We use apps for almost everything. To keep up with family and friends, to remind us when to pick up our laundry from the dry cleaners, to check our bank account. So why not use them to help keep us on track and motivated to reach our fitness goals? I use several apps to help me stay on track and see my progress. I have one that I use to track my meals, one to track my cardiovascular improvements, one to track my strength training and flexibility, and even provide pre-planned workouts.
The biggest thing that will hurt or help a person’s health and fitness is his or her diet. I tell all of my clients that it doesn’t matter how much you work out, if you eat junk all the time, you’re just wasting your time. It is very important to see what you eat, track eating patterns, address deficiencies, etc. We used to have to write everything down in a notebook and keep track of the notebook and figure out how many grams of carbs, fat, and protein as well as micronutrients are in the foods.
Now, there are several apps that make it soooo much easier to do this. Most of the apps that track nutrient intake have an option to can scan the barcode on the label and it will automatically have all the macro and micro nutrient information on your log for that meal. I personally use MyFitnessPal, however there are several others that work pretty similarly. You can also put your own recipes into the app and log those. Not only have that, but a lot of these apps also have restaurant menus in them. This is very helpful for people that have to eat out a lot due to work and social lifestyles.
Another app that I use is MapMyRun. I use this to help me see how my cardiovascular improvements and trends are progressing. This app is great because you can also use it to log treadmill running, rowing, elliptical, and many other cardiovascular exercises. This also easily syncs with myfitnesspal. I really like this app because it lets you see your past runs, how far you’ve ran in the last week or the entire time you’ve been using the app. It shows you how your friends are doing, as well as gives you “prizes” for your quickest times.
MapMyRun also has the ability to track your cadence, show youre split times for distance runs so you can see which mile you need to work to improve, or was your best. And of course, it also lets you see how many calories you’ve burned during your exercise.
Strength Training Apps
Probably my favorite app that I use for tracking my strength training progression is Jeffit. This app has hundreds of exercises that are separated by the different major muscle group. It lets you log how many reps of each exercise you do, as well as how much weight you do for each exercise. Then, when you are completed with your sets it actually calculates your 1 rep max. The app lets you set goals for each exercise and tracks how close you are to each goal. This is great for me because it lets me see how close I am to reaching my goals. Another great feature is that it lets you build your own workouts or download pre-made workouts. So when I’m feeling lazy, or just don’t know what I want to do, I have the option of using someone else’s workout.
I have been using all of these apps for several years, there are probably better apps out there, but these are the ones that I like and am comfortable with. They work pretty well together, and most importantly they work well for me. When youre looking for an app to help you stay on track with your fitness goals, you just have to find something that you like, is easy for you to use, and is comfortable with you.