Corinne Austin | Personal Training

My Top 5 Health & Fitness Apps

We are often quick to blame modern day technology for making our lives less active, more sedentary, and therefore leading us towards poorer health and fitness.

These days we are amongst a rare few if we don’t own a smartphone. In fact, more than 2.5 million kiwis now own smartphones that have Android or Iphone operating systems built into them. This means endless access to the internet and the infinite wealth and breadth of information, tools and accessories that it now provides.

As much as our smartphones can be a distraction to our lives, they can also be incredibly useful and helpful as we strive to achieve new health and fitness goals. The number of apps (the shortened form of smarthphone ‘applications’) available is almost unimaginable. Having canvassed many of them myself, I considered it an appropriate time to share my top five (free!) health and fitness apps. I have broken it down into five different categories: running, pre-designed workouts, overall wellness, hydration, and weight loss.

  • MayMyRun (Running): This application uses your smartphone’s built-in GPS to trace all of your running variables. MapMyRun presents you with an interactive map and details the precise route you travel/travelled. It also includes the duration, speed, distance covered, the elevation, and how many calories you tore through during each session you log. You are then able to save, post and share your workout with friends on facebook, and on the MapMyRun website. This app provides a secure record of past run sessions, particularly useful if you’re building up fitness or preparing for a race or event. Designed to help fitness enthusiasts of all levels and abilities, this app also has sister apps – MayMyWalk, MapMyHike, and MapMyRide.
  • (Pre-designed Workouts): Stemming from the fantastic and well-followed website, this application is essentially the worlds largest and free gym session. The workouts are designed to be done at home, with little to no equipment, and in a fraction of the time of traditional gym workouts. The app provides daily video demonstrations of entire workouts in three different workout types – sculpt and burn, cardio, and stretch. Followers can comment and post their workout scores, ask questions about exercise and nutrition, or chat with other ‘bodyrockers’ in this non-judgemental, empowering, and inspiring environment. The workouts are tailored to suit beginners through to advanced. A top fitness app!
  • Fig (Wellness): Fig is an app that guarantees you increased happiness, better sleep, deeper friendships, and enhanced physical vitality. It helps you to create a personal and holistic wellness journey that goes beyond food and physical activity. Users design their own personalized goals for what they believe defines greater health. Fig helps you to design your overall wellness plan by breaking it down into five categories: Eat (meals and drinks), Move (exercise and flexilbility), Refresh (sleep and relaxation), Connect (friends and family), and Feel (gratitude and awareness). Like many apps, it too comes with a social aspect. Becoming part of the Fig community means you will be able to cheer, motivate, and praise others when you sense they need it most. A great app that encourages little steps to be taken to form an overall wellness transformation.
  • Daily Water Free (Hydration): These days many of us are incredibly slack with drinking an adequate amount of water. We forget all the vital roles that water plays in our body, and many of us don’t understand that too much water can also be detrimental to some medical conditions too. This app enables you to customize your daily intake goals, log your fluid intake, check your hydration history, customize daily drinking schedules, and chat with others. You can choose funky alert sounds that your phone will use to signal it’s time to take another drink. Most useful for creating new drinking habits.
  • MyFitnessPal (weight loss): This app has a 5-star rating and is by far the most popular of all health and fitness apps. It hopes to provide user-friendly tools and support to enable you to realise your weight loss dreams. Essentially a calorie counter, MyFitnessPal contains the largest food database of any app (over 2 million foods). Users can quickly and easily log their food intake, scan barcodes, back up your data online, support and track others progress, calculate calories on new recipes, view over 350 exercises, track workouts, calculate calorie expenditure of workouts, customize goals, and view your progress graphs and charts. It is a fantastic weight loss tool! And with recent studies showing that you can as good as double your weight loss simply by recording your intake, this app should not be missed!