10 Health & Fitness Mobile Apps to Start Using During the Holidays
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The holidays are here, and we get to relish in the season of gift giving, prepping for a new year and eating and drinking holiday treats.
The holidays may bring a welcome respite from the daily chaos of life, but many people use this time of year as an excuse to let healthy eating habits and exercise fall to the wayside. We promise ourselves from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Eve that we’ll get back on track in January. Even though we may be in the “unofficial” weight gain season, there are steps we can take to avoid packing on the pounds as we head into 2012.
Those steps include using some of your favorite tech toys. If you’re a technology aficionado with a smartphone, then you’re in luck. There are several free or low-cost health and fitness apps available in the Android Market and/or Apple App Store that will help you stay focused on eating right and exercising – not only through the holidays, but all year long. Here are 10 suggestions:
- Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitness Pal – Free. Available on Apple and Android devices. With the largest food database of any calorie counter (more than 1.1 million foods), this app promises amazingly fast food and exercise entry that will help you shed the pounds. Developers even make the claim that it’s the best diet app – period.
- Nike Training Club – Free. Available on Apple devices. No need to pay big bucks for a personal trainer thanks to this free app. Inspired by world-class athletes and developed by Nike professional trainers, it offers more than 60 custom-built workouts.
- Fooducate – Free. Available on Apple and Android devices. This app won the Appstore 2011 best of the iPhone Health & Fitness category. It lets you scan and choose healthy groceries, see product highlights, compare products and select healthier alternatives.
- iMapMyRUN – Free. Available on Apple and Android devices. The app description says it’s simple to use for all ages and ability levels, so no need to be a marathon runner! This app lets you track and log runs and workouts. Voice prompts give you updates on your progress during your workout.
- Weight Watchers Mobile – Free. Available on Apple and Android devices. If you’re already using Weight Watchers or plan to in the future, this app provides the convenience of connecting to Weight Watchers wherever you go. Subscribers to Weight Watchers Online and eTools get access to the full suite of weight-loss tools included with their subscription. It’s also fully compatible with the PointsPlus program.
- Fitness Buddy – $0.99. Available on Apple devices. This app boasts more than 1,000 unique exercises. It aims to help you find the workout tracking process simple and easy so you can sustain motivation and enforce your commitment to your fitness goals.
- Couch-to-5K – $1.99. Available on Apple and Android devices. This app has helped thousands of new runners get off the couch and train for a 5K. It requires only 20 – 30 minutes, three times a week, for nine weeks. Then you’ll be prepped to run 3.1 miles. The developers say the C25K training program is perfect for beginner runners or anyone looking to get or stay in shape.
- Lose it! – Free. Available on Apple and Android devices. This app lets you set goals and establish a daily calorie budget that enables you to meet those goals. You can record your food and exercise and stay within a set budget. The average active Lose it! user has lost more than 12 pounds, and more than 85 percent of active users have lost weight.
- Daily Ab Workout – $0.99. Available on Apple and Android devices. If you want to focus on achieving killer abs, this app focuses on strengthening and toning your tummy in just five or 10 minutes a day. It takes you through 30 ab-sculpting exercises you can do in your home.
- Pocket Yoga – $2.99. Available on Apple and Android devices. This app gives you a personal yoga instructor. You can keep up with your yoga practice at your own pace and in the comfort of your home.
As an added bonus to the above apps, there’s a new device called MOTOACTV that is a GPS fitness tracker and smart music player combined into a small, wearable device that will help you get and stay fit. It’s like having a personal trainer and DJ with you while you run, bike or walk.
And, if you’re the type of person who prefers to do your cardio outdoors, Michigan has plenty of beautiful parks and trails where you can use your fitness apps and devices during the winter. Some good options include Waterloo Recreation Area, Hines Park, Hawk Island County Park, Kent Trails and Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.
Do you use other health and fitness mobile apps to stay in shape? If you have a favorite Michigan outdoor location where you go to get your fitness fix, share it in the comments.
Photo Credit: Ricky Romero