Via Men’s Fitness “Best Fitness & Nutrition Apps For iPhone”
Stop texting and start flexing. Apple’s drilled it into your head: There’s an app for everything. The expensive communication box (or MP3 player, if you have the iPod Touch) can make fart sounds, help you learn a new language and even turn your photos into cartoon stills. And it can help you get in shape or maintain a healthy lifestyle—for much cheaper than a personal trainer or nutritionist. Here are some of the best apps on the market right now:
Consolidate your workout journal and food diary into one (or start keeping them) with this handy tracker. Inputting data can get tedious but the food library is extensive and includes name-brands plus generic categories like fruit, coffee and chicken (broiled, oven roasted, etc.). 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.
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 to gastro-satisfaction.
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. Each tip is written on a sleek Post-it look-alike. Swipe the page or shake your device for a new tidbit.
Frequently compared to Nike+, this app, which is only compatible with the 3G or 3GS iPhones, finally 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 is also available but only the Pro shouts updates at five-minute intervals through your headphones.
The appropriately named C25K (Couch to 5k) app is perfect for those who are new to the jogging world. A nine-week regimen—at three days a week—guides you through 30-40-minute sessions, each designed to improve your endurance. The first week calls for 60 seconds of running followed by 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes plus a five-minute warm up and cool down. The second week increases to 90 seconds of running and two minutes of walking. Intensity continues to increase each week and an audio prompter tells you when it’s time to run or walk so you can focus on more important things.
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 aren’t equipped to work in pockets and purses—you normally have to carry them or holster them in nerdy belt straps—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.
Learn the ABCs of weight lifting with your new gym buddy. Like its for-cost brother ($4.99), this app has 280 exercises with animations and written instructions, 52 workout routines (adjustable for four levels of expertise) 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. Got flabby arms? Choose the body map menu, select the biceps option and you’ll be presented with more than 50 arm-toning moves.
The price may seem steep but this is the mother of all fitness apps. It’s got over 200 workouts, which can be picked automatically by the app’s technology to create the best session for you. It’s also loaded with over 2,0000 images and videos, five fitness timers, complete tracking capabilities, an arsenal of calculators and the ability to ask their exercise physiologist a personal question. The app can be upgraded for $4.99 a month, more than doubling the amount of the workouts, videos and accessory applications. The only thing this bundle of technology doesn’t do is perform liposuction.
A happy medium between the two above, this is 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. It’s got a few less bells and whistles than FitnessBuilder but you can spend the saved $8 on protein shakes.