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10 Fitness Tracking Apps You Need

10 Fitness Tracking Apps You Need

We’re well into 2014, which means most of us have long given up on the New Year resolutions we created. But that doesn’t mean we can’t start now in our desire to get fit and healthy. Sometimes all you need is a little help from a friend, or a bar chart showing you just how out of shape you are, to spur you into action. Then, when you see how far you ran and how many calories you burned, it provides that additional motivation to do it again. So, whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or looking to become one, check out some of the best fitness apps available.

1. RunKeeper

RunKeeper

    RunKeeper currently has 28 million users. As the name suggests, it is an app that will track workouts and keep track of pace, distance and time. It is particularly popular with athletes who are training for races who want an easy way to track their progress.

    Download

    2. Cyclemeter

    Cyclemeter

      With a five star rating, Cyclemeter provides a perfect alternative to RunKeeper for cyclists. The app is highly comprehensive and customizable, allowing the user to select which stats he or she wants to see. The app will track, map, and record a bicycle ride and compile the data into graphs and tables. In addition, if you like to add a little variety to your workout, the app can also be used for other sports, such as skiing.

      Download

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      3. Fitness Buddy

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        The Fitness Buddy App acts as your personal trainer and comes with more than 1,700 exercises and 1,000 HD videos. It offers comprehensive exercises for all of the typical gym equipment, from barbells to resistance and stability balls. The app also categorizes workouts based on what you want to work out, such as your lower body or cardio.

        Download

        4. Endomondo Sports Tracker

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          Endomondo is an all-purpose tracker, whether you’re cycling, hiking or even kayaking. The app gives you audio feedback for every mile you go and will give you live pep talks from friends. Your friends can write a short text online that will then be read aloud to you. The app also lets you compare your performance to your friends and see their workouts in real time.

          Download

          5. MyFitnessPal

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            This all-inclusive app helps you lose weight by tracking what you eat, as well as your activity level. The app will make personal recommendations based on how much weight you want to lose and your current activity level. You can then selects the food you eat throughout the day from the database and can sync the app with Fitbit or Jawbone in order to track activity.

            Download

            6. Fitocracy

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              Fitocracy is a fitness social network. While it’s lower on the list due to complaints about bugs, many users stick with Fitocracy because the game-like setup keeps them going. The app offers challenges to beat, much like you would beat a level on a video game.

              Download

              7. MapMyFitness

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                MapMyFitness offers tracking of more than 600 activities. It will map the route you take and keep track of time, distance and several other statistics. Be aware that some of the features of this otherwise free app are kept behind a subscription wall.

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                Download

                8. Fitsby

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                  This app is currently only available for Android, but it provides a unique form of motivation. The app has you put your money where your mouth is by having you and your friends place a wager, and the friend who checks in at the gym the most wins the pot. Using real money is optional.

                  Download

                  9. Lose It!

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                    Lose It is a website and app that is compatible with a number of fitness devices. The app helps you to count calories, log exercise and reach those weight loss goals.

                    Download

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                    10. Pear Training-Intelligence

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                      If you’re willing to pay for the pricey heart rate monitor that goes with it, Pear Training-Intelligence is a great option for those who like to focus on heart rate during their workout. The app coaches you through your workout as it uses your heart rate to determine if you need to speed up or slow down.

                      Download

                      While these are some of the most highly rated and popular apps, the hipster in you may be looking for something a little less well-known. If this is the case, consider checking out Moves, a newer app that turns your phone into an activity tracker. The Nike+ app provides a nice alternative for those Nike fans out there looking for a fitness and calorie tracker, as does the TR90 app, which tracks food intake and exercise.

                      Featured photo credit: Joggers via farm3.staticflickr.com

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                      Last Updated on September 18, 2020

                      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                      Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                      Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                      1. Exercise Daily

                      It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                      If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                      Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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                      If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                      2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                      Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                      One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                      This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                      3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                      Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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                      Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                      Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                      4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                      Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                      The basic nutritional advice includes:

                      • Eat unprocessed foods
                      • Eat more veggies
                      • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                      • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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                      Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                        5. Watch Out for Travel

                        Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                        This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                        If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                        6. Start Slow

                        Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                        If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                        7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                        Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                        My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                        If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                        I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                        Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                        More Tips on Getting in Shape

                        Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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