The Best Apps for a Fit Life

By Andrea Tritschler

Let’s face it; we are powerless to our cell phones. We use them for everything. Sometimes it’s to update our status or send a tweet, other times it’s to answer emails, and even check our bank statements. So why not use your smart phone for something that benefits your health. After reviewing a variety of apps, these are the best in fitness, weight loss, and well-being.

Fitness

Sworkit
Available for iPhone and Android, Sworkit provides randomized circuit training workouts. This app is great because it has a wide variety of exercises available and you can choose between strength training, yoga, and cardio. It allows for complete control over your workout by giving you the option to choose what you want to focus on and the duration of your workout. There are photos and videos to demonstrate the moves and a timer that goes off when each circuit is to be completed. You can also create a custom workout just for you, and best of all, it’s free.

Gym Pact
This app is unique because it’s unlike any other; it works by incentivizing you to stick to your gym routine. To begin, you pledge the number of times you are planning to go the gym (at least once a week). Then you put your money where your mouth is. If you don’t meet your pledge, then you have to pay up. If you meet your pledge, you get money in the bank paid by those slackers who didn’t do so well that week. The only drawback is that you might pledge a lower number to get your reward, but even is a little is better than nothing. Available free for iPhone and Android.

Gorilla Workout
This app has over 40 exercises, all of which use your own body weight. The exercises combine cardio and strength training for maximum results. This app is fun because there are different levels. You start at the lowest level and work your way up, which makes it feel like a game and we all like working out to be fun. There are video instructions to be sure you are doing it right. The only downside is that it’s a paid app. The cost is $1 and is available only for iPhone, iPad, and iTouch.

Weight Loss

My Fitness Pal
We’ve all heard that counting calories and food journaling can be a good tool to help with weight loss and healthy eating. MyFitnessPal is an online food and exercise journal. You enter your weight and height and your weight loss goals (how much you want to lose each week). Registered dietitian and personal trainer Nicole Fasules said she likes this app because it’s the simplest to use and easiest to access as a practitioner. In addition, it has different privacy levels. You can use the journal privately or as part of a community. It comes complete with a huge database of brand name and generic foods as well as some restaurants. It’s available for free on Android and iPhone.

Calorie King
This is an online database of foods and their calorie counts. It has pretty much every restaurant, fast food, and food chain menu organized into easy to find categories as well as a huge catalog of brand name food items. It’s great if you are on the go and need to know calorie information fast. Fasules likes it because it’s a website as well as an app, so you aren’t limited to your phone or tablet.

Happy Scale
A free iPhone app that keeps track of your weight fluctuations, Happy Scale logs your weight every time you enter and calculates the amount gained or lost. It’s great if you are trying to maintain a weight or lose some. Your body will have some natural fluctuations, so it’s important to weigh yourself in the morning before eating anything so the app can more accurately reflect your true weight.

Well-Being

iYoga Plus
This app is great because you get eight 15 to 30 minute yoga lessons as well as over 50 videos of different yoga positions for free. It also provides a detailed description for each position and the benefits it can have on your body and your health. Available for iOS downloads.

Relax +
Mental health is an important part of being healthy and exercises for breathing, meditation and relaxation can help bring clarity of mind and decrease stress and anxiety according to physician Cathy Traugh. Relax + is a free app that lets you choose the length of your meditation and uses a mix of music and a voice track. You can choose different therapy topics for a small fee and choose to conclude with awaken or sleep. Available for free download on iOS devices.

Sleep Studio+
A free app to help you sleep better by using soothing sounds and images. Traugh said that it’s important to relax before sleep and not to watch TV, work or eat too close to bedtime. The app also lets you wake up to the sound of sweet meadows or waterfalls with an alarm setting. Available for download on iOS 5.0.

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Categories: Your Fitness, Your Lifestyle

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