I have definitely come to notice that everyone seems to be addicted to his or her phones. I’ll admit that I, along with likely everyone else in my age bracket, am no exception to this rule. Maybe there’s a good reason it’s impossible to peel our eyes away from our tiny little screens. I rely heavily on my phone to help me navigate the overwhelming task of staying healthy and fit. If it weren’t for my top five favorite apps listed below, I don’t think I ever could have achieved my fitness goals. If you’re looking for some inspiration towards losing weight, starting to run, or just living an overall healthier lifestyle, then you might want to give these 5 free apps for iPhone and Android a look. I know these reliable apps have served me very well for several years, and I would recommend them to anyone who wants to live a healthier lifestyle.
There are a million wonderful things that I can say about this food, weight, and exercise tracker. If you want to lose weight, then look no further than MyFitnessPal. You enter in your goal weight and the timeframe that you want to lose it in, and it will calculate a daily calorie and exercise goal to help you get there. Then, you track your food using a super easy bar code scanner or the practically endless included database. MyFitnessPal not only tracks your calories, but you can look at daily breakdowns of macronutrient and micronutrient intake. Don’t think you’re hitting your DRIs (that’s daily recommended intake) for calcium, iron, fiber, etc.? Take a look at your daily reports to see where you’re lacking. But, most importantly, this app WORKS. I have personally been successful losing weight with MyFitnessPal, unlike with other weight loss apps. I don’t know what sets this one apart from the others, but I’ll take it and gladly pass it along.
I was NEVER a runner. I hated running. I was strictly against running because I thought I was horrible at it, and couldn’t run for more than 20 seconds without passing out, and then this app actually changed my life. About 6 months ago, my friends and I signed up for a 5K fun run, and we honestly really wanted to run it, so I downloaded Couch25K (that’s Couch to 5K, not Couch 25k), The program provides 3 run/walks per week for 8 weeks that slowly build you up to running for 30 minutes straight. TIP: if you do this program, don’t be afraid of that first day of straight running/no walking at week 5 day 3. If I can complete this program then anyone can.
I think this app is amazing. Like MyFitnessPal, it has the food tracking features, but the primary reason I use it is to figure out what to buy when I’m at the supermarket. This app also incorporates a barcode scanner to display information about any particular food item of your choosing, and assigns the product a grade (from F to A+) with a thorough explanation, plus better alternatives. Amazing.
4. Sleep Cycle
Research suggests that people who sleep more/have more restful sleep will lose weight more easily and are generally happier people (well OK, maybe not the second part but at least I feel that way about myself). Sleep cycle works by placing your phone under your pillow or somewhere in your bed, and then tracks your movements while you sleep. The idea is more restful sleep = a deeper REM cycle = improved health and mood. You can track daily behaviors like exercise, stress, and caffeine consumption, and Sleep Cycle will analyze which behaviors lead to better sleep. I just think this app is super cool and interesting.
There are many fitness-tracking apps out there, and while I use other popular apps like Nike+ with equal enthusiasm, I think MapMyFitness is the complete package. It tracks not just running, but other activities like cycling, hiking, board diving, hang gliding (what??), house work, snowshoeing, skydiving; really anything you could possibly want to do, it tracks. MapMyFitness will then generate a nice little calorie, speed, and elevation breakdown and syncs with MyFitnessPal (score!).
There are seriously millions of nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle apps out there at your fingertips, but I find that these solid 5 have been the most helpful for me. What are your favorite healthy lifestyle apps?