I have always been conscious of obtaining and maintaining a good level of fitness. But on a daily basis, it’s hard to track exactly where I’m at on the fitness scale – am I burning the right type of calories, doing the right exercises and eating well so that I’m not going backwards. Thanks to smartphone fitness apps, I can do this on the go and a whole lot more with:

1. Bing Health & Fitness app (Free)

Bing health & Fitness app

 

Source: www.microsoft.com

This app is pretty much a personal trainer, dietitian and my mom rolled into one! I can set a daily record of the calories I’m eating, it has a symptom checker for those days when I’m feeling unwell, hundreds of exercises for all fitness levels that I can do easily at home even without fitness equipment, nutritional data on what I should be eating and how much (that’s always tricky especially when eating out).

It even has a run tracker which tells me how far I’ve run, how many calories I’ve burned, and can time my laps. I use it on my phone, and all the data automatically comes across when I open it up in my tablet, so the data is combined with everything else I track on there.

The best part of this app is the food journal functionality which shows me clearly where I’m slipping up by analysing my food habits and ensuring I keep a track of how much nutrition I need against what I’m eating. I’ve found that after using it, I’m much more careful about the food I eat, and I feel that my health’s definitely improved as a result.

For the fitness fanatic, explore how different parts of your body work and interact using beautiful visuals. It’s very detailed, showing all the different layers such as muscles, vessels and bones rendered in considerable detail. I found it fascinating, and I can imagine it would help anyone studying in the medical fields where they need to memorise anatomy.

Overall, quite a nifty app to have to get you started and zoom your way into fitness and good health. It’s only available through the Windows App Store.

2. Yoga for beginners (Free)

yoga at home

Source: 

I love yoga! I’ve been attending classes for a year now but would love to do some yoga on the weekend. The yoga for beginners app (available free on Android)  has explanations of the various yoga poses and which parts of the body they benefit plus videos to guide you from the start to the end of the poses. If you’re looking to start yoga at home at beginner level then this app is quite useful because of the videos included in the app. The only downside of the free app is the number of ads shown as you navigate between screens. Available on Android.

3. Water Your Body ($0.99)

water your body app

Source: iTunes Apple Store

When was the last time you had a glass of water? I’m guilty of always forgetting to drink water because of being on the go constantly. I do have a bottle with me all the time but I still forget. Whether you’re a busy mum or a harried professional like me, water is absolutely essential for human survival so this app comes in handy by giving you reminders, plus it’s lifestyle based adjusting around your weight, exercise levels etc. Download this app from iTunes and get glugging!

Which fitness app is your favourite? Share in the comments below.

Kasia Gospos

Kasia is the founder of Leaders in Heels. This article was written as part of the involvement of Leaders in Heels in the Microsoft Connection Program.

Featured image: mariachily


Once upon a time, the best way to keep track of your fitness was a pedometer. It was nothing more than a small screen with a number that listed how many steps you’d taken since you last reset it. These days, as we’ve learnt to compress more and more technology into smaller spaces, we now have “smart” pedometers, or to use a more accurate term, fitness trackers.

These little babies do so much more than measure how many steps you take. These days, they can measure your heart rate, detect when you’re walking up stairs instead of on flat ground, provide an estimate of calories burnt, and even track your sleeping patterns. This data can be uploaded online, where you can add additional details such as the food you ate or other activities you may have done during the day such as cycling or swimming.

As you can guess, all this data combined makes for a very comprehensive overview of your overall health. So below is a quick round-up of some of the most popular ones on the market to date.

Fitbit One

(Image Source)

During the day it measures the steps you take, stairs you climb, distance you travel and calories you burn. At night, it can be strapped to your wrist to keep track of how well you sleep (by the amount of movement it detects). It even wakes you up with an alarm in the morning!

Behind the scenes, it also automatically syncs with any iDevices and Samsung Android devices via Bluetooth, or with your computer via wireless.

The app also allows you to log everything you eat and drink, as well as other workouts, and displays everything in simple charts and graphs.

Basis

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Basis is designed to look like a watch, and it’s able to show the time. However, it has sensors underneath that measure your heart rate, perspiration, and even skin temperature. Like the Fitbit One, it can also measure your sleep patterns and syncs wirelessly or via Bluetooth.

But where the Fitbit One focuses on slicing and dicing the collected data, the Basis app is all about identifying patterns and habits in your routine. It suggests weekly goals based on this analysis, tailoring them depending on whether you’re managing to hit them consistently.

Although the form factor is chunkier than a normal watch, and certainly more noticeable than a small device you can slip into your pocket, the sleek design means that you can still wear the Basis in most situations without it looking out of place.

Motorola MotoActv

(Image Source)

This nifty little fitness tracker is more focused on the running group. Unlike the others listed here, it uses GPS tracking to calculate the distance of your run, though it does count the steps you take and estimates calories burned. The other differentiating feature is the MP3 player, so you can listen to music as you run. If you get lost, a glance at the map on the display should get you back on track.

The MotoActv can be attached to a watch band, an arm band, or even a bike mount if you prefer. It can also connect via Bluetooth to a heart rate monitor, headphones, or your smart phone. Like the others, data syncing is automatic, and you don’t even need a computer; it can upload the data directly to the MotoActv web portal via your router. The standard option of a Bluetooth sync through your phone is also available.

If you have it paired with your mobile, the MotoActv can display notifications of incoming texts, calls, and calendar alerts.

This is only a glimpse into the large range of fitness trackers available. Nothing is ever one-size-fits-all, and it’s important to do your research to determine which one best suits your lifestyle and exercise choices.

Do you have a favourite fitness tracker? Share with us in the comments!

Leanne Yong

Leanne Yong is an aspiring author currently working in the field of IT consulting. She loves games, gadgets and technology in general.

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