Let me be the first to admit that my phone is glued to my hand. Yes. It is. Not only is it how we communicate with….well the world but it is also our pen and paper, in pocket camera, newsreel, and gaming hub. It has also been my best asset in tracking my personal health and fitness (then and now…and then again?).
When I first started writing down what I ate, I only focused on what was going in my mouth. No numbers, no calories, very general quantities like 6 Pringles chips. (Hey! My goal was portion control not to go cold turkey.) Eventually, I graduated to a deeper way of tracking my food intake and progress. I now have a folder full of apps to help me reach my health goals but I am consistently going to the three that I am going to highlight today.
ENTER AMAZING HEALTH APPS!
My Fitness Pal (Free App – option to go premium)
I’ve been using My Fitness Pal since January of 2011. My Fitness Pal is an app that helps track your diet and exercise to help you reach your health goals.
How does it work?
When you first set up your account, it will ask you about your goals – do you want to lose weight gain weight, what is your current activity level, how much weight do you want to lose per week. Based on the information you input, it provides you with your daily calorie goal.
—>For you numbers people, you can upgrade to premium and set your goals for macros, see you calorie goals by meal, and go even deeper into fat, protein, vitamin and mineral goals.
As you enter your meals, it calculates how many calories you have left in the bucket. As you workout it adds those calories back into your bucket. The key is to remember *CALORIES OUT > CALORIES IN* for weight loss. So don’t go crazy with those calories being added back.
My Favorite Features
I am a visual learner so having charts to see your progress in weight, measurements, steps, etc is ideal! Seeing the overall weight graph from 2011 to 2017 (what a roller coaster!) is motivation to continue pushing forward like I am in competition with myself to get that graph back down to my goal weight!
On the Web
On their website, you can find a whole other world of free resources. You can log both meals and exercise, download your reports/summaries, get tips from their experts on their blog and meet others in the community who are going through the same challenges you are.
I also love cheering on my friends as they finish their daily entries, workouts and check in with their weight loss!
Find me on the app @tyousaf
A Fitbit an activity tracker worn around the wrist or clipped to your clothing that monitors your daily steps in an app on your phone. Pretty nifty. But wait. It does so much more…(cue info-mercial!)
On the Device
- Date and Time
- Step Counter – set daily and weekly goals
- Heart Rate Monitor
- Distance Tracker
- Calories Burned
- Stair Climbing
On the App
- Sleep Monitor – broken down by the hours you slept and when you were awake at night (I’ve learned I am a restless sleeper)
- Detailed Meal Tracker – set your weight loss goals and it helps you figure out the calories you need, and with food entries it tells you what is left in your calorie bucket for the day
- Water Intake Tracker – I should use this feature more
- How long you were active each day
- Community – general, friends and messaging capabilities
Because I have been using my fitness pal for so many years – my measurements, and food diary are all in there BUT I love that I can link my Fitbit to my My Fitness Pal account and my steps are automatically synced and my food intake is synced from my fitness pal to my fitbit.
On the Web
Fitbit also has an online community, and allows you to log your food and workouts via the app or on their website. I LOVE participating in weekly challenges like the workweek hustle with friends (the person with the most steps at the end of the workweek wins the challenge along with bragging rights!).
10K Trainer – Couch to 10K Training by ZenLabs (Free; premium option)
This is my newest app-session. (See what I did there?).
Let me make this clear….I hate running. I hate running. I hate running.
This app has made it doable. Actually so far its made it incredibly easy!
“This proven 14 week plan will allow users to slowly build strength and stamina by alternating between walking and running. The blend of walking and running together reduces the overall impact and risk of injury, makes training more fun, keeps your body guessing, and prepares you to go the distance. By the end of the program, you will be fitter, stronger and healthier than you have ever been and will be able to run a full 10k!” – Zen Labs
The whole premise behind this app is to get you off the couch and running in a 10K in 14 weeks. (BAHAHAHA! Me? in a 10K….please). I like this app because it starts you slow and easy. It gives you a walking/running plan for each day. The first few days it’s only a 30 minute workout alternating between walking and running for set intervals of time. I have just started it and I am doing 90 seconds at a brisk walk and 30 seconds of all out running. They have a nice little coach on there who alerts you when it’s time to start, stop, adjust speed or cool down. You can also listen to your own music straight from the app.
You don’t have to be on the treadmill to use it. For you outside runners (overachievers…just kidding), you can hit start on your workout, lock your phone and put it in your pocket or arm strap. Listen for the alerts so you know when its time to run or walk.
This one looks like a keeper!
So those are my favorite health apps right now.
I know there are A LOT of other apps out there. I would love to hear about your favorites in the comments section below!