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How Six Fitness Apps on Your Phone Can Lead to a Healthier Lifestyle

From steps trackers to food diaries, these are some of the best fitness apps out there.
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True, a smartphone may spy on you, waste your time, and cause the worst neck pain, but it's also a powerful tool that can help you get things done.

For example, it can lead you to a healthier lifestyle. When you equip your smartphone with the right apps, a workout routine and a diet plan are right at your fingertips. This is not to say that fitness apps can replace the professionals, but you get the idea.

What are the advantages of fitness apps?

While fitness apps’ effectivity in leading their users to a healthier lifestyle still needs further scientific studies, the fact remains that some of their users have found the motivation they need to get in shape through these programs.

Virginia Tech researcher Tabitha James categorized fitness or health-related apps’ main functions into three categories: data management, exercise control, and social interaction. Some apps help users track their fitness goals, others guide them into a workout routine, then there are those that motivate its user database through virtual competitions. Fitness apps provide one or all three in their programs, and every type of user respond differently to these features.

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“I would recommend that people take the time to learn about the different features of fitness technologies, and use those that may have the best chance of keeping them engaged with both the technology and exercise,” James said in an interview with Virginia Tech.

Below, we round up some of the most helpful fitness apps that can help you in your quest for a healthier lifestyle:

1| Lifesum

Counting calories may sound like such a chore, but this practice isn’t just about weight loss. It’s also about accountability. By keeping a food diary, you can keep track of everything you consume, from breakfast to midnight snacks, and assess the eating habits that may be causing that growing belly or that nagging gout.

Lifesum has a food database with corresponding nutritional information, so you can log your meals in just a few minutes. In case that snack you’re eating isn’t in the app though, you can easily scan its barcode and its information will be uploaded to the database.

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Each meal is broken down to their amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fat, so users can keep track not just of their calories, but also the amount of macronutrients they consume. The app’s user-friendly and eye-catching interface doesn’t hurt, too.

2| StepsApp Pedometer

Some say the 10,000-steps a day standard for a healthy lifestyle is nothing but a myth, still, the fact remains that walking is better than doing nothing. If you’re keen on adopting the walking lifestyle, then the StepsApp Pedometer is the right fit for you. The app tracks the user’s “steps” by sensing vibrations, so best to keep your phone in your pocket at all times so it can collect better data.

3| Strava

Now, if you want a bit more of a challenge then Strava is the better option. The app records running data on your mobile phone or a wearable like the iWatch.

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Runners like how they can easily compare their stats with each other, creating friendly competition in the community. In terms of technical performance, a premium account can provide insightful data like running cadence, speeds, and the like. It may be worth the investment, especially if finishing a marathon is one of your goals this year.

4| BodySpace

Building muscle outside of the gym is now possible thanks to the wealth of information from YouTube videos and website guides on the Internet. The Bodyspace app houses all that information in one place, eliminating the need to surf the Internet when you want to workout.

BodySpace has an extensive selection of workout programs catered to different goals, may that be weight loss or better endurance. Users can choose to either watch the instructional videos or read the step-by-step guides. The exercises can even be modified based on the equipment you have on hand.

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5| Nike Training Club

No, you don’t need to have Nike gear to download the app, but it sure will encourage you to get one once you follow any of its workout videos.

The app has around 150 workout routines of various lengths, from five-minute stretches to 45-minute high-intensity sessions, and all of these can be accessed for free. What’s great is how each workout session comes with timers, so users can easily keep track of how many reps or minutes are left in the exercise. Every movement in a routine is accompanied by an instructional video, and if you’re lucky, your favorite sports superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo or Serena Williams may be leading the exercise.

6| Headspace

A healthy lifestyle isn’t just about toned muscles. A relaxed mind, no matter how corny or unsexy that may sound, is needed for good health. Headspace has a program for those who have never tried meditation, helping users build the habit every day, even if what they have is just a minute of quiet. If you feel this practice is for you, there is a paid subscription of a minimum of $8 (around P400) for a year. Not bad for a healthy mind.

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