exercise routes near you. The Nearby option is a great, easy way to get yourself out of a running rut. This app also features a diet-tracking tool and can be linked with the motion chip in the iPhone (from version 5s and on), turning it into a pedometer.   It can be synced with external devices such as Fitbits or heart rate monitorsfor more accurate motion-tracking. 

5K Runner: Get in shape in 8 weeks with the official 5K Runner 0 to 5K program. Only 30 minutes, 3 times a week for 8 weeks and you will run a 5K. Features interval segments, human coach voice that tells you when to run or walk, compatible with Nike and all GPS Apps, you can listen to music as voice combines with it, integrated with Twitter and Facebook. Great for weight loss, learning to run and it’s easy to use. Cost $2.99

And now for all those health junkie gadgets you see many people wearing in order to count their 10,000 steps or monitor their heart rate or graph your sleeping patterns or even tell you that you are sitting way to long!

Jawbone UP Move: It is extremely adept when it comes to sports. A tap of the button will set it into a dedicated tracking mode, which you can later assign to a huge list of sports from running to yoga and Zumba. While not hugely insightful, tagging enables fitness fans to keep track of their workouts, and get better representations of their calorific burn in the Jawbone app, which is coincidentally one of the best in the business. Cost $50.00.  More expensive and very similar versions with a few more bells and whistles are Jawbone up24 and Jawbone Up3 costing up to $179.00.

Fitbit Charge HR: This gets a stay of execution as the leader in our best fitness tracker list. By using continuous heart rate monitoring the Fitbit Charge HR can offer more accurate feedback on your activity and calorifie burn than its rivals, and it comes in three handy sizes for different wrists. The OLED screen will show off your daily stats, as well as caller ID from your smartphone.  Cost $150.00.

FitBit Surge:  Again with the continuous heart rate, the Fitbit Surge is built for multi-sports. As well as the usual running and cycling, the Surge is also great for the gym, enabling you to track static cardio workouts that are the downfall of most movement-based trackers. Not only that, but the full OLED screen will display calls, texts and notifications in full, making this a true fitness super watch.  Cost $249.00.

Runtastic Orbit:  This is best for runners.  It’s an activity tracker, which uses built-in sensors to keep tabs on your steps, sleep and calories burned, like any other band. However, this band will pair up with the Runtastic App to display the information from your run, right on your wrist.   It’s a great expansion of the common activity tracker, which can be limited for runners and more prolific exercisers.

Finis Neptune:  In almost every sport, music can be a powerful motivation to run or cycle that extra mile but never to swim that extra lap, until now. Like Sportiiiis, the Finis Neptune is secured onto the user’s eyewear, in this case, swimming goggles. This device uses bone conduction audio to relay music to the user’s ears, without the need for ear buds.  The device also makes music louder and clearer when submerged underwater. It also comes with a built-in 4GB of storage space, a rechargeable battery that lasts 8 hours and an OLED screen with music controls.  Pretty cool, I’d say!  Cost is around $160.00.

Misfit Shine:  It’s a bracelet, a pendant, and can also fit in your pocket. The Misfit Shine is an activity tracker that lets you track your movements and activities to help you achieve goals.   Due to its design you can strap it on an arm and dive in for a lap with no worries – it is waterproof!  Check in on your progress by just tapping the LED-lit face. It also doubles as a watch and works on coin batteries which can last for months at a time. The Misfit Shine has some of the best sleep tracking in the business, providing excellent detail on your nightly deep, light and REM cycles. All importantly, the Shine automatically knows when you’re asleep so there’s no missed data, and the low profile means it’s comfortable to wear at night, maximizing its effectiveness.  Cost $100-120.00.  

Misfit Flash: This has the exact same tech as the more expensive Misfit Shine/Swarovski Shine, the plastic Flash tracks steps, sleep and swims extraordinarily well and comes in many colors to suit all tastes. However, it does lack a heart rate monitor and LED readout does not show step count.  Cost $50.00.

Basis Peak:  Continuous heart rate monitoring is a huge part of the fitness craze. The Basis Peak uses advanced technology to do it all accurately right from your wrist. The watch will auto-detect when you’re running and give you detailed heart rate information on your sessions into the web app, and enables you to monitor your vitals while you’re pounding the pavement. Lack of GPS is an issue, but the Basis Peak is still a strong companion.  Cost $199.00.

Sportiiiis:  Basically for cyclists.   Checking on your stats while you cycle is not only a hassle,  but may also be dangeruos. Track your heart rate safely and accurately with Sportiiiis. The simple Head-Up Display (HUD) has 6 LED to indicate your heart rate. Cyclists can mount it on their sunglasses and receive their stats via voice prompts which relay your speed, heart rate, cadence and power.  The company does sell its own line of monitors that work together with this, but it is also compatible with products from other manufacturers. Cost $150.00.

HAPIfork:  Many are challenged with proper portion control and need a little help. HAPIfork is a gadget that can help you reduce your eating pace. The sensors notify you through tiny vibrations when you’re ‘speeding’. It can also track your eating duration, the amount and intervals of ‘fork servings’ per minute.  All your data can be tracked with the accompanying app and transferred with a mini USB. The ‘brain’ of the HAPIfork is hidden in the body but can be removed for safe washing. Cost $99.

Fitbit Aria: Here’s a high tech weighing scale ideal for weight watchers.  This can track the body fat percentage and Body Mass Index (BMI) of up to 8 users, then transfer the data wirelessly to your computer for your progress management.  The data it collects is supported and works well together with many other Apps. It will sync to your smartphone to notify you when you have achieved a fitness goal. Earn achievement badges to share with your friends.  Cost $130.00.

Trace:  This fitness tracker is for the extreme sports enthusiast.  It’s an advanced tracker for action sports like surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding.  Trace is built for action sports and meant to be mounted on the board from where it would log in the tricks you’ve landed, your speed, maximum height and sync all of the data with a smartphone App. The App is also social, allowing one to see what fellow enthusiasts are up to. Costs $170.00.

Amiigo Fitness Bracelet:  Amiigo tries to separate itself from the fitness bracelet competition by having the ability to track specific workouts that you perform. It’s a 2-in-1 device, one worn on your wrist and the other on your shoe to capture your upper and lower body movements.  The two-piece gadget can differentiate your movements: cycle, swim, walk, hike, play basketball, football, golf, water sports, even working with weights or cardio equipment.  It syncs over Bluetooth and is an open source,  so 3rd party developers can create Apps to work with it. Cost $125.00.

Sensoria Smart Sock:  This is designed for runners.  This smart sock is worn and gets feedback from our ankles, yes, ankles because that’s where the pressure signals to this fitness tracker are. It tells you how well you’ve been running and how to improve your performance over time. Even though it has signals or sensors in the sock, it’s still washable and as comfortable as the next pair of conventional socks.  The app learns from your daily movements and acts like a virtual coach, providing you tips on how fast your pace should be or how to land your feet correctly.  Cost $119.oo.

Finally, It is a commitment, a discipline and a lifestyle. It’s not about the apps, the gadgets, the monitors and all the tech that’s out there available at our finger tips… It’s about making the choice to live healthy, to live happily, to live with making choices that allow you to be the best you, you can be!  Be happy.  Be healthy.

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