Just like any other kind of app, there’s a confusing array of health and fitness apps available, whether you have an iPhone or Android phone. We’ve scoured through them to pick the three best freebies that no smartphone user should be without.
1. Lose It!: Free Download, iPhone and Android
This popular iPhone weight-loss app has just launched for Android. It’s a real boon for anyone looking to lose weight, allowing you to easily calculate not just how many calories you’re taking in, by meal or by day, but also precisely how much protein, carbohydrate, fat, fibre, and sodium you’re consuming. To make recording your meals easier, you can enter them either by quantity of some standard foods (eg 1 cup of whole milk, 1 roasted chicken drumstick), or as popular meals at several restaurants. Those features can make it useful for gym buffs looking to gain weight, too, or for anyone interested in moving their diet in a more healthy direction.
You can set a daily ‘budget’ of how many calories you want to consume (and it will help you work that out, based on your target weight), then keep constant track of that budget throughout the day. Plus, you can set weight-loss goals over time, and track them, too. The iPhone version now offers US government recommendations on healthy eating, with the MyPlate facility.
The one big drawback at present is that most of the food data is in US measures: cups, fluid ounces, ounces and pounds, rather than the more familiar (to the UK and Europe) grams and centilitres. The app does let you switch between cups and teaspoons or tablespoons, which helps a little, but it can still be confusing if you’re not used to US recipes.
2. Jefit: Free Download, iPhone and Android; Pro Version $4.99/£3, Android only
Jefit can log all your weightlifting sessions, as well as other gym activity, and much more than that. For newcomers to the gym, or old hands wanting to try something new, it includes illustrated instructions for hundreds of different exercises and specific routines for training for individual sports. Experienced weightlifters and bodybuilders will enjoy the ability to track one-rep maximums and milestones in body progress over time, as well as the app’s support for super-sets and workout planning.
Jefit was originally billed as a bodybuilding app, and its roots are still in that area, but it’s still the best of the free gym logging apps even if your goals are improving strength and fitness rather than just looking good. The developers have opened the app up to users, so anyone can add customised workout routines for specific purposes, and there are now hundreds of those available for download. So, whether you want to get big and buff, or just compete at a specific sport like Muay Thai or the Warrior Dash, there’s probably a routine here for you.
3. Wellness Tip of the Day: Free Download, iPhone and Android
WTotD gives you a short daily tip on improving your health, with a mixture of diet, lifestyle, fitness, and even happiness suggestions. This might seem more like a bit of fun than a serious fitness app, and maybe it is, but it still works, partly because of that fun-factor. It’s also great to have a daily reminder to stay healthy: to get up and about, and to eat well. This can really help you get into the habit of being fit and healthy, every day, which the kind of lifestyle change that can keep you fit and healthy forever.
As a bonus, check out Fitocracy.com (Free, website only) – Fitocracy has no apps yet, but they do plan to launch an app version soon. In the meantime, if you have reasonable net access on your smartphone: become a Fitocrat, to turn fitness into a game. Compete with your friends and peers to lift more weights, run faster miles, unlock achievements, and complete quests. If that sounds more like an adventure game than a workout log, you just spotted what makes this website so appealing, and so addictive.
If you want to explore more health and fitness iPhone Apps then be sure to check out: