My Favourite Health and Fitness Apps

This is Day 4 of the March Healthy Living/Fitness Blogger Blogging Challenge. Please feel free to join in and share your blog post in the comments below and visit the other blogs that have linked up. For a list of suggested topics, please visit this post.

The first apple product that I bought for myself was the iPod Touch – I wanted it just because there was a running app built right into it – Nike+Running. That was over 5 years ago, and I’ve been tracking my mileage and comparing my year over year mileage with it ever since. I used that Touch for 18 months, then upgraded to an iPhone 4 when my Motorola Krazer phone died a slow and painful death (mostly brough on from being dropped far too many times). I’ve been in love with the iPhone ever since because of the great number of awesome health and fitness apps available.

Cellular phones have changed immensely since smartphones came out and some of the most amazing changes has been in mobile fitness apps. While I’m not familiar with the apps for Andriod or Blackberry phones, I have tried out a great number of iPhone fitness apps. Some have been awful, and others are amazing! Today I’m sharing with you my personal favourites:

Pact App, Runner's World Smart Coach, iSmoothRun, MyFitnessPal, Nike Training Club, KettleBell 360, Heart Rate Monitor, Argus and FitSnap

(L-R: Pact App, Runner’s World Smart Coach, iSmoothRun, MyFitnessPal, Nike Training Club, KettleBell 360, Heart Rate Monitor, Argus and FitSnap)

Starting from the top left:

1. Pact App

Formerly GymPact, there are 3 different types of Pacts – gym pact, veggie pact, food logging pact – to help you stay in shape, eat more veggies, and log your meals. This app PAYS YOU for working out! You can choose to commit to one or all of these Pacts. I personally use the gym and food logging pacts:

 

How it works: You make a pact to go to the gym x number of times/week. You prove that you went to the gym by checking in via GPS, or by syncing the app with runkeeper, or by starting the activity monitor. You must be checked in at the gym for at least 30 min, run for at least 30 min or move for 30 min for your workout to count towards your pact. If you miss a workout you have to pay $5 which is taken from your credit card after the week has ended. If you completed your pact (mine is to workout for 4 times a week), the pool of money collected from those that missed their workouts is split amongst those who have completed their workouts. The food loggng works inpretty muh the same way – sync the app to MyFitnessPal and you can earn $ for logging your meals. I have earned a lot of money from this app – though currently it only shows an earning of $26.63 because I have withdrawn $300 to my paypal account. Yep – an app that pays you to work out!

2. Runners World Smart Coach

This is an amazing app for creating customised training plans to reach goal finish times for races avaiable for both iOS and ANdroid devices. This is the app that I used two years ago when I trained to run a sub-2 hour half marathon, and it’s the plan I’m using now to train for a sub 1:50 half marathon along with the strengthening plan from my conditioning coach. Sadly this app is currently only available in Spanish on the iTunes Store at this time, when I downloaded it a few years ago, it was in English. Hopefully Runner’s World will re-release the English version soon.

3. iSmoothRun

This $4.99 GPS running app is seriously impressing my strength and conditioning coach with the stats that it captures and auto-emails to him after every run. It also auto-sends my running data to Dailymile, RunKeeper (and therefore to pact app) and also to TrainingPeaks al over my phones data plan so I don’t have to connect and upload thatt stuff after a run. Without connecting any other equipment to it it captures pace, elevation, cadence, stride length and temperature every 10sec and emails that as a cs file to my coach so he can analyze my runs. The app can also connect to bluetooth heart rate monitors, ant+ foot pods and various bike computer stuffs. My favourite feature is the built in metronome that can auto start when my cadence falls below my goal. I really can’t do this app justice in a short review so I highly recommend that you check out all the features it offers here: http://www.ismoothrun.com/

4. MyFitnessPal

I personally feel that food logging is the most overlooked part of training – to be successful you need to ensure that you’re giving your body the macronutrients and calories it needs. This is my favourite food logging app due to it’s large database of foods that have already been added to it. I also like that I don’t have to waste time searching through the database for products, I can just scan the barcode on the packaging to find it. Being a Canadian, it’s nice that foods that are only available here are already in the database! It of course also has a HUGE database of US food products and restaurant meals! I use this app as a meal planner – I plug in the foods and vitamins that I plan to consume in order to ensure that I’m getting enough protein, vitamins, potassium and iron for my training levels.

If I’m going to reach my goals without getting injured I need to make sure that I’m eating the macronutrients that my body needs to repair itself after a hard workout session. I also like that it connects to Pact App to give me credit for logging my meals for my food logging pact. My conditioning coach visits my public MFP profile to review my meals and to offer me some basic nutritional counselling and motivation.

5. Nike Training Club

Looking for a great workout with minimal equipment? Then look no further! This app (available for both iOS and Android devices) offers bootcamp style, one min interval workouts and is fantastic. While I was on my maternity leave with Amber I lost all of my pregnancy weight (and then some) by combining three workouts a week from Nike Training Club and running. All of the workouts can be done in the comfort of your own home! My older daughters, SIerra and Brooke used to join in and do the workouts with me and we had a blast! There are demo videos for every exercise that explanis how to do them properly, and there are three different workout levels: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. The main difference between the levels is the amount of reovery time between intervals. There is NO REST in the advanced level.

Some other notable apps that you might like:

  • KettleBell 360 – Fantastic do at home kettlebell workouts
  • Heartrate Monitor – captures your heartrate from the camera lens of your phone from your index finger with amazing accuracy. I use it to monitor my resting heart rate in the morning in order to identify when I’m nearing my overtraining point.
  • Argus – fantastic step counter that is amazingly accurate. The only days I hit 10,000 steps are the days that I run. I need to work on getting in more steps.
  • Fitsnap – edit your happy sweaty selfie pictures to share on instagram.

And now it’s your turn… What are your favourite fitness apps?

 


Participating in the March Healthy Living/Fitness Blogger Blogging Challenge? Then please feel free to join in and share your post in the comments below and be sure to check out some of the other blogs too. For a list of suggested topics, please visit this post.

PS – I have created a group Pinterest Board to share our posts from the blogging challenge to. If you would like to be added to the group board, please follow me on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/fitcheerldr so that I can follow you back and add you to the board.

Thanks for stopping by,
Janice
XXXOOO

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Comments

  1. says

    I love the sound of that iSmoothRun app! I am definitely going to look into that. I have heard of the Pact app but never bothered to sign up but I think I will now too. Might as well get paid for what I already do!
    I love my fitness pal. I have been logging my food on there for almost 2 years now. I also love Run Keeper, although I use it less now that I have a Garmin.
    Jen @ Pretty Little Grub´s last post ..FYI Friday – Changing Food Labels

  2. says

    Hey great list! I also like fitness pal .
    I like WOD timer for my TRX workouts . It’s a great interval timer. I also use fit2run which is Jack Daniels running formula app.

  3. says

    I want the gym pact, that would make me get out to the gym, I do not like to give money away… I don’t have a credit card though… wow, I would make money.

    I also love My Fitness Pal … I have been slacking off and on tracking which stops today, I did really good with my food, I just have to track it.

    I also use Map My Walk, it was the best app for me as that was all I could do until I took off the weight :)
    Launna´s last post ..High Expectations

  4. says

    I just started using Pact… I’ll have a review up next week. I track using Endomondo mostly, but I have an App from SparkPeople where I can log food, strength exercises or cardio. Though a spreadsheet still seems to be the best for tracking my strength workouts.
    Axel (@apkussma)´s last post ..Weak-Shaming?