Here are 5 of my best health and fitness apps
There are probably 1000’s of articles about the best health and fitness apps, however I thought I would put together a list of my personal favourites. Sometimes I feel like all I need is a little bit of fitness inspiration and guidance, when it comes to staying on track with eating well and training. I find that health and fitness apps are a quick way to help with this. Each app in this list I have tried and tested and even though they may not be new or ground breaking, I feel that these really work for me. Some are free and others you need to pay for.
1. My Fitness Pal – Available for iOS and Android
Are you looking for a way to track what you eat, or help you to understand the nutritional value of the meals you are consuming? My Fitness Pal is a great free app for tracking your nutritional intake. Even though I don’t believe that calorie countering is necessarily good for you, it does have its plus points if you want to see the nutritional value of certain meals or loose a little weight.
To begin with you enter your fitness goals and your current weight. From there it calculates your daily nutritional intake. For example if you are fairly active and you want to maintain your weight then the app will calculate the total number of calories you are to consume and burn through exercise each day to help achieve this.
Each day you log all your meals and exercise and the app will add and subtract the calories against your daily nutritional allowance. There is a huge data base already including millions of foods and their nutritional values, however if your making something from scratch you can also add in your own.
In addition to this, My Fitness Pal has a great blog that includes healthy recipes ideas as well as general health and fitness articles.
- Supports healthy meal planning
- Tracks fitness activities – can connect it to other fitness apps
- Provides understanding of food consumption vs fitness to help stay healthy
2. Strava – Available for iOS and Android
Are you working out but not sure how you are progressing? Strava is a fitness app that specifically tracks your activities. The app is known as a social network for athletes where you are able to follow and like (give kudos) to other athlete’s efforts.
What I particularly like about this app, is that it can be really motivational if you want to improve your running or cycling. You can record one of your own running or cycling routes and set it as a benchmark. Then each time you go back to this route you can see how well you have performed in comparison to previous times. If you are competitive like me then you will never want to underperform and therefore keep pushing yourself.
In addition to this, each day the app records segments that you or other athletes complete and then analyses your efforts in comparison. The app shows you who completed it the fastest that day, year and ever. If you are the quickest you get a King of the Mountain (KOM) or Queen of the Mountain (QOM) badge until someone else goes and completes that segment quicker. I worked so hard last year to get QOM on one of my bike rides around Newquay. Each time I went out I just kept pushing harder and harder. I’m still so stoked I managed to get it.
- Use it to plan biking / running routes
- Benchmark your activity against yourself and others
- Use it to record distance, time and elevation
3. Jason Vale 5-day Juice Challenge – Available for iOS and Android
This app is ideal if you want to detox, lose weight or stop your sugar cravings and bad eating habits. Jason Vale has various juicing apps, however I have found that this one works the best for me. With this programme you replace all your meals with four fresh juices for five days. Each day you have to make new juices from various fruit and veg that you squeeze through a juicer.
The app provides a fully comprehensive guide to help you with your juicing challenge. It can sometimes feel like a lot of work having to juice copious amounts of fruit and veg each day, and the first two days are killers. However, the app does make it so much easier for you. It provides shopping lists, recipes with videos and daily inspirational videos to keep you going.
I try and complete this challenge twice a year as a detox / reset. It isn’t called a challenge for nothing, it can be hard at times. However, because you invest in the time to make the juices as well as the cost of buying it all, it makes you feel like you don’t want to give up. It is a detox programme I have found most successful. I recently lost 6lbs in 5 days…weight that had been sneaking up on me over the past few months. I always feel extremely healthy after, especially knowing that I’ve cut out all the sugar and caffeine from my diet and have instead consumed a bountiful of fruit and veg in their best form.
- Comprehensive recipes and videos
- Provides a shopping list
- Successful detox programme
Between £1.99 and £5.99 (depending on current promotion)
4. Calm – Available for iOS and Android
We all know that it is as important to exercise the mind as it is with the body. When leading such demanding lives, we rarely allow ourselves to relax and calm our minds. The calm app, voted as Apple’s 2017 App of the Year, is a fantastic aid to help you on your way to mindfulness.
The app offers a free 7-day guided meditation course. Then if you feel the benefits and want more there is a 21-day program for general wellbeing or a week series dedicated for sleep. When you start you can choose your goals such as reduce anxiety, learn to meditate or to build self-esteem and the app leads you on from there. Either choose the guided meditation, listen to the relaxing music or hear a visually relaxing story to help you sleep. I’m terrible at switching off and have a terrible habit of becoming overactive before bed. Therefore, I use this app to help me switch off.
- Guided meditation
- Music tracks for relaxation
- Stories to help you fall to sleep
Free – 7 days
£7.99 a monthly subscription
£29.99 yearly subscription
5. Sweat – Kayla Itsines Fitness
I’m pretty new to this app, but not Kayla Itsines fitness programmes. My friend messaged me because she noticed that it was only $1 for three months so I downloaded it straight away. After two weeks of using it I feel confident enough to say I Love it.
The reason this app works so well for me, is that you don’t have to work out or plan your fitness as much as you did with the downloadable version of her programme. There are various programmes to choose from. For example, there is one for beginners (which is still really challenging), workouts you can do at the gym or a body and mind programme. Once you have selected the desired programme, you are provided with a weekly calendar to guide you on which exercises you should be doing when. This is a combination of resistance, cardio, hit and recovery training.
For the cardio training you are expected to run, walk, swim, cycle for three 30-minute sessions a week. The resistance training incudes one abs and arms workout, one for legs and an all body work out. These exercises are demonstrated by Kayla and the app prompts you when you need to move onto each exercise. Once you have finished all the sets of exercise the app logs your efforts. Therefore every time you log back into the app, you will see what is left to complete.
In addition to the full exercise demonstrations by Kayla, the app also provides music playlists for you can listen to whilst you work out, as well as daily meal plans and recipes. Even though I have only paid $1 for the app I would also be more than happy to pay the full price for 12 weeks of training.
- Weekly exercise plans
- Guided exercises demos and workout tracking
- Music and recipes
$19.99 a monthly subscription
So just to summarise – here are 5 of my best health and fitness apps:
- My Fitness Pal
- Jason Vale 5 day Juice Challenge
- Sweat – Kayla Itsines Fitness