Smartphones and wearable fitness tracking devices have become tremendously popular fitness tools in recent years, and according to iDrop News, various companies across the United States have even begun to provide Apple Watches to their employees because of the immense health benefits these devices offer. Thanks to the multitude of apps available it’s now easier than ever to reach your goals, and more importantly, stay on course when you feel like throwing in the towel.
Perhaps you’re looking to cut back on the calories, stay active, and track your every movement throughout the day, or perhaps you just need a little bit of encouragement, motivation, and expert guidance on how to ensure you’re looking and feeling your absolute best by the time summer rolls around.
Well, whatever your personal goals may be, there exists a number of useful and intuitive apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices to help you reach them. Check out our top five personal favorite apps to help you get inspired, get out, and get active this year.
1. Charity Miles (for iOS and Android)
What could be better than staying in shape while also supporting a good cause? It’s a win-win scenario, honestly! And that’s exactly why Charity Miles was created.
With Charity Miles you can select your favorite charity from a list within the app, hit the road, and be assured by the fact that various corporate sponsors will donate a few cents for every mile you run, walk, cycle, or sprint. Remember: The more you move, the more you earn for the charity of your choice. This is a great incentive to get up and go, knowing that you’re doing so not only for your health, but for a great cause, too!
2. Fitbit (for iOS, Android, and Web)
FREE or $49.99/year for premium (requires a Fitbit fitness tracker)
Okay, so you don't really need a Fitbit fitness tracker to use the mobile app. However, without a tracker, the Fitbit app will only count your steps, help you track the calories you’ve consumed, track your weight, and record relative health information — such as blood pressure and glucose levels, which is enough for most people.
But, by purchasing a Fitbit fitness tracker ($50-$200 on Amazon), the app becomes even more advanced — a full-fledged, fitness-tracking powerhouse, which can automatically track and statistically correlate almost every conceivable aspect of your health and exercise activity, day in and day out.
3. The Johnson & Johnson Official 7-Minute Workout (for iOS and Android)
Look, we get it — life gets hectic sometimes, right? It’s hard to squeeze in a full-blown, 45-minute workout every morning. But guess what? The good folks at Johnson & Johnson apparently get that too, which is why they’ve introduced their self-branded “Official 7-Minute Workout App,” which allows you to squeeze some quick and effective exercises into your otherwise busy day.
Best of all, the app’s user interface is super easy-to-use and straight-to-the-point. The only things you’ll need are a chair, seven minutes or so, and a positive attitude. Some of the available exercises include jumping jacks, push-ups, high-knees, running in place, crunches, tricep dips, and a lot more. Overall, it’s a great app for people of all ability levels, regardless of how busy the day might be.
4. Lose It! (for iOS, Android, and Web)
Lose It! has been around for years, and it's an essential app to help you determine and manage your daily number of calories burned and consumed. The app was originally created because, quite honestly, calories are the number one thing health and fitness junkies should be keeping track of in order to manage their weight and realize their personal health and fitness goals.
Eat too much and exercise too little? Well, chances are you just might pack on a few extra pounds. Exercise a lot and consume healthy, low-calorie foods? You could very well be on track to shed that unwanted muffin top in no time at all. And, best of all, Lose It! takes care of all the number-crunching for you, while providing you access to an encouraging community of other like-minded and supportive users to help you reach your goals.
Lose It! also works with a plethora of fitness tracking bands — such as the Apple Watch, Nike+ FuelBand, Fitbit bands, Jawbone UP, and many more — so you can easily import your daily caloric intake and seamlessly balance it against your expenditure.
5. MyFitnessPal (for iOS, Android, and Web)
It’s sad and true, unfortunately, we live in a world of lustful temptation, often seeking out instant gratification through a multitude of fleeting pleasures, and hoping to maximize convenience above all else. Yet it’s these exact “shortcuts” we often try to exploit that have the greatest, negative impact on our diet and health. Fortunately, however, there is a lasting hope in the form of “MyFitnessPal.”
This awesome, helpful, and user friendly utility is a web-based mobile app that gives you exclusive access to a wealth of tools — such as the ability to keep track of what and how much you eat, or how many calories you burn through activity. Best of all, though, MyFitnessPal comes pre-loaded with by far the most extensive database of foods and drinks the world over — allowing you to watch and manage, in intricate detail, what you eat no matter where you are.