Health and fitness apps are heading toward a record year for 2017, if recent trends are any indication. The half-billion dollar industry is set to quadruple in value within the next three years. Exercise, general fitness, daily workouts, diet tracking, and other functions are just a few of the reasons people use health apps. When consumers have detailed data about their personal activities, they’re more motivated to reach goals. That’s just one of the reasons the app market is booming.
Here are the current leaders in the exercise/health/fitness app marketplace:
My Fitness Pal: My Fitness Pal is one of the most popular of all health/fitness apps, no doubt due to its incredible number of functions. The step and calorie counters are by far the biggest draws for consumers who want to know exactly how far they’ve walked or run, and precisely how much food they’re consumed. For those new to the health/fitness app world, My Fitness Pal is a user-friendly introduction.
Strava: For competitive cyclists and runners who really love comparison data, Strava is the answer. It helps you measure your own performance, speed, and distance covered with a massive database of other Strava users. There’s also a built-in function that lets you access your past stats to see how much you’ve improved from workout to workout.
Map My Run: MMR was one of the pioneers in the fitness app market. Walkers, joggers and competitive runners can select routes in any location based upon total miles or kilometers. There’s no need to be a local or even know the names of nearby streets, which makes MMR a perfect choice for frequent travelers who often find themselves on unfamiliar terrain. Besides counting the miles and showing the way, MMR can design “scenic,” “challenging,” or “urban” routes for those who want variety or a harder or easier workout on a particular day.
Lose It: Lose It is an extremely helpful app for those watching their calories. After inputting personal stats and a weight-loss goal, you’re all set. Daily food intake is measured accurately, bar codes (along with nutritional information) can be scanned while shopping, and a “calories burned” function helps track exercise routines. From there on out, it’s a cinch to determine each day’s calorie surplus or shortfall on the way to a goal weight. Lose It takes the guesswork out of dieting, and lets you know how you’re doing along the way.
Athleats: This ingenious app is connected to a vast database that holds more than 50,000 unique recipes, each one a healthful choice for those who want to avoid junk food. Users who are interested in tracking calories, meal components, grocery items and related information will enjoy the Athleats multifunctional dexterity and comprehensive database. Have a recipe you’d like to share with other Altheats users? No problem! Just upload your own meal suggestions for others to see and use.
Charity Miles: CM, as its users call it, is a truly amazing, simple app for runners, cyclists and walkers who want to help out their favorite charitable causes each time they work out. There are hundreds of charities to choose from and each mile of activity earns between 10 and 25 cents. A casual runner/walker, for example, who logs 30 miles per week could earn $30 per month for a designated cause. It’s an ingenious ideal that is a win-win for active people everywhere.
Fees and Details
Every app listed above is a low-cost, or free, way to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. A few charge monthly fees to cover data costs, so be certain to read the fine print before clicking the download button. It’s also a good idea to spend some time at an app’s commercial website to learn about add-ons, upgrades and product news.
Most fitness and health apps offer premium and free versions depending how many bells and whistles you prefer. While some consumers don’t want connectivity with outside databases, others enjoy the ability to compare notes with millions of other users. Strava, for example, utilizes a charting technique that links up thousands of fitness records.
But even for folks who want data privacy, it is still possible to synch apps listed with a personal heart-rate device, which is a wonderful way to get a clear understanding of one’s health status.
When used properly, fitness and health apps can be a fun and educational addition to any workout or diet.