Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat – you know all about the big-name apps that help you connect with your loved ones and share your favorite photos and videos. But what about the apps that help you improve your health? According to a recent study, participants who used fitness apps were much more active compared to nonusers and – get this – even had a lower body mass index. The study’s authors believe apps help people overcome barriers like a lack of understanding or organization, which leads to better exercise habits. Over time, these improved habits can mean big changes. Still, storage space is a precious commodity, so if you’re interested in adding health and fitness apps to your phone, you want only the best. That’s why we’ve singled out the top health and fitness apps of 2017.
MyFitnessPal – With easy-to-use step and calorie counters, it’s no surprise that MyFitnessPal is consistently ranked as one of the best fitness apps in the industry. MyFitnessPal features a database of more than 5 million foods, a barcode nutrition scanner, and a recipe importer. The ability to quickly track food intake and exercise helps users balance their calories on a daily basis with just a few simple steps.
Sworkit – Sworkit, which stands for “Simply Work It”, offers exercise videos demonstrated by personal trainers. With 13 million users, more than 200 types of exercises and a specialized app just for kids, this versatile workout app deserves a try. Choose from standard workouts or customize your own by picking your workout length, areas you want to target and any other special needs or limitations. The app combines interval training with randomized exercises to maximize the effectiveness of every workout and prevent your body from getting used to a specific routine.
Charity Miles – Charity Miles helps you earn corporate sponsorships for charity whenever you walk, run, or bike. The app measures your distance and allows you to earn money – 10 cents per mile for cyclists and 25 cents per mile for walkers and runners. Donations come courtesy of sponsors like Timex Sports, Humana, and Lifeway Foods. You can even choose the charity you would like your money to go to. Options include Feeding America, Habitat for Humanity, Wounded Warrior Project, and many more.
Couch To 5K – Get off the couch and download the training program that has helped thousands of beginning runners cross the finish line of their first 5K race. The best part? It takes just 30 minutes a day, three days a week for nine weeks. Select your interactive, motivating coach, and easily share your progress with friends and family on social media as you connect to Couch To 5K’s supportive running community. Within the app, you’ll see two separate graphs that monitor both distance and pace, giving you the ability to analyze your performance as you progress.
FIT Radio – FIT Radio is a music-streaming app that specialized in DJ-created mixes that maintain a consistent beat. You can browse mixes by genre, DJ, or type of workout, such as Spinning, Zumba, or yoga. The app is free to use, but the basic version only allows you to choose one genre of music and a few mixes. A premium membership gets you access to more than 25 genres and stations, unlimited skips, the ability to save favorites, DJ profiles and no ads.
Map My Run – As implied by its name, this app is most known for its mapping function, with over 70 million routes available. Runners simply have to type in their zip code to choose from a number of nearby popular running routes. You can even use the “Route Genius” function – which allows you to select how many miles you want to run – and the app will generate a route for you to follow. This app is especially great for traveling runners who are always logging miles in new areas. You won’t have to worry about missing out on an especially scenic or cool run in the area – with this app, you’ll know exactly where all the locals go.
Lose It! – This free, classic calorie-counter app makes your weight loss goal look easy. To reach your goal weight, all you need to do is stay at or below your daily calorie allotment, a number the app generates when you first sign up and enter your personal information. Within the app, you can track your daily food intake by scanning barcodes, searching for the food or manually entering in calories for each of your meals. You can also log your exercise, which will increase your calorie allotment for the day.