While it’s true that the only things that will get you fit are eating healthy, portion control and regular exercise, fitness apps can help too. They can help you regulate your intake, track your exercise regimen and offer tailored workouts and motivation to make your efforts count for more.
There are over one lakh health and fitness apps out there, each claiming to be the best and most effective in helping you reach your weight loss or wellness goals. So what apps are really effective and worth downloading on to your device? Which are the apps that are well designed enough and have the features required to actually make a difference? We look at the top fitness apps for Android, since a 2016 report from Strategy Analytics showed that in India, it is the Android operating system that enjoys 97% of the smartphone market.
- Runtastic: This top-rated app has everything you need to motivate you to get off your butt. It tracks activities like walking, jogging, cycling, and even marathon training. It calculates distance covered, speed, elevation and the number of calories burned. You get to see an actual map of the route you covered. The app also offers tips from the pros, has a voice coach feature and integrated music player and several other features for the free version. Premium members get personalized advice, training plans, running videos from the experts and more. Runtastic for android wear lets you start activities directly from your wrist.
- Nike+ Training Club: This app from the fitness gear manufacturer offers over one hundred workouts from well-known athletes and trainers. The app acts like your personal trainer, helping you build strength and stamina, and increase mobility. The app lets you choose a plan suitable for your fitness levels and lets you share and compare progress with others. There is something here for beginners and advanced levels; the amount of visual guidance and audio cues can be customized.
- Yoga-pedia: With the growing popularity of yoga all over the world, there is a huge demand for (and supply of) yoga apps. So much so that it can be difficult to choose one. There are several paid apps around, but if you’re looking for a free basic yoga app, this one is an expert and user recommended app. It offers instructions for over one hundred asanas or yoga poses along with pictures. The app has a ‘pose of the day’ feature that gives users audio instructions and a five-minute instructional video for Surya Namaskar.
- 7 Minute Workout: This app is for those strapped for time; now they no longer have an excuse not to work out! There are several 7-minute workouts around; look for the one developed by Lumowell – Ego360 – which is based on a study conducted by McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. The high-intensity workout tones muscles, burns fat, improves heart health and helps in weight loss. The workout helps tone arm, leg and ab muscles and is recommended for busy people.
- Google Fit: Apart from the functionalities of other fitness apps with features to track speed, distance, elevation and calories burnt, the Google app helps you pick your goals, synchs with your Android wear watch and gives you real time stats. You get personalized recommendations and also get to aggregate info from other fitness apps that you may be using. You can check in from anywhere and track your progress from multiple devices.
- Calorie Counter: Your intake is as important as your output; according to some experts how much and what you eat is even more important than your exercise regimen. Among the many similar apps, the Calorie Counter app by MyFitnessPal Inc. comes highly recommended. It lets you keep track of what you’re eating, how much of what you consume at each meal and so on. The app relies on a huge database, has a barcode scanner, recipe importer, recommendations on making healthier food choices and personalization options. It also helps you track water consumption.
- SleepBot: The amount and quality of rest you get is a big part of how fit and healthy you are. Sleep helps in recovery and even weight loss so obviously there are plenty of apps to monitor sleep patterns. Unique features of this app are the movement tracker, smart cycle alarm, sound recorder, sleep debt log, trend graphs and data analysis to really help you understand what goes on during the one third of your life when you’re asleep. The app also has quick solutions to help you get to sleep or stay awake. The widget mode, airplane mode, auto silence feature and auto backup functionality makes this a very user friendly app.
- Dr Mohan’s Diabetes app: There are an estimated 6.5 crore diabetics in India! It becomes important for a diabetic to track fitness with particular regard to their special needs. This diabetes management program is based on a clinical study and helps track diet and activity. Diabetics get help improving their exercise routine and food intake. The app measures daily activity via the built-in pedometer, tracks glucose, blood pressure, insulin units and other parameters important for diabetics.
- Lifesum: This is a holistic app for a healthy lifestyle which was picked as the editor’s choice and the top developer in 2016. The app offers a personalized roadmap for a healthier life, gives you exercise tips, teaches you to eat wiser, offers nutritional information and more. It also lets you synch to other fitness apps you may be using.
- Zombies, Run!: This makes running a fun adventure. Integrated into a game, this app makes you feel that the zombies are after you. The threatening breathing and groaning will motivate you to run faster and longer! It is less a fitness app and more an immersive audio drama that makes you the hero of your own zombie story.
Whether you’re looking to lose a significant amount of weight or just tone up for a beach holiday somewhere, there is a fitness app to suit your requirements. Choose the app that suits your lifestyle, fitness goals and personal preferences. Customize the app by entering your age, weight and other metrics and you will find the information, the support and the motivation you need to get going!