Not all of us can afford a Fitbit, the seemingly be-all end-all of sports tracking gear. However, almost everybody has a cellphone with a variety of sports app options. Hopefully this will help narrow down the selection for a better you.
With a Google Play and iTunes rating of 4.5 stars, this app looks promising. The opening page, with its green logo and white background starts you off profile-building with the general questions of age, sex, height, weight, fitness level, etc., with the added bonus of asking your current estimated body fat. This seems innovative for a health app, as it even provides picture comparisons to help, and follows up with a picture comparison of desired body fat percentage.
After building a customized workout plan based on your estimated fitness level, this app leaves the hard work in your hands—work hard and get the result, or slack off and wait longer for results. You can also get motivated by inviting your friends to join, or by posting your achievements on Facebook. The top-left corner shows you a “workout streak” with your recommended weekly activity level.
The app has short, intense pre-set workouts, but you can also make your own by picking exercises that target specific areas you want to work on.
I was impressed when I first opened up this app with its nice tree-studded green layout. With a Google Play rating of 3.5 stars, I didn’t really know what to expect. After the usual profile-building, the app lets you run free (literally) by encouraging you to be active with a set time of daily activity. With a pedometre and suggested activity-level tracker on the home screen, this app has a variety of tracking “add-ons,” like water consumption, heart-rate monitoring, caffeine consumption, sleep, and a variety of sports. You can also set additional goals for yourself as you go not only to be more active, but to eat healthier or feel more rested. This app tends to focus on running as its main source of activity tracking, and even has built in programs like the “Baby Steps to 5k” and “First at 10k” to encourage the user. This app also displays monthly stats.
This app focuses more on nutrition than the two previous apps, though it does have an option to input activities. Available for both Android and Apple products, the app links your profile to your own account on the LiveStrong website and even sends you newsletters with suggestions and interesting articles on health. You start off with a suggested calorie intake per day, and getting more active gives more leeway with calories. You can also track your weight and water consumption. On top of having a “food diary” by the end of the day, a chart on the home screen displays estimated protein, fat, and carb levels found in the meals inputted. It also displays charts of weight trends— either on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis—as well as a calendar which shows you the days in green where the calorie goal has been met, and in red where it was exceeded.