5 Useful Health and Fitness Apps

Saad Rana Jul 15 2014
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Advancements in technology have given us the power to be increasingly productive, gather volumes of information in a matter of seconds, and improve the quality of our lives. The health sector has also benefitted immensely from this technological boom. Healthy lifestyles are now conveniently facilitated by smartly designed apps. Who needs a gym membership, personal trainer, or the services of a dietician, when technology has harnessed all three into handy apps?
Here, we discuss five apps that can improve your personal health and fitness level.

# 1: Runtastic

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Runtastic creates fitness logs for the activities and sports you choose to indulge in. Here’s a list of what you will encounter when you download the app:

  1. When you first open the app, it will ask you to login/sign up.
  2. Creating a login account enables you to have a profile in which you can monitor your statistics on the website and save your workouts.
  3. You will be asked to fill in basic information such as your name, age, gender, weight and height.
  4. The settings menu will allow you to edit your profile, change the units of weight, modify distance covered and temperature, connect to your social media accounts, and set your voice coach settings.
  5. The free version of Runtastic allows you to map your workouts in real time with built-in GPS. It also allows you to monitor your progress based on time, distance, pace, speed, and calories. It lets you record your daily workouts, set goals for time and distance, and receive motivational cheering through integrated voice feedback during your workouts. Runtastic tabulates daily, weekly and monthly performance statistics, and manually selects workouts for you.
  6. You can choose from up to 60 different sports and fitness activities including treadmill workouts, running outdoors, weightlifting, hiking, yoga, zumba, basketball, football and golf.
  7. The pro version (which comes at a price) includes all the features of the free version with the benefit of being ad free. For each fitness milestone achieved, the pro voice feedback offers motivational cheering, interval training guidelines, and coaching tips for further performance improvement.  Additional features include increasing the intensity of the workout, heart rate support, specific calorie goal setting and using feedback to reach this goal, receiving live weather and temperature updates, and incorporating songs and motivational stories during your workout. The pro version can also add training plans, if the user is willing to pay extra for them.
  8. Runtastic features supporting apps including a six pack app that monitors your ab workouts, a pedometer app to track your daily steps, apps for push-ups and sit-ups, and road biking and mountain biking apps.

# 2: Endomondo Sports Tracker

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The Endomondo Sports Tracker is similar in function to the Runtastic app in that it also records and monitors your fitness. The major difference lies in the number of options that are offered in each. Endomondo offers the following additional features for its fitness savvy users:

  1. Additional options in the settings menu
  2. You can change your workout settings (such as opting for low power mode, step counter, and a countdown mechanism).
  3. Notifications settings, location settings, and audio and accessory settings.
  4. Offers all the pro features of Runtastic as well as a challenges section where you can participate in different competitions and take up challenges with the rest of the Endomondo community around the world.
  5. Fitness tests to monitor your progress.

 

#3: Jefit: Workout and Fitness Tracker

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Jefit Workout and Fitness Tracker has over 1300 exercise routines that target every major muscle group in your body. Here’s what you can expect when you download the app:

  1. The app will ask you to register and create a profile to monitor and save your progress online.
  2. It lets you set routines for specific goals such as getting a six pack, losing weight, increasing strength, and building a lean body. It also includes cardio and yoga exercises.
  3. The pro version is ad free, and features maximum progress charts, total volume progress charts, individual logs for exercises, goals for specific exercises, cardio charts, and tracking.

#4: Noom Weight Loss Coach

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Remember how we always tell you to keep a food diary? Well with this app you can do just that. The following list will give you a fair idea about the Noom Weight Loss Coach:

  1. Start by creating an account.
  2. Then create a profile with information such as gender, age, weight, and height.
  3. Mention the target weight that you want to achieve.
  4. The purpose of the app is to log meals, determine the calorie intake throughout the day, and give you a daily calorie budget based on your weight loss goals.
  5. There are thousands of breakfast, lunch and dinner foods in the app’s database which can be added to your logs. These include morning, afternoon and evening snacks as well as the number of calories in each food item. It is possible that your chosen food item may not be present on the app, but the app will still give you an approximate calorie count based on similar items that are present in its database.
  6. There is a reward system in place: the more Noom tasks you complete, the more points you earn. You are then promoted to higher fitness levels.
  7. It also lets you keep a journal of exercises, and sends you notifications for scheduled workouts. When you lose weight, it lets you enter your new weight and monitors your progress. There is also a built in pedometer to monitor the number of steps you take daily.
  8. The pro version is ad free. Moreover it offers features such as recording of changes in body measurements, scheduling multiple exercises throughout the day, and saving frequent/favorite meals. The settings menu allows you to change your weight loss plan, track your exercises, record food based on meal type and timings, schedule reminders, save notifications, and connect with your social network accounts to share your progress.

#5: Daily Yoga – Better Lifestyle

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Do you want to burn fat, lose weight and get in shape? Or do you feel the need to relax and relieve stress? Yoga is the answer to both these questions. Yoga provides physical, mental and spiritual benefits for a healthy lifestyle. Let’s find out what this app has to offer:

  1. This app features videos based on yoga for beginners. It contains step-by-step guidelines for specific postures and breathing techniques. Yoga for specific goals such as weight loss and recovery from injuries are also included.
  2. While most videos are free, there are some videos that must be paid for. Yoga for beginners, specific postures, and deep breathing techniques are free of cost.
  3. It offers programs such as improving your flexibility, yoga during menstruation, and a 12-day beginner tour. These programs allow you to schedule times to perform them at your own convenience.
  4. Daily Yoga includes six free yoga music songs to facilitate your yoga practice. The music helps to improve focus, enhance self-consciousness and relieve discomfort.
  5. This app works best if you have a tablet or a large screen smart phone.

Let Health Apps Take The Wheel

All of these apps will improve your fitness and health in their own ways. Whether you opt for the free versions or pay extra for the pro features is entirely dependent upon your preferences. You could use one of the apps or a combination of two or more apps. The choice is yours. Of course, this list isn’t an exhaustive one. New apps are being created every day, so if you are aware of an exceptional fitness app, we’d love for you to share it with the HTV community. As always, stay healthy, stay fit and have fun!

Saad Rana

Saad Rana:

As a current dental student at Ziauddin University, Saad takes an interest in health, fitness and nutrition. He writes articles based on research through on-line publications as well as consulting various doctors and nutrition and fitness experts. When he's not writing for Health TV, you can find him studying, exercising or watching some of his favourite TV shows.