If you’re like most people living in the free world, you spend way too much time on your smartphone. In fact, most people have an unhealthy addiction to their mobile device that it’s actually bad for their health.
Whether it be the wireless radiation they emit, or the fact they’re so effective at distracting you while walking down the street or driving in your car. Or the simple fact that most people live their social lives vicariously through their phone, ignoring the human need for actual physical interaction with others.
Why not use your phone for an activity that actually benefits your health? Such as tracking your training and diet goals?
Here are 10 excellent free apps that you can use to do just that:
The Nike+ Training Club app gives you access to workouts designed by pro trainers and athletes. A lot of free apps out there don’t offer much functionality unless you pay for the premium version. This one offers plenty, with the ability to program custom programs, share your workouts and programs with other friends who have the app, and includes a sharp looking interface too.
This app is inspired by the StrongLifts 5×5 training program. It offers a simple way to track exercises, number of reps and how much rest you took in between each set and rep. You can easily start using this right after downloading it – there’s nothing complicated to figure out. A very basic workout tracking app for people who don’t want to mess around with dozens of different options just to track simple workouts.
The Fitnet app (Apple only) is for people who find it hard to get motivated to workout, even just for 5 minutes. The app has a library of 5 and 7 minute workouts that you can do virtually anywhere. This app includes yoga routines, aerobic-style movements and body weight exercises. You get walked through the workouts on your phone’s screen, and the app taps into your camera to monitor how well you perform the movements and follow the routine.
Strava is built around runners and cyclists looking for a simple solution to track their runs and bike rides. Take your phone along with you on your run or cycling workout and the app tracks distance, cadence, speed, calorie burn, and heart rate during the workout. Once you’re done, the Strava app collates your exercise data to memory and offers a graphic readout of your past and present stats whenever you want to see them.
Yoga’s one of those fitness trends that will never die. This neat app allows you to follow along with over 50 different HD yoga classes right from your smartphone. The classes are themed to focus on various fundamental yoga principles such as increasing flexibility, improving digestion, core strengthening, and spiritual improvement. You also get access to over 500 pictures of various poses you can use as a guide wherever you decide to hold an impromptu yoga session.
There’s nothing worse than waking up out of a dead sleep to a loud alarm. Program your desired wake up time into the app and it will “gently” wake you 30 minutes before that time, increasing the loudness and duration of the wake up tones you select as the clock counts down. If your alarm clock ends up going off, you’ll at least be better prepared and hopefully less cranky getting up!
This handy app puts you in touch with real live doctors who can help assess concerns you might have about your health. While they aren’t going to offer opinions on serious issues like cancer or organ failure, they will let you know if you should be seeking medical attention for skin rashes, strange bumps, bruises, etc. Rather than consulting “Dr. Google” and getting scared out of your mind, HealthTap is a great addition to your health app collection.
This is one of the more popular apps out there, and it’s been around for a long time, too. MyFitnessPal has a growing database of over 6 million foods and their nutrition information. This makes it easy to determine whether you’re consuming too many calories for a weight loss diet, not getting enough protein for building muscle, or consuming too much sugar for your good health (great for diabetics!) Simply input your goals and the app can suggest foods you should be eating and a daily/weekly diet plan to follow to reach those goals.
Fooducate is a must have shopping app for people looking to eat healthier. It allows you to scan the barcodes of foods you’re interested in, and then tells you whether those foods will help you meet your specific goals or not. This one’s similar to MyFitnessPal, but takes it a step further if you want help at the supermarket. It also has a sleep, mood, and hunger tracker to help you improve your health even further.
ShopWell is a food/shopping app that takes things a bit further than the last two. If you have no clue about how your diet affects your body, ShopWell helps YOU become a healthier you by taking your height, weight, age, and any food allergies you have, then figuring out what foods are best for you to be eating. After inputting your information, you can type in any food you’re thinking of eating and the app will score that food on a scale from 1 to 100, with those closest to 100 being the best for you and your situation.
Don’t just take our advice, try as many health apps as you can. There are so many new ones emerging every day, you never know when you’re going to find the one that will help you change your life forever.