I personally love using technology to help me with my fitness goals. These apps provide me with motivation, organisation, education and save me time. Here is a list of my must-have free health and fitness apps:
1) My Fitness Pal
What it does: This app tells you the calorie, macronutrient and micronutrient information of just about every food you can think of. This calorie counting app is useful for eating a specific amount of calories so you can reach your goal, whether for muscle gain or fat loss.
What I use it for: I use it when applying the flexible dieting approach for fat loss. I find it very easy to use once I’ve persisted with it for 2 weeks. My clients have also given similar feedback. I also use it to work out the calorie content and macronutrient amounts for the recipes I create.
What it does: You use it to save videos, articles and recipes to view later.
What I use it for: I’m really loving this at the moment! If I come across an article or video while scrolling on Facebook and don’t have time to read/watch it right away, I save it in Pocket for later. If I come across a recipe while using my phone, I also ‘Pocket it’ so I can look it up later and screenshot it to store permanently in Evernote (see below). I don’t like to screenshot recipes from my phone because I get much better quality on my iPad. Does anyone else do this, or am I just a OCD perfectionist?
What it does: Evernote stores and organises all your notes and images in one place. It’s wonderful because once you’ve stored on it, it is there for you forever! Also, you can access it from any device – iPad, iPhone, laptop, desktop or computer. I guess it’s a little like Pinterest except it’s totally private and you can add notes below your stored images. After being told by Evernote enthusiasts for years that I should try it, I have finally gotten into it and LOVE IT! It took me a while to learn how to use it, so I plan on doing a blog in the future to help you get started so you don’t get frustrated and impatient (and almost give up on it) like I did.
What I use it for: At the moment I store all my recipes here and tag them as either ‘savoury’, ‘sweet’ or ‘drink’. It’s really easy to find what I’m looking for. In the interests of de-cluttering a little, I am going to start storing all receipts and business cards in Evernote too. I find de-cluttering is great for your mental health.
What it does: It is a period tracking app (guys you can skip reading about this one!). You record the signs and symptoms you experience throughout your menstrual cycle. It helps you understand your body more such as how your moods and energy levels are affected by your cycle. It also lets you know if your hormones and reproductive system are a little ‘out of whack’; for example, if you have a much longer period than usual that month. It can be used to help you to learn when you are fertile too, which is essential if you are aiming to fall (or not to fall) pregnant.
What I use it for: I use it to track my signs and symptoms. If your cycle is not ‘normal’, it is good to be aware so you can consider the things that affect it such as stress, sleep, exercise and nutrition. It is also nice to know approximately what day you are going to be experiencing PMS and getting your period on. I also use it as part of my contraception technique, the natural fertility awareness method (FAM).
5) Gymboss Interval Timer
What it does: Allows you to set up timers for interval training.
What I use it for: I have a gymboss interval timer (a small battery operated timer you clip to your clothing) which I use for interval training. However, if I am on holiday and don’t have it with me, then the free phone app version is very handy. I highly recommend it for interval training. It means you don’t have to keep looking at your watch and can just focus on your music and mindset to push you through your workout.
6) Fitstar Yoga
What it does: It teaches you yoga. It is literally like being a in yoga class. You start off with choosing your level and then doing an initial 19 minute session. Then they ask you to rate how difficult you found the exercises so they can customise the next workout for you. Every week you get one free indivualised yoga session. (There are also a number of ‘freestyle’ sessions you can do which are just generic workouts but are still great!)
What I use it for: I like to do a recovery session once a week. This free at-home yoga class is a great way of doing that. It is very relaxing and time effective. I love how my body moves much more freely after yoga (or a stretching session). It loosens all the joints and muscles very nicely. Tip – light a candle and do this in the evening. It’s a great way to wind down for bed.
Do you have any health and fitness apps you love?