I was kind of late to the world of Smartphones, especially for a journalism major. But this May when I got an iPhone, I was quick to catch up. Immediately I dove into the world of apps, and after Facebook and Twitter, I naturally began searching for health and fitness apps.
After several months of experimenting and testing out several apps from all kinds of sources, it’s clear what fitness apps are my favorites.
FOR RUNNING: Nike+GPS is by far the coolest app for running. I really just wanted something to tell me how far I’ve run and also play my music. This app goes beyond that. It maps my route, alerts me my pace and time at every mile, and allows distance/time goal setting. A friendly voice quiets your music to announce your pace and, if you set a distance or time goal, the progress you’ve made and how far you have left to go. Also, if you sync the app with Facebook, the app automatically posts to your wall when you start a run, and when friends like or comment the post, you hear applause through your headphones as you run along. It never fails to put a smile on my face! And, at the completion of your run, the voice of a professional athlete lets you know if you set a new personal best time or ran more miles than last week.
FOR THE GYM: Nike Training Club has provided the best workouts for my gym routine. You can choose from a variety of categories like cardio drills, light weights, and target area workouts. You can also choose your intensity level, beginner, intermediate or advanced. There are hundreds of options to choose from, and every routine leaves me feeling it the next day. Each workout includes a warm up and cool down, and lasts between 30 and 45 minutes. You can pause the workout at any time to watch a move be demonstrated, and recovery periods are built in. A trainer talks you through each step, reminding you of proper form and spouting encouraging words every so often. The app plays with your music and is very easy to use.
The only flaw I have found is the target area workouts. There is only one routine for each target area, and I would prefer more options. The full body workouts never disappoint, however.
FOR BIKING: Once again, I was really just searching for a way to track my distance and pace. iMapMyFitness allows you to do that, track your progress, map your route and listen to music, too. It’s similar to Nike+GPS, but allows you to choose between a run, walk, bike, swim, hike, sport, or gym workout. It is a comprehensive wellness app that even has a calorie tracker component.
FOR GROCERY SHOPPING: One of the most exciting finds was Fooducate, an app that you can use to scan the bar code of products, get a nutrition analysis and grade of the product, and compare it to similar products on the shelf. It’s the best thing that ever happened to grocery shopping! Now, when I’m faced with a decision between two boxes of whole grain pasta, I simply scan their bar codes and compare the two to see what’s better. The grade is based on other foods in the same category (i.e. juice, granola bars, pasta) and points out vitamin and mineral content. It offers alternative products with better grades and other product details. You can like products and share them by email.
What’s your favorite app? Got any good apps for ab workouts? Let me know what I should try!