Improve Your Health with These 7 Running and Fitness Apps

We can all use a little help keeping track of workouts, our diets, and our overall health and wellbeing. In this increasingly digital age, being able to do so through an app can make a major difference. In fact, a 2015 study of 726 participants in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that those people who used exercise apps were 27 percent more likely to be physically active than those who did not and those who had used them in the past but had stopped.

That’s why we’ve broken down several categories in which apps can help you to improve your health and fitness routines. Here are some of our favorites for you to consider:

Hydration

My Water Balance. You might think it’s silly to use an app to keep track of your water consumption. After all, what’s more human than drinking water? But with custom daily water intake calculations, notifications to remind you to drink water, and a tracker to log your fluid intake throughout the day, the My Water Balance can assist you in meeting your daily hydration goals, which is an especially crucial part of your fitness regimen.

Plant Nanny. If you’re looking for a fun way to track your daily hydration, Plant Nanny has your back. Each day you track your water consumption through the app and the amount that you drink in real life goes towards “watering” your own virtual houseplant. Sure, it might be a little silly. But if it helps you drink enough water every day, why not?

Route Mapping

Map My Run. I’ve used the Map My Run website to track my routes and search for new ones since the early 2000’s. While the web version of Map My Run remains incredibly useful, the app adds a whole new dimension to route mapping. With the app’s GPS tracker, you can map your runs in real time to determine the length of your route and your pace. Both the app and the web platform also allow you to store your routes to revisit later as well as share them with other users.

Strava. This app offers a number of awesome features and can be used by runners and cyclists alike. The app’s GPS tracker not only allows you to track your distance, pace, elevation, and calories burned, but it also has a “segments” feature which can show you how you performed during a particular stretch of your workout. Users can also set personal challenges and engage in friendly competition, photo sharing, and commenting with other app users.

Nutrition

MyPlate Calorie Counter. In developing a diet that works for your personal needs, getting started is often the most difficult part. MyPlate Calorie Counter from LIVESTRONG offers 8-week meal planning programs for people of all diets as well as a calculator to help you make customized goals for your macro and micronutrients. A database of over 2 million different foods, as well as a barcode scanner for packaged foods, allows you to input what foods you eat and track your daily nutrients.

Fooducate Nutrition Tracker. The Fooducate app takes meal and nutrition planning to the next level. Instead of just telling you what you should and shouldn’t eat, Fooducate educates users on what’s in your food and why exactly it’s good or bad for you. It features a barcode scanner that helps you find out what additives, GMOs, added sugars, and other products manufacturers are adding to your food. Plus, it allows you to track your sleep, hunger levels, and moods, all of which are important factors for a healthy diet.

HIIT Workouts

Intervals. Nothing is more frustrating than doing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and having to fiddle with your watch constantly. The Intervals app allows you to program custom HIIT workouts in order time your periods of high intensity running and recovery. The app offers pre-programmed workouts as well if you’re looking for inspiration.

Of course, using an app to help with your workouts and your diet still requires effort on your part. The more engaged you are with an app, the more likely you are to see positive results. But, clicking “download” could be the key to getting you on track in your health and fitness objectives.

Whether you’re looking to improve your health, keep better track of your workouts, connect with other runners, or stay motivated, there’s an app out there can help you achieve your goals. We’d love to hear about the apps that work for you in the comments!

Sources:
Litman, L. et al. (2015). Mobile Exercise Apps and Increased Leisure Time Exercise Activity: A Moderated Mediation Analysis of the Role of Self-Efficacy and Barriers. Doi: 10.2196.

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