There was a time when the only tools available to track your fitness progress were stopwatches and scales. Now we can happily add your phone to that list, and your smartphone can do things that Jack Lalanne never would have dreamed. There are tools for eating the right foods, running the right pace, choosing the right weights. On the iPhone app store there are literally hundreds of “health and fitness” apps. So we cut through the chaff for you and picked our favorite five Android and iPhone apps. Some are free and some have small charges, but all are rated at least 3.5 stars. Let us know if you have a favorite not listed here!
Do you do any distance-based workouts? Running, skating, kayaking, cycling? Endomondo, a GPS-tracking app, tracks your time, distance, speed, calories burned, and more. You can view your past workouts, see a map for your current run, keep a log of your playlists. But that’s just the beginning. The real genius of Endomondo is crowd motivation. Endomondo is a social app with a community of your friends and like-minded fitness fanatics. When you need motivation, Endomondo is there for you. Your friends can see your workout and cheer you on with texts and audio clips delivered to you during your workout. You can challenge friends, track your competition on the app, cheer your friends on to their goals during their workouts, and of course post your own workouts to Facebook. If you love the team atmosphere of Barry’s Bootcamp but want that kind of motivation during your solo runs, Endomondo is your best app friend.
2. Good Food Near You
Unfortunately, this tool is not going to help you find that amazing kale salad in your hood, or the newest Top-Chef helmed farm-to-table resto that just opened across town. But what this tool WILL do is save you in a pinch when you need a meal or a snack and want a healthy option from a chain restaurant nearby. It’s perfect for traveling or when you have a meeting Midtown and you don’t know the lay of the land. Punch in a zip code or address, and Good Food Near You lists all the healthiest options nearby. It directs you to Santa Fe Sub at Blimpies down the block or a grilled chicken drumstick at KFC, or the Pink Lemonade Sorbet at Ben & Jerry’s across the street. This one is not currently available in app form, but it works nicely from any smartphone browser.
Use it at www.goodfoodnearyou.com
3. Zombies, Run!
This app is a walk in the park… if that park is filled with brain-eating zombies and you are on a mission to save the last dregs of mankind. Loaded with dozens of missions, “Zombies, Run” puts you in the running shoes of a survivor of the Zombie Apocalypse. Load up a mission, your favorite playlist, and your mission leader breaks in to tell you what you need to do to complete your mission. And every so often – “Zombies spotted!” And you’re off on a sprint. Need running motivation? How about not getting eaten? Zombies, Run is a great example of fitness gamification ($3.99).
4. Lose it!
Whether you’re trying to lose a few pounds or eat more calories to build muscle, Lose It helps you by setting your daily calorie intake, tracking your food and exercise (with thousands of available options), and creating a nutritional plan based on your goal. It includes some great features, including a restaurant calorie database and a barcode scanner so you don’t have to type in the nutritional info of your meal. It also works seamlessly with other fitness apps like the Fitbit and Nike+ Fuelband. And it’s free (upgrade for some deluxe options)!
5. Barry’s Bootcamp
You didn’t think we were going to leave this one out, did you? On the newest version of the Barry’s Bootcamp app you can see the schedules for most of the locations, book classes, find out the hours and contact info for your location of choice, and post to our Facebook pages or tweet to us. We’ll be adding more locations and features in the future, so keep up to date on the latest version.