Ready to go outside and get fit this summer? The hardware of your smartphone, its software and an app store full of programs can help you with this. Here are instructions on how to get the most out of your device.
In 2014, Apple and Google announced both dashboard apps to track personal health and wellbeing, and the companies have improved these apps since then.
The Google Fit app works on the Android and iOS operating systems. (It can also import health data from Wear OS, Apple Watches, and third-party apps.) Working with the American Heart Association, Google Fit helps users set activity goals to collect Heart Points for better cardiovascular health. That year, Google announced that the app could also use the phone’s camera to measure heart and respiratory rates for informational purposes (but not as a medical diagnosis); Google’s own Pixel phones were the first to get this feature.
Both Apple Health and Google Fit include basic tools like a pedometer that uses the phone’s motion sensor to track your steps, but fitness and food apps can provide more detailed information.
Get a new (exercise) routine
If you’re looking for a workout app for a workout plan that goes beyond step counting, your options are plenty. Most of the popular programs are available for both Android and iOS. These include the Jefit Workout Planner and the Skimble Workout Trainer; Both offer instructions on specific exercises and routines for low subscription fees.
The Peloton app ($ 13 per month) offers video-controlled workouts, and Google Fit has a curated list of free workout videos on YouTube. For those planted in the Apple ecosystem, the Apple Fitness + service costs $ 10 a month and requires an Apple Watch with your iPhone to monitor your vital signs.
Runners and cyclists looking to measure their progress have a variety of apps to consider. For beginners, the $ 3 Couch to 5K app offers a training plan for more stationary newbies to work their way up to a solid running routine. Runkeeper and MapMyRun use the phone’s location services to record and track routes; both are free with in-app purchases. Cyclemeter and Strava are also affordable apps that track running, cycling, and more.
Keep a food journal
If you want to focus on diet adjustments – eat more protein, consume less sodium, lose a few pounds for the pandemic – and don’t want to manually log food labels, consider a dedicated nutrition app. Many of these are free to download, but offer in-app subscriptions for personalized nutrition planning, community support, and other features.
Recognition…Lose it! / MyFitnessPal
Among the apps in this category is Lose It! focuses on calorie counting and weight loss and can share its data with Apple Health, Google Fit and other apps. Lose it! has a huge database of nutritional information for millions of items and can scan packaging labels to add new foods. MyFitnessPal is a similar program with a database of 11 million foods, a huge online community, and the ability to sync and share data with 50 other fitness apps and devices.
Plan your way
Your phone’s Maps app can help you get more active in general. For example, just type “gyms near me” to see where you can work out or “hike” to find hiking trails nearby.
Over the past year, both Apple Maps and Google Maps added new features for urban cyclists, including bike routes in specific cities, the location of bike rental docks in the city, and elevation information. In Google Maps for Android and iOS, you can also tap the Layers button to view bike routes and terrain – so you’re really prepared for any non-metaphorical climbs on your trip.