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This article was published on February 25, 2011

10 fantastic iPhone apps to keep you fit and healthy

10 fantastic iPhone apps to keep you fit and healthy
Fatema Yasmine
Story by

Fatema Yasmine

Fatema is the founder of SmartGiggles and a technology writer living in San Francisco. You can find her on Twitter @FatemaYasmine. Fatema is the founder of SmartGiggles and a technology writer living in San Francisco. You can find her on Twitter @FatemaYasmine.

There are various forms of flu and cold viruses being passed around especially this time of year. To prevent yourself from getting sick or recovering faster if you do, you need to strengthen your immune system. The best way to do that is by being healthy.

Here is a list of the most recommended iPhone apps to keep you healthy and fit:

Lose It! [Free]
Hits: This app provides a simple way to track calories eaten in food and used via exercise. It has a fairly extensive library of standard and brand-name foods with accurate calorie, carb, fiber, fat, and protein values, all of which are trackable within the app. It also lets you set weight-loss goals and track it over time.

Misses: The calorie budget and burn amounts per exercise aren’t necessarily accurate for all users, as the program doesn’t let you input your activity level or body fat percentage and inputting data can become tedious over time.

WalkMeter [$4.99]
Hits: This app is incredibly intuitive, easy to use, and super fun. Its quick integration with Google maps provides for very cool satellite images and lines indicating where you have walked. GPS works seamlessly with Google Maps and allows for altitude monitoring when you are in cell range. It continually records your time, location, distance, elevation and pace as you walk or run. WalkMeter also automatically creates routes for you based on GPS data and remembers your routes so you can compete against yourself for a better time and pace.

Misses: You need to have reception to load Google maps. If you are in a bad cell area, the best part of this app won’t work. The app has problems tracking your progress with incoming calls and lacks obvious pedometer functionality.

Fitness Pro [Free]
Hits: This app is like fitness magazine and an electronic log for your workouts. It offers tips for newbies on types of cardio exercises  and proper form. Exercise can be selected by individual muscle groups. Some exercises it demonstrates can be done at home, with minimal equipment. It also includes preprogrammed routines but also allows you to create your own as well.

Misses: All of the included routines require hard-core gym equipment with the exercises shown being standard. This is not suited for the more seasoned fitness fanatic.

GymGoal [$3.99]
Hits: An extensive list of exercises with animations, and the ability to personalize the exercises by adding your own images. It includes a variety of calculators, such as for target heart rate, BMI, BMR, and body fat percentage. There is an integrated body map of muscles which lets you hone in on the specific area you would like to work and provides exercises designed for that muscle group.

Misses: All the workouts are geared for use in a gym so not good if you want to use it at home. There are very few pre-installed workout routines and no cardio offerings. Not for the seasoned fitness bunnies.

FitnessBuilder [$9.99]
Hits: FitnessBuilder comes with a massive library of targeted fitness routines as well as individual exercises. It lets you narrow options by your location (gym, hotel room) and goal (core, flexibility) and tracks completed workouts by date. A variety calculators and stat trackers are included and offers a workout builder tool for easily tailoring your own routines.

Misses: It’s an expensive for an app. It would also be nice if there was a way to automatically play (properly timed) slideshows of routines to remove the need to swipe through each exercise by hand, an audio guide would be best. This is not a simple app, and the complexity means it will take time and patience to use it to the fullest.

Go Pedometer [$0.99]
Hits: This is a neat little pedometer app that does so much more than just count your steps. It measures distance, time, calories burned per hour, average speed and a lot more. It calculates time walking, distance in feet, calories burned, calories burned per hour, number of steps, average speed and actual speed. It also stops automatically when you stop walking and has a locking mode so you can put it in your pocket or on your belt while walking and prevent it accidentally turning off

Misses: It could be improved with GPS but it’s awesome for the price and what it offers.

iTreadmill Pedometer [$0.99]
Hits: This app accurately tracks steps, distance, and average speed while in a hand, strapped to an arm, or carried in a pocket or purse. Its sensor and stride calibrator help ensure the utmost accuracy. A calorie counter and a pacer for setting speed goals is included.

Misses: The calorie counter is based on weight alone, so it may not be entirely accurate and it would be a better treadmill replicator if there was a sensor for detecting incline.

Wellness Tip of the Day [Free]
Hits: Fun facts for overall health delivered by the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness application. Facts include: drinking cloudy (or pulpy) juice is better for you because it has more antioxidants than the processed stuff. And keeping your brain healthy and happy (by volunteering, for example) makes it more likely you’ll stick with that gym routine.

Misses: It would be nice to have more then one tip for the day.

MiMeals – meal planner [$1.99]
Hits: Meal planning and fitness go hand-in-hand. If you have all your meals for the week planned out in advance, you’re more likely to stick to the caloric budget you’ve laid out for yourself. MiMeals includes meal planning, recipe storage, and a tickable grocery list feature to help make it easier for you.

Misses: You need to be dedicated and organised to stick to planning and cooking in advance.

iFitness Manager [$1.99]
Hits: iFitness is a great all around app that lets to keep very detailed notes on each workout including weight, reps, time, heart rate, and calories burned. As you keep a log of your progress, the app allows you to chart your progress over time. It also creates workout routines for you that can be helpful for people that don’t know where to start.

Misses: Most exercises focus on areas of the body which can help you really focus in on problem areas and includes video tutorials of many workouts. It’s not so good if you want to focus on cardio as it mostly mostly for weight training. The limited number of workout routines may frustrate beginners that need more guidance.

Gym Buddy [$2.99]
Hits: Gym Buddy assumes you have prior workout experience. So, assuming that when you go to the gym you already know what you’re doing and you want a great app to track everything for you, this is the one. It has advanced and detailed workout logging, tracks time, notes, weight and reps. Allows you to create your own detailed workout plans. It also has cool timers that let you keep track of rests between reps. There are cool graphs that help you keep track of weight, body fat, BMI and lean body mass.

Misses: This app also heavily focuses on weight training over cardio and beginners will not find it beneficial at all.

If there are any health and fitness iPhone apps that should have been mentioned in the list let me know in the comments.

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