Top Five Fitness Apps

Nowadays, when it comes to getting fit, your smartphone needs to come along with you, right along with your running shoes, sweats, weights, and the rest. A recent study reports that more and more Americans are now using their smartphones to look up health related information than they did just two short years ago, and there has been a corresponding upswing in the use of health and fitness apps as well.

The report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project was published on November 8, and demonstrated that people want to have access to health information no matter where they are, especially if they own a smartphone. 31 percent of people looked up health information on their phones, a considerable jump from 17 percent in 2010. About 1 in 5 people have downloaded a health related app, and those experiencing a significant health change such as sudden weight loss or gain, getting pregnant or quitting smoking, were much more likely to try an exercise or health related app.

The most popular apps were exercise, diet, and weight management tools, and the five most popular based on purchases from the Apple App Store were as follows.

MyFitnessPal Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker (iOS, Android)

Weight management seems simple enough, but part of your success is knowing how much you’ve eaten versus how many calories have been burned. This is a calorie counting tool that tracks how many colories have been taken in and how many have been burned.

WebMD (iOS, Android)

Health related emergencies can happen anywhere and at any time, so having instant access to information is crucial. This free app provides much needed information on first aid tips, explanations of various medical conditions and symptoms such as asthma or migraines, as well as a symptom checker in a mobile friendly format.

Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock (iOS)

The best time to wake up is during the lightest phase of your sleep. You will feel better rested and your day will be a lot more agreeable. Unfortunately, regular alarm clocks cannot tell if you are in deep sleep or not. This inexpensive app uses the accelerometer on your iPhone to detect when you are in your lightest sleep phase and wakes you up within a 30 minute window of your ideal time.

MapMyRun GPS Running (iOS, Android)

This app simply tracks how far you have run using a mobile GPS device to record pace and show where you are on your route. There are similar apps for biking and hiking.

Fitness Buddy (iOS)

One of the hardest things about getting fit is determining what types of exercises you should undertake. This app helps you plan workouts based around your fitness goals, including descriptions of more than 1700 exercises and 1000 videos designed to show you how to best use them.

Too many of us are intimidated by technology when it should in fact be your friend. Learning to make effective use of these apps will go a long way toward helping you achieve your fitness goals.

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