{Healthy & Fitness} There’s an App for That!

January 16, 2013

January generally ushers in a wave of fitness resolutions brought on by holiday overindulgence.  Whether you’re looking to work off the result of too many Christmas cookies, or just want to maintain your already healthy lifestyle, your smart phone could help you reach that goal.  Today guest blogger Jennifer Nordwall from Everyday Health shares some great nutrition and fitness apps! 

Are you looking for ways to stay on track when it comes to good nutrition and exercise?  Then look no further than your smart phone or iPad.  Nutrition and fitness apps can make it fun to get in shape and may even help boost your motivation.  The great news is you can take these apps with you anywhere you go and most of them are free!

Studies show you are more apt to accurately record your food intake when you do it after a meal versus waiting until the end of the day.  This is why having a calorie counting app on your smart phone is so helpful.  It takes little time to log your food for a meal, so you stay mindful of your choices throughout the day.

The same thing goes for exercise.  Many exercise apps offer the option to download daily workouts to keep things interesting as well as the ability to share your progress and routines with friends, so you stay motivated.

So what are the best apps out there for your smart phone?  Here is a list of winning apps that include nutrition and fitness tips, along with some pro’s and con’s to consider

Lose It!
lose it app This app offers the ability to track calories from food and calories burned in exercise, but it also gives you reports on your activity and progress.  I really like the macro-nutrient breakdown per day and per week option, so you can see where your calories are coming from.  The nutrition data base is extensive, and there is a bar-code scanner feature for your smart phone to make adding foods easy.  You can even get reminded when you forget to log your meals.  Exercise calories burned automatically add to your food tracker. Free!
Con’s:
  Exercise is added in increments of five minutes and typically to the minute pace.  It is possible to be somewhere in between these options, leaving room for guesswork.

Fitbit
fitbit app Log food, water, workouts and weight from your smart phone.  You can even use this app offline, so you never have to worry about not being able to add to your log.  Goals are set based on your lifestyle and are adjustable. There is the option of using a Fitbit Tracker, a super sensitive 3-D motion sensor, which monitors steps per day as well as your sleeping habits.
Con’s: Fitbit Tracker is not free and needs to be synched with computer to upload sleep and exercise results to the website. No app for iPad.

Fooducate
This is a great app to take to the grocery store with you!  Scan bar codes of different foods and get the low down on the nutrition information.  Fooducate gives each food a rating based on the nutritional value of the food.  Compare store brands and the most popular products to make the best choice.  You can also browse foods before you go to the store to make your shopping list.  Includes information on GMO’s.  Get daily nutrition tips.  Free!
Con’s: No iPad app at the present time, but since you are unlikely to take your iPad to the grocery store, this is not a huge downside.  No calorie or exercise tracker.

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Guest blogger Jennifer Nordwall is a contributor for Everyday Health, which also has its own free Calorie Counter app.

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