There’s An App For That

17 Jun

TGIF!! I kicked off my Friday with a fast and shweaty bike ride before the storms hit. I’ve found that if I want to exercise outdoors during steamy St. Louis summers (I do! I do!), then I have to drag myself out of bed bright and early. It’s no fun when my alarm goes off, but I feel incredible after my workout. So worth it!

On to other things…

If you know me personally, you know that I own one of these little babies.

You also know that I am reluctantly dependent on it.

I tend to rebel against technology. Ask JWD. He is constantly rolling his eyes at my hissy fits over cords and batteries, computers and phones, plugins and widgets. If it were feasible, I’d much rather pen my blog posts and send them to each and every one of you the old-fashioned way- with an envelope and a stamp.

But I can’t deny the love I have for my iPhone.

First thing in the morning before I even get out of bed. Last thing at night before I close my eyes. To check my email. To check twitter. To check Facebook. To check the weather. To make “To Do” lists. To look up restaurant reviews. To jot down spontaneous ideas. To write blog posts. To listen to music.

Yep, I’m a tad bit addicted.

Smartphones are pretty handy- especially if you’re in to healthy living.

My Favorite Health and Fitness Apps

*All of these apps are free on iPhone. Most of them are also available for Android. No smartphone? No problem! Most of them also have websites that offer the same elements.

For Weight Goals

Dailyburn + Fitday + SparkPeople + loseit! + myfitnesspal

Stay on track with your weight loss, weight maintenance, and even weight gain goals with these electronic food and exercise journals. They are all more or less the same, with a few individual benefits/drawbacks. After entering some personal information (i.e. height, weight, age, gender) and a weight goal, a daily calorie level is set and you begin tracking your daily meals, exercise, and weights. Most of the apps allow you to set a pace or time frame for your goal (lose 1/2 lb. a week or lose 15 lbs. by a certain date).

A few things I noticed:

SparkPeople: This one gives you demos of tons of different exercises- great reference for newbies and inspiration for seasoned exercisers. It also gives you suggested meal plans to meet you calorie goal.

daily burn:I tinkered with all the apps for a day or two and this one’s database didn’t feel intuitive to me. It didn’t feel easy enough to navigate for everyday use.

loseit: This one is very user-friendly. I love that it allows you to create and store nutrient analysis for whole recipes, so no more estimating how many calories are in a cup of your famous homemade casserole.

Fast Food Calorie Counter

Get the nutrition facts for menu items from a variety of popular fast food chains. The app offers a good variety of chains. The items are listed by serving size, but the size of one “serving” is not defined. I think it is useful for a broad idea of calorie content to choose the lesser evil when you are faced with a fast food dilemma- or to scare you away from eating it!! 🙂

For The Athlete

Nike BOOM

Need a dose of motivation along with your workout playlist? Choose your workout, set the time, and choose your favorite playlist. Throughout your workout professional athletes and coaches interject motivational words to keep you going hard. A little cheesy, I must admit, but pretty fun. 🙂

Pocket Yoga (Free)

Good for beginners, this app gives photos and descriptions of different yoga poses as well as audio/video yoga sequences. Choose from three different practices and adjust the difficulty level. I might use this app in a pinch to run me through a yoga practice or as reference to look up a pose, but the free version provides limited usefulness.

RunKeeper

This one acts as a GPS and tracks your physical activity. It’s not just for running- you can choose from a variety of activities including snowboarding. Track your distance, time, pace, and calories. It also gives audio updates and coaching during your workout.

For The Foodie

Urbanspoon

This is one of my favorite apps! I use it all the time to find new restaurants. Search restaurants by city, name, neighborhood, cuisine, special features, and popularity. Read reviews and ratings for an unbiased take on restaurants. Get standard info like location, phone number, price range, and photos. It’s an awesome way to find gems in any city.

epicurious

This app gives you access to tons of great recipes. When you find a recipe you want to make, the app generates a shopping list for you with little check boxes. I love that I don’t have to copy down recipes onto my grocery list every week because it’s all right on my phone! This app is also great for recipe surfing (one of my favorite activities) to pass the time in waiting rooms/long lines.

Fooducate

This app is a little mind-blowing for a not-so-tech-savvy person like myself.  Scan barcodes with your phone to get the health lowdown on a product. Fooducate rates the healthiness of products by giving it a letter grade and explaining why it was given the particular grade. It’s a great tool to use in the grocery store to cut through all of the confusing marketing claims and uncover hidden unhealthy landmines. For example, I made a rookie mistake by choosing “Trader Giotto’s Whole Wheat Pizza Dough” from Trader Joe’s without reading the ingredient list only to be informed by my Fooducate app that it isn’t made out of 100% whole grain flour! It also gives you healthier alternatives to the products you scan. Some of the info should be taken with a grain of salt. Fooducate gave my beloved Larabar (ingredients: cashews, dates) a C+ and suggested a Myoplex bar as an alternative (a bar that is highly processed with a long list of ingredients including MSG).

Anyone else an avid health app user? Please share your favorites!!

Have a fabulous weekend! Meet me back here Sunday for a recap.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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One Response to “There’s An App For That”

  1. Cara June 28, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    Catching up on some reading now that I’m DONE with classes! I really like Gym Technik. You can set up workouts, track your progress or use programs they have already set up. For someone new(ish) to the gym it can really help you stay on track. You can put in every set weight, rep, ect. and it will keep track for next time you go if you save your workout. There are also pictures of different exercises or you can add your own description. And it’s FREE!

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