If you're trying to get in better shape and just live healthier overall, your iPhone can be an immensely helpful tool. Here's a look at our favourite iPhone apps that help you exercise, eat better and live a healthier life.
Nike Training Club
This is an awesome app and I cannot say that enough. There are a lot of apps that claim to be a pocket personal trainer but this one is actually pretty effective. It teaches you to do the exercises, gives you workouts tailored to your specific goals, and gives you point-based incentives so exercising is more like a game with rewards. You're shown how to do each exercise with photos and a description and video demonstrations with voiceover. It's really everything you could ask for in a workout trainer, but what's especially incredible is that it's free. All the video takes up a lot of space so it'll take some time to download, but that 600-some MB of data is absolutely worthwhile. If you're serious about getting in shape but don't really know what to do, this app is perfect for you.
Note: Nike Training Club is really Nike Training Club for Women. Why this app is supposed to only work for women is beyond me, as I couldn't come across a single exercise that wouldn't be beneficial to men as well. So, guys, ignore the name. It'll work for you just fine, too.
Nike Training Club (Free) | iTunes App Store
While we do like the built-in Nike+ app that you can get for free with your iPhone, we've already got one Nike app on this list and the app requires you to buy a Nike+ sensor for your Nike shoe. Too much Nike and too much money. RunKeeper is a free alternative (although you can pay for extra features) that will track your runs and give you plenty of feedback. It uses your iPhone's GPS to track where you've gone. This is great for those times when you find a really great route and want to repeat it, plus it gives you a lot of neat data to play with. If you split your running between the outdoors and the gym, RunKeeper will let you enter manual data (such as a treadmill run) so no run goes untracked. RunKeeper works with the music already on your iPhone and provides you with audio cues as you progress through your run. It is overall our favourite mobile fitness app. As an added bonus, the Pro version is free through January.
While I'm not convinced that calorie counting is the ideal way to diet, knowing the foods that are going into your body and tracking what you eat can be very helpful. Hopefully you're eating plenty of these calorie-burning foods, but either way you can track them all with Lose It! Lose It! lets you enter everything you eat and helps you estimate calories with information that's built into the app. You can enter your goals and Lose It! will show you your progress. If you exercise, you can enter that into the app as well to account for any added calorie burn. Lose It! is private by default, but it will also let you share your progress with friends. If you have a bunch of friends with iOS devices who are also looking to lose weight/eat healthier, you can track each other's progress as well. Dieting and exercising in a group can be very helpful in maintaining a diet and provides you with some healthy, friendly competition. Lose It! is a very comprehensive calorie tracker and it offers all of this for free without ads.
Lose It (Free) | iTunes App Store
Whole Foods Market Recipes
It can be expensive to actually shop at Whole Foods, but they kind enough to provide you their recipes for free. What makes this app of interest in the health category is its ability to provide you with recipes based on specific criteria. Recipes can be easily sorted for vegans, people with gluten allergies, or for anyone just looking for something that's low fat, high in fibre, or any of the many other options the app provides. This means that if you're on a diet, you can find recipes that are well-suited for that type of diet. One other neat feature — although it's not necessarily health-related — is the app's ability to suggest recipes based on ingredients you already have around the house. I'm usually pretty good at making decisions, but I'm terrible when it comes to deciding what to eat. Having a suggestion based on what's available to me often becomes very helpful to avoid wasting time when planning meals.
Whole Foods Market Recipes (Free) | iTunes App Store
Got any other great mobile fitness or health apps that you love? Let us know in the comments.