They can take pictures, talk back to us, morph into a scrabble board, live video chat a la Back To The Future Part II…is there anything our phones cannot do? Maybe they can’t exercise for us, but they can sure come pretty close. Here are some top fitness-related apps for your smartphone to help you along your path to fitness excellence. Not into spending the extra cash? For each category of apps, we’ve included one that gives you a little more bang for your buck, as well as a free counterpart you can check out.
Put me in, coach, I’m ready to play!
Take the i-Train
Buy: Daily Burn (1 month subscription: 9.99; 1yr: 69.99; 6 Mo: 44.99) – This is like the Mercedes Benz of the “trainer app” selection. Daily Burn personalizes your workouts based on your fitness goals, schedule and workout personality. Six positive and down-to-earth trainers help you mix it up, taking the classic “fitness video” concept and adding the specificity of a personal trainer. You can also track every step of your progress, right down to the Before/After photo!
Try: Fitness Pro (free) – While there’s no video component, this app is a pretty stellar option for a brown-bagged workout routine. Their database lists over 450 exercises categorized by body part (with how-to pics to ensure good form) and not only gives you the option of puzzle-piecing together your own routine, but includes some awesome pre-made routines for those who need a bit more structure. Favorite component? The drawing of the human anatomy – touch a muscle, and it will give you its definition, function and the best exercises to tagged it.
Buy: Tabata Pro Tabata Timer (2.99) - Tabata intervals are touted as one of the most effective ways to train in the least amount of time. This app is used by the pros for their classes, clients, and their own personal workouts. You get to customize your time settings, your number of cycles, number of tabatas, and includes a speaking coach if you need that extra push to the end.
Try: Tabata-Timer (free) – Tabata-Timer, while not customizable, sticks to the tried-and-true classic tabata structure of 8 sets of work, 20 seconds as hard as you can go followed by 10 seconds of recovery. For those who simply want a no-frills guide through their hardcore workout, this app is for you!
Buy: Nike+ GPS (1.99) – Nike+ has got it goin’ on. Not only does it log your run, pace, route, etc, it allows you to create running goals, join challenges, earn badges (nothing like a little extra bragging rights incentive), choose a “Power Song”… the possibilities are endless! We love how you can check in with yourself mid-run to get feedback on how you’re doing. Your Nike+ account can be synced with Facebook – and the coolest part is that you can activate the “Cheer Me On” component to get real-time motivation from anyone who comments on your profile update!
Try: iMapMyRUN (free) – If you are looking for an easy-to-use app to record your runs and routes, download iMapMyRUN asap. It uses the GPS on your phone to log and save your routes, which makes it simple to repeat the workout and break your own records.
Abs Are Made In The Kitchen
Buy: My Net Diary Pro ($3.99) – Track your daily meals, workouts, water intake, supplements and much more. Based on your current weight, target weight and body profile (height, age, etc), the app calculates your daily caloric needs to reach your goals and includes a database of over 300,000 foods to help you log your intake. The best two bells-and-whistles? The bar code scanner and the measurement tracker – as it is not only important to see WHERE you are holding your weight, but recognize that the scale is not the most effective way to measure fat loss. One pound of fat takes up 2-3 timess more space than one pound of muscle! If you are losing inches but the scale won’t budge, that is awesome. You’re losing fat and gaining muscle!!
Try: MyFitnessPal (free) – The database is stocked full and super easy to use – 1,547,000 items and growing every day? Yes, please! Add your own foods and recipes if they are not included. You can track your progress with the handy graph and create a diet profile specific to your unique goals. Plus, there’s an option to find friends and support if you need that little extra bit of motivation.
Sleep It Off
Buy: Sleep (Red Hammer Software version – $0.99) – Sleep is THE most underestimated component of overall health and fitness. How many times have you sat in bed wasting time on Pintrest until 2am simply because counting sheep won’t cut it? This app gives you a plethora of soothing sounds to lull you to sleep. Ocean waves? Check! Crickets? Sure! And for those who jump ten feet in the air when an alarm blares them awake, the Wakeup Timer ensures your mornings are as soothing as your evenings.
Try: Sleepmaker (free) – I like the sound of rain. That is all I need to fall asleep. Period. You set the amount of time, the intensity and location of the rain (ie. “gentle constant fall” or “heavy rain against windows”), and BAM. Snoozeville. No sheep necessary.