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Work It Out: 5 Fitness Apps To Get You Ready For Summer

by Blogger on ‎05-16-2011 04:23 AM

June is just around the corner, that means its time to lay off the steak and potatoes and saddle up to some salads.  If you're trying to drop some lbs and get into shape for the summer, here are a few apps to help you out.


RunKeeper - FREE - iPhone


I'm still not comfortable running with something as large as an iPhone on my arm, but when I push my sons around in a jogging stroller on my runs, I toss the phone in the pouch and it works wonders.  Audible marks bark out your time and pace at intervals and you can upload the data to track your fitness improvements and routes over time.


Originally this app cost ten bucks, then went on sale for free at the beginning of the year - and it's still on sale.  The app's developer is now focussing their efforts on subscription model Run Keeper Elite and the Run Keeper Store.


If you're not into spending $150+ on a dedicated GPS watch for your running, but want to measure time and distance to get on pace for a 10k, half marathon or marathon this summer - this is your app. Again, the only drawback is having to carry the bulky iPhone with you, but there are armbands for that.

Runkeeper is easy to use, it's free and works best with an iPhone.


Daily Burn - Free - iPhone


It's not enough to just work out - you need to track what comes in as well.  Daily Burn gets you going by asking your age, weight and fitness goals.  Once you've got that loaded, you track your daily calorie intake, workout burns and your current weight within the app.


Daily Burn is done by the same company that makes Meal Snap (see below) so you can have the two work in sync to count your food calories. There's also an in app purchase to upgrade to a barcode scanner ($4.99), so you can just scan a box before you have a snack to have the nutrition information loaded into the app.  (Other in app purchases include trainer consultations (3 for $9.99) and Daily Burn Pro (3 mos for $24.99)


The app is very easy to use, especially on an iPhone. The added upgrade of the barcode scanner makes it extra easy to log your eats throughout the day and makes your calorie counting more accurate.


Hundred Pushups - $1.99 - iPod / iPhone / iPad


The concept for Hundred Pushups is easy - do a basic test of as many pushups as you can and then follow the exercise outline detailed in the app and at the end of a few weeks you'll be able to do 100 pushups without stopping - guaranteed.


Confession: I have yet to complete this course. I've tried it a few times and it did get me going and stronger but (as with many things in life) I lost interest and just stopped doing the daily exercises.


That confessed, I can say that the app works and it hurts.  You drop and give it 20 or 15 or 45 or whatever it says. Then you do it again.  The sets are hard, your chest and shoulder gets shredded, but you do get fitter and improve your strength with each day of exercises.


Hundred Pushups is great on iPhone, iPod or iPad since you're just following instructions. It's easy to use and if you complete the course I'd love to see a before and after shot of your ripped self.


Navy Seal - $1.99 - iPod / iPhone / iPad


I don't need to tell you how bad ass the Navy Seals are.  Osama can tell you.   The fitness tests these men (and women) go through put all human strength to the test. They spend weaks doing nothing but running and swimming and not sleeping.  They can sky dive from 30 000 feet. They are the closest thing to Super Heroes we have on this planet.  This app can make you one.


Okay, maybe that's high praise but the boot camps you see in the parks all spring and summer are more like flip-flop camp compared to the basic training this app will put you through.


The app is basically an electronic version of a similar print book - 19 chapters, 5 appendices and some 900 pages of military intelligence. The app, however adds 5 workout videos to help explain the concepts and show you some techniques.


The app is very easy to use, but you're going to need serious motivation to get through the entire thing and be all that you can be.  Since it's basically a book, the app is easy on either iPhone, iPad or iPod.

Meal Snap - $2.99 - iPhone


When this app was first unveiled, it seemed kind of gimicky. I mean, you take a picture of your food and it tells you how many calories you're eating? Get real.

But think about it... we blogstars are taking pictures of our food all the time for our blogs or Facebook or Twitter, so why not use those photos for good and help diarize our food intake. 


Any personal coach will tell you that diarizing your day is the first step to changing things from the good. If you want to save money, keep track of where every penny goes. If you want to lose weight, meticulously count your calories to see where you can make changes.


Meal Snap makes the diarizing a breeze - but the calorie counting is a little more inexact as the app presents extreme ranges for the calories your food photos.   For diarizing what you eat, this is a fun tool - to accurately count your calories, you're best picking something else (like Daily Burn).


This app is very simple and straightforward and is best on an iPhone.


There is a HUGE list of health and fitness apps in the iTunes store.  Some others that may grab you include Couch to 5k, Ab Workouts, Men's Health Workouts, Lose It or Diet and Fitness Tracker.


While all these apps are great and new research shows that if you have a smartphone, you're more interested in your health, another survey says that too much multitasking makes you fat.


The choice is yours - app it up or go for a walk.


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