Health and fitness apps can be an effective way of making/sticking to goals and tracking your progress along the way. They provide insights that we have no way of telling ourselves, which can help us significantly improve.
Features, such as a heart monitor, which let's us know when we have hit cardio mode, and distance and speed gauges, which motivate us to get a new PB, really help when training, or attempting to make positive changes to our health and fitness.
With so many to choose from, here are three tried and tested options that will have you achieving your best fitness yet. Get inspired and get sweaty!
MyFitnessPal is essentially a calorie counting app that boasts the largest nutrition and calorie database, with over 5 million foods! It's a pretty well tried and tested concept, that if you keep track of everything you consume, then unhealthy eating patterns are revealed and can be addressed.
What's clever about this app, and better than just say monitoring calories, is that it also tracks your exercise and using advanced technology and scientific knowledge can actually tell you where your diet may be lacking in nutrients, and what you need to cut back on.
Diets are far more complex than just cutting down the calories and this app reflects that and provides the user with a reference for obtaining optimal nutritional balance; taking into account both the body's input and output. If used correctly (i.e. you are honest with it) then this app will help you to better understand your body's biology and how you can adapt your lifestyle to get better results.
Fitbit is one of the most popular brands in the fitness tracking world. To use the app you must first acquire a band which is worn around the wrist. There are several different types to choose from; which come in a variety of aesthetically pleasing colour combinations, boasting a range of features and price tags.
Once you are wearing the watch, then you are linked to the app which is where all of the data is displayed. There is also an online Fitbit community, which offers you the chance to share your fitness achievements and engage with others who are using the app. In terms of the information provided, Fitbit can detect exercise, through monitoring your steps and heart rate. It prompts you to stay active throughout the day and recognises when you have achieved certain goals.
It really helps to see the difference between certain days, when you might not think that you have done any actual exercise, yet your step count was over 10,000. Another valuable feature is that of the sleep monitor, which gives a detailed report on the quality of your night's rest. The graph you receive each morning tells you exactly when and for how long you were in deep, REM and light sleep, providing information on each stage and how your sleep patterns are affecting your health.
Strava is the ultimate cycle, run and swim tracking app, with tens of thousands of users racking up approximately 8 million activities every day! According to many, the app has revolutionised cycling/running/swimming, or whatever exercise you choose to track with it.
It has become more of a fitness social media platform, encouraging users to pit against each other for King of the Mountain (KOM), or Queen of the Mountain(QOM), which means that you are top of the virtual leader board provided on popular routes. It is an app "designed for athletes by athletes"; creating a platform for healthy competition and a way to compare yourself to other's for an added motivational push.