Best fitness apps for National Nutrition Month

Tenny Minassian

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Students have hectic lives trying to juggle work, school, family, and social relationships. Student’s phones can be one of their best tools in their quest to juggle it all and stay healthy and fit at the same time.  iPhones and Androids have thousands of applications that can be downloaded and used to help track nutrition and fitness

For the iPhone:
#1
Lose It!
Price: Free
App store rating: 4.5 stars
This application allows you to manage your calorie intake on a daily basis. You can record the food you eat and exercise you do, creating a customized plan of how much weight you want to shed and in what amount of time. Every time you work out it automatically subtracts the calories for you.  This user-friendly app includes a large library of food, including meals from chain restaurants, so you can know how many calories you are in taking. They have added better barcode scanning, so the foods you scan will appear in your personalized ‘my foods’ list.

#2
Calorie Counter by MyNetDiary
Price: Free
App store rating: 4.5 stars
With over 400,000 foods in its database, this app makes it simple to find out how many calories you are indulging in per meal or snack. This feature is updated daily adding on more popular foods to the list. The barcode scanner feature also makes it easy to add on any foods that you are eating to your list. Another advantage is that you don’t need internet access to use the app, it functions just as well offline. The app also gives you a daily summary of what eating habits you could improve, including how much water you should consume on a daily basis. For the exercising aspect of keeping fit, Calorie Counter offers more than 500 activities to choose from. You can also calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) so you know the appropriate weight loss goals to set for yourself.
Additions:
For $3.99 you can upgrade to a pro account which includes:
·         high-quality scanner
·         PhotoFood Service
·         Recipe editor
·         food time tracking
·         body measurements
·         nutrient planning

# 3
Fitness Pro!
Price: Free
App store rating: 3.5 stars
The main features of this app are the exercise references, the capability to create your own workouts, and keeping detailed logs of your progress per workout session. It features more than 450 exercises, with photo demonstrations of real people and descriptions of the exercises as a reference. You can customize your workout routine or simply begin with the preset options. They also have graphs which chart your progress and keep track of the distance you exercised.  A unique feature is their anatomy section, which explains more about the muscles you will be working out with each exercise.  Their online portal is also available for free, giving users the opportunity to use social media and share their progress with friends.

For Android users:
#1
MyFitnessPal (Calorie Counter & diet tracker)
Price: Free
(Also available for the iPhone; rated 5 stars in app store for iPhone)
This app features a database of over 1,100,000 foods, including all the nutritional and calorie information to help you become better informed of what to eat and what to skip. Like all the other fitness and weight management apps mentioned, MyFitnessPal includes a barcode scanner so you can quickly and easily find out the nutritional information of that particular item. The customization of menus and exercises allows you to track your progress and calculate the nutritional content in your personal recipes. For the exercise side of your weight loss goals, this app offers over 350 exercises to try including cardio and general fitness. For extra moral support, you can diet with your friends and track each other’s progress online. This app also works offline.

# 2
Endomondo
Price: Free
(Also available for the iPhone; rated 5 stars in app store for iphone)
Endomondo uses GPS technology to allow users to track their exercise activities, giving feedback on the distance ran, calories burned, and heart rate reached. This is a great app for those interested in running, cycling, and general outdoor sports. You can also interact with your friends and give each other support by writing an encouraging message, which is then read to them through the audio feedback feature. For your competitive side, there is an option to race your friends and use the audio feedback coach to help you. All workout routes can be viewed on maps, and everything on this map can be done while using the music playlist to listen to your favorite songs.

Additions:
Upgrade to the pro version for $3.99, which includes:
·         Graphs giving you lap times, heart rate, speed and altitude
·         A feature to race yourself and beat your previous workout goal with an audio coach to help you along
·         Time/calorie goal, the audio coach will help you reach the goal you set per workout

# 3
Runkeeper
Price: Free
(Also available on the iPhone; rated 3.5 stars)
This app helps you keep track of your fitness goals, using a GPS system so you know exactly the distance you cover per exercise. It shows you where you are on a map, while it keeps track of your pace. It also measures your heart rate and calories burned. The app also has an audio feature which updates you on your progress as often as you want during your workout to let you know if you are on target with your goals. You can customize it by setting the pace of your workout at different speeds for different amounts of time, and get an audio alert letting you know if it is time to speed up or slow down. You can customize a workout to your own personal weight loss and fitness goals. This app is user-friendly and simple. Once you choose the activity you want to do all you have to do is press start, no further settings or steps are required. This app also has an accompanying website which gives what they refer to as “fitness alerts”, which tells you about any records you have set and every time you beat your own record.