The 4 Best Fitness Apps Out There
Getting fit is a difficult yet rewarding task. There are no quick fixes, nor are there any real shortcuts. It all requires hard work, dedication and a darn good diet. But that's not as boring as it sounds; there is another ingredient you can throw into the mix to make it just that little bit easier: fitness apps.
This raises an all-important question: which apps are the best? It all comes down to personal preference, but some of the most popular fitness apps out there at the moment are Fitbit, Map My Run, Endomondo and Jefit, and we thoroughly recommend downloading at least one of them (or even more than one if you're a bit of a freak).
Now let's start:
This AppÂ is terrific for anyone who considers themselves as 'sporty'. Think of a sport, and Endomondo will help you to improve at it by focusing on your cardiovascular endurance. Its primary function is to monitor the distance you cover, your pace, hydration, the altitude, total ascent and descent and the amount of calories you burn (try saying all that without taking a breath). It encourages healthy competition by linking you up with your friends and comparing your scores. 'Beat a friend' is literally an option with this app. It's like Facebook, only it encourages people to socialise by getting off their bums.
As an example, if you're into jogging then Endomondo's Audio Coach will talk to you every time you hit the mile-mark, as well as informing you on how quickly you completed that mile. Fortunately you can play music in your ears as you go; just be prepared to hear a robotic voice every so often. It's like having a personal trainer in your pocket; you'll constantly receive updates on your performance and, more importantly, how much better you are than your mates. Hehe.
You can manually map out your own running routes if you wish; this is done by plotting different checkpoints via Google maps. Alternatively you can just log into the app, go for a run and let the wind take you. Either way the GPS is very accurate and you're able to save your own routes, so you can run or cycle it again whenever you wish. It also has the ability to connect to your heart rate monitor via Bluetooth -an ability it shares with Map My Run- so you'll know how healthy your ticker is.
This app is very useful at using GPS to track your 'you guessed it' running. It's similar to Endomondo in that it tracks and logs all the necessary information you need to keep improving (with a little less detail). Some advantages Map My Run has over Endomondo, however, are its in-built nutrition log and the fact that it will even estimate when your running gear will start to wear and tear. This will come in very handy if you're not so great at inspecting your things.
It's probably worth mentioning these apps in the same breath as they're very similar in the way that they function. Where they differ is that Endomondo caters to cyclists as well as runners and joggers, whereas Map My Run doesn't require you to download a separate app in order to keep a beady eye on your nutrition. If you'd like to look at your stats on the big screen, then both of these apps have a website facility.
An app on the other end of the spectrum. Whilst it can be useful for logging some cardiovascular exercise, it is actually very much centred on weight lifting. Every bodyweight or weight lifting exercise under the sun can be found on this app; cardio choices are limited, but the essentials are there if you need them.
With Jefit you can set your own targets for the amount of sets and reps you'd like to complete for each exercise in your routine, as well as planning out your week by assigning set days for specific workouts, which you can construct yourself. If you're unsure about creating your own workout, there are hundreds already out there for you to choose from.
Jefit will keep track of your progress and encourage you to lift more weight every time you repeat an exercise, so you're constantly improving. It doesn't put much pressure on you to do so, but when you beat your 'one rep max' it sure is satisfying to see that little message pop up on your screen.
At the end of each workout this app even calculates the total amount of weight you lifted that day. It may not be the most useful of statistics, but it makes you feel like the Hulk for a good ten minutes afterwards.
A much simpler app than any of the others in this list. It won't keep track of your altitude, nor will it tell you that you've lifted the equivalent of 2 tonnes in thirty minutes. So as it lacks these in depth features, it's actually worth combining it with one of the above.
Fitbit has its own niche in that it keeps track of a statistic that none of the other apps we've listed take into account: the amount of steps you take. It runs nicely in the background without using up too much of your battery, which is really neat. Let it know your weight and it will give you an estimate of the calories you burn day to day. It also offers a food and fluid log in order to monitor the calories you've consumed as well (insert cookie joke here).
This app is very beneficial if you'd like to keep a diet log, or if you want to get a little fitter by walking more often. As we mentioned earlier, it would be worth combining it with one of the other apps in this list, so you can see how active you are on the days that you don't run, cycle or pump iron. And let's face it, tracking how many steps you take in a day is way more rad than simply knowing how many miles you've covered.
Oh, we forgot to mention, it does that as well.