Chances are at the start of 2014 you vowed to become a healthier person than you were at that point- chances are things didn’t work out as planned. You’re not alone though, as thousands of people make the very same resolution every year and fail to keep it, for one reason or the other. All is not lost however, as smartphones and app developers have come to your rescue (sort of). In case you’re rocking an Android, don’t have a gym membership and don’t wake up to Eye of the Tiger every morning with your running shoes on, here are some ingenious and clever health and fitness apps to help you lose those pounds and laziness and/or start an effective exercise regime. Almost all of these apps are free and wont ask for a single dime from you, but what all of them do need is a certain level of dedication and commitment to actually be of any help! Read on to find out which apps made the list.
In a brilliant twist, this app quite literally puts you in the shoes of ‘Runner 5’ where you have to run to save humanity and its survivors from the zombie apocalypse! During the story you progress through several interesting missions with audio clips narrating the story and giving you directions, when all the time you’re also picking up various supplies such as med kits and ammo. While you’re running, the app records the distance, time, speed and amount of calories burned and gives a neat little summary at the end of every session. You can also set the mission length and play your own custom music playlist when on a mission to keep things interesting. Other cool features include the Zombie Chase feature where you have to speed up and outrun zombies on your trail. Season 3 just came out a few days ago so rest assured the app has hundreds of hours in running time.
Priced 431 PKR download it here.
MyFitnessPal Calorie Counter (Free)
This app is as simple as they come yet very effective when used properly. When you first log in you enter details such as your current weight, your ideal weight (gain or lose) and the amount of exercise and physical activity you usually partake in. It also asks for the time period you want to reach your goal in, for e.g. lose .5 kg every week till your ideal weight is reached. The calorie counter then comes up with a recommended daily calorie intake and also lets you know if your ideal weight is unrealistic (too high or too low). After the initial set up you can proceed to log your food diary everyday. Calorie Counter has an expansive database of over 3 million food items, and the best part is that the database includes a comprehensive list of Pakistani dishes enabling you to log your kofta curry lunch and lassi breakfast too. Every food item has its nutritional information and calories listed, helping you to keep track of your daily caloric intake. The app also has a barcode scanner that lets you take a photo of the barcode of whatever snack you’re having which automatically updates your food diary. Stick to the calorie plan and be patient for the desired results.
Here’s the download link.
Noom Weight Loss Coach (Free)
Another weight loss app that’s free to use and has great reviews to match. Noom is for people who really want to control every little bit of activity or calories they consume, right down to the steps they take everyday! Like MyFitnessPal, Noom has a calorie counter and a huge database that goes a step further by color coding each food item to show how healthy or unhealthy it is. However Noom’s food database is only one third the size of MyFitnessPal so finding local dishes might be a bit of a problem. Noom makes up for that by having a large and friendly community of users trying to gain/lose weight who you can share your progress with and depend on for tips and advice. There’s also a section for healthy recipes and wellness articles in case you’re running out of ideas and motivation. The inbuilt pedometer records every step you take without being too hard on your battery life.
Get it on Google Play
Strava is another exercise app that basically just maps out your cycling/running route via GPS, time, distance, speed and calories burned. Its simple-to-use interface and non-complex nature are the reasons Strava has made it to the list. It also excels at its Google Maps, Facebook and Instagram integration and its unique custom challenges that you can invite your friends to. For example you and your friends can design an “August Challenge” to see how many miles you can run or cycle with results shown in a leaderboard. Challenges can also be public and you can compete against other locals which essentially keeps motivation and dedication to the exercise regime high. You can also pre-plan your route on the map and Strava will automatically guide you along the journey.
Download Strava here.
Runtastic Push-Ups (Free)
Runtastic Push-Ups’ official description on Google Play is as follows “Your personal push-up trainer that helps you reach your exercise and strength training goals with an efficient, easy-to-follow plan.” This pretty much sums up the essence of the app which centers on improving your strength and fitness by way of push ups. All push ups are recorded using your phone’s proximity sensor or by touching the screen with your nose after each push up. Runtastic also has a voice coach, statistics generation and best of all, integration with MyFitnessPal and other Runtastic apps so that all your data is holistically shared among the apps in case you use more than one. There is also an excellent online Runtastic community that you can join for tips and motivation (or to just show off your progress) and the eponymous YouTube channel has loads of videos with information on workout routines and strength training.
Get it here.
BONUS- Charity Miles (Free)
Charity Miles can help you do your good deed while you’re on your daily walk or bicycle route. The premise is simple and powerful- for every mile you run or cycle, a donation is automatically made to the charity of your choice. Charities and foundations for various causes are on the list, including those for Parkinson’s and cancer so you can chose the charity you feel most strongly about and get started. You can even have the app running in your pocket when you’re walking around inside the house via the “Indoor Walking” option.
Here’s the download link.