Your Android is always with you, and it’s a great tool for tracking your exercise, logging your diet victories and slip-ups, and encouraging you to take your fitness farther. Try out these Android apps with your goals for the new year.
FatSecret Calorie Counter
It’s not just that FatSecret’s app has a voluminous database of calorie counts for all kinds of food you’ll eat at home or almost any restaurant — though that’s certainly a helpful thing to have. It’s not even the barcode scanner, which quickly pulls in nutrition information for any pre-packaged goods. The real power of FatSecret is to quickly add all those things you’re eating into an ongoing Food Diary, so you can see your day’s total in calories, fat, carbohydrates or what have you. There’s also an exercise diary, a weight tracker and a personal journal, so you can keep tabs on the less mathematical aspects of getting into shape.[imgclear]
We like it, you like it, and pretty much anyone who’s into running will come to like it. RunKeeper tracks your run via GPS on a map, while also logging your mileage, calories burned, time spent running, and other stats. That data instantly syncs up to RunKeeper’s servers, where you can track your progress, set goals, and otherwise view your running life from a nice overhead view. While you’re running, RunKeeper’s robotic announcer can let you know how far you’ve come and have left to go—helpful for those needing some real-world motivation. Best of all, the unrestricted Pro version is free through the month of January.[imgclear]
For those who don’t just run, or are good enough with Google Maps or spreadsheets to really make use of a whole ton of exercise data, Google’s own My Tracks app fits the bill. It runs in the background while you carry about your exercise (or just casual walking), then sends your stats to either a custom Google Map or your Google Docs account. The app can also link up with Twitter and other networks to broadcast your particularly notable runs/bikes/walks, and keeps backup copies of your data on your SD card.
More than 280,000 health-conscious recipes are loaded into SparkRecipes’ database, and its Android app gives you a very handy interface to get at them. Fat, calories and other nutrition are provided for each recipe, and you can search and sort based on diet or special nutrition needs. Pick out recipes, save them as your favourites, and you’ve got another source to look to for home-cooked meal ideas.[imgclear]
This app covers some of the same ground as RunKeeper, but the app has a larger view of health and training, and the tools to cover it. You can use it to track your outdoor run/bike/walk, but also time and estimate your indoor gym activities, too. There are lots of components to encourage you to stick to your exercise plan. You can install modules to “race” other CardioTrainer users, and a neat New Year’s Resolution feature that can hold a donation amount in escrow. If you stick to your plan, you keep the money, but if you don’t, it goes to a charity of your choice. So use CardioTrainer not as just a fancy timer, but as a social motivational tool.[imgclear]
There are a lot of apps related, often loosely, to health and fitness in the Android Market. We tried to pick out the best and most helpful apps, but if we missed a good one, do tell us in the comments.