Looking to Get Fit? There's An App for That!

05.29.2012 / Blog Posts Health and Wellness

Becky Johnson, Certified Personal Trainer (ACE); IBNFC Certified Nutrition Coach

It seems like there's a mobile app for just about everything now - so why not use them to help you get fit!

Apps are a fast and convenient way to keep track of calorie consumption and exercise. We all carry our phones everywhere we go, so having fitness apps loaded on them makes it even easier to keep ourselves in check. I use an app to keep me honest with my calories because portions can get out of control very easily. I have listed a few of my favorite apps that I encourage you to try out. All of the following apps listed below are free, so you have nothing to lose (but a few of those extra pounds)!

Lose It

I have recommended this app to many of my clients because it is very user friendly. Lose it is easy to navigate and you can see your whole day on one screen. You can view calories and nutrients by day, week or month. You can add your own custom foods or search the comprehensive database for just about anything you eat including restaurant food. The app lets you easily add previous meals so you don’t have to keep entering each item every time you track it. Lose it also has a scanning feature for barcodes on food packages to help, and it stores information into your favorite foods list to make it easy to find.

Nike Training Club

Are you looking forward to the Olympics this summer? Olympian gymnast Shawn Johnson, along with a few other Nike women, help you get in shape with this virtual bootcamp app. You chose your focus of the day- cardio, toning, body building-and specify your level (beginner, intermediate or advanced) and Nike offers a menu of over 85 workouts. Some are 30-45 minutes and several are 15 minute routines focusing on specific strength training or cardio drills for those days you are short on time. Audio guidance tells you when it’s time to go from one exercise to the next. You can even access video clips of each move as they are cued. The exercises use standard equipment such as weights or a medicine ball.

Map My Run

Map my run is ideal for runners who like data about their performance and has the latest features, plus it's very user-friendly. Their accompanying website is easy to navigate also. Not only does it let you toggle between your map and your stats, you can connect to Facebook and Twitter. Two aspects I really like about this app is the way I can access routes already logged by previous runners in my area. So if I’m tired of my same old course, Map My Run will give me different options and distances in my location. Cool! You can choose a create-your-own route and the newest version of the app also comes with a voice feature that lets you know how far you have gone.

My Fitness Pal

This is probably one of the more popular mobile apps for calories and activity tracking. After entering your target weight, you can monitor your calorie and activity by using a data base of over 1 million foods and more than 350 types of exercise. After each entry, the app recalculates calories remaining to keep you on track. You also get graphs charting pounds lost and nutrient intake. The new version of the app has a scanner so you can scan a barcode of the item you want to track. Your daily calories and activity are all in one spot and it really helps you see the basic side of weight loss-calories in and calories out.

According to some studies, people who journal their food and exercise tend to lose twice as much weight as those who don’t. We usually under-estimate calorie consumption which could lead you completely off your road to weight loss. By keeping track, you become more aware of eating patterns whether they are negative (emotional) or positive and as you are losing weight, it helps keep you motivated.

I would love to hear about some of the apps you use to keep in shape!

Stay Fit and Healthy,

What's YOUR favorite fitness app? Tell us below!

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