A strict, healthy diet and regular fitness regime require an abundance of willpower and a goal-oriented mindset. While no Android app can replace those, there are many great apps that can make the whole process a lot easier. They can help you count how many calories you consume each day, monitor your gym progress, and serve as a personal trainer—one that doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars per week and is always available.
MyFitnessPal made headlines last year, when it was acquired for $475 million by Under Armour, an American sports clothing and accessories company. What could make a sports appeal manufacturer think that investing nearly half a billion of dollars into a health and fitness app is a good idea? Perhaps it was the fact that MyFitnessPal is the most popular and best-rated app on the Play Store, with 5 stars from more than 1 million users.
It also helps that MyFitnessPal has the largest database of foods and meals in existence. According to the app’s Play Store page, the database contains over 6,000,000 foods and is growing every day. You see, MyFitnessPal has a strong social aspect to it, allowing users to easily enter their own meals, snacks, and local foods, sharing them with everyone else in the process. That way, you don’t have to meticulously copy nutritional information of that Greek yogurt you bought in Tesco; simply enter its name and add it to your meal plan with a single tap.
The app allows you to set goals, tracks your progress and exercise, and packs a lot of great extra features, such as progress reports, recipe calculator, and others. Owners of fitness devices such as Fitbit, Garmin, or Jawbone can connect them to MyFitnessPal even more convenient tracking.
Fitbit, an American company known for its activity trackers that measure data such as the number of steps walked, heart rate, quality of sleep, steps climbed, and other personal metrics, dominates the fitness app market with almost 60% of the share of all users who use fitness-tracking apps. The company has managed to achieve such a remarkable market penetration thanks to their line of activity trackers, all of which make for great Christmas or birthday gifts.
The compatible Android app wirelessly syncs with your Fitbit Surge, Charge HR, Charge, Flex, One, or Zip tracker, tracking your daily goals and progress without you having to do so manually, which can get rather tiring very quickly. All activity trackers from Fitbit come with a slightly different set of features, but they all are able to tell how many steps you take each day and how many calories you burn.
For many people, just focusing on these two things is often enough to improve health and general fitness. However, those who want to go even further than that can, as the Fitbit app comes with built-in food and activities trackers.
FitStar Personal Trainer
To expand Fitbit’s hardware business, the company has purchased FitStar, a popular workout app, for upwards of $25 to $40 million in a mix of cash and stock. The logic behind the acquisition is simple: users set their goals in the main Fitbit app, use the hardware activity tracker to monitor their daily physical activity, use the built-in calorie log to keep an eye on how many muffins is too many muffins (the answer is, usually, one), and they turn on the FitStar app whenever they need to burn a few extra calories, strengthen a certain body part, or enjoy a healthy stretching session after a long day spent sitting in a chair.
Standard fitness programs are all too frequently repetitive, requiring grueling effort several times per week. FitStar breaks the monotony by featuring a whole range of dynamic programs that continually adjust to your feedback, goals, and capabilities. All exercises are showed as HD video with step-by-step instructions and helpful tips. New workout programs are added every month, always giving you something fun to try.
Have you arrived late from work and don’t have a whole hour to do a lengthy workout? No problem; with FitStar, you can set your own schedule and select from a variety of routines that last anywhere from 7 to 60 minutes.
Runtastic Running & Fitness
Runtastic started with an app for runners and later expanded to include other activities, such as mountain biking, push-ups, sit-ups, and tracking sleep. Their running app is regarded as the best choice for Android owners who enjoy a good run. Its popularity convinced Adidas to purchase Runtastic at around $239 million dollars. We’ll see what will come out of this deal, but it’s safe to speculate that it will have something to do with Adidas’s own line of fitness hardware called “micoach.”
The Runtastic app is like a personal coach for every aspiring or recreational runner. It relies on GPS information from your smartphone or Android Wear device to accurately track your location, speed, and total mileage. You can set up a yearly running goal and let the app motivate you to reach it.
The Real Voice Coach feature can tell you how you’re doing or help you push through the last mile. If you want, Runtastic can keep track of the mileage on your running shoes, so you know when it’s time to toss them away and get a new pair—something tells us that Adidas came up with this feature.
Runtastic also has a premium version, which features personalized running plans, ABC videos with helpful running tips, personal records, advanced analysis, and weekly fitness reports.
Jawbone UP – Smart Coach for Health
Jawbone is an American manufacturer of wearable products, best known for their UP fitness trackers. Until recently, Jawbone’s Android app required their fitness trackers to work, but with the new UP app for Android and iOS, you can track your diet, activity, and sleep without additional hardware.
Jawbone realized that modern smartphones already pack enough sensors to provide them with all the data they need to monitor users’ progress. As such, the new UP app works not only with UP2, UP3, and UP4 activity trackers from Jawbone but also with smartphones with motion tracking and Android Wear watches. Some features, such as the sleep tracking and heart rate monitoring, work only with Jawbone activity trackers, but the rest is available to anyone with a modern smartphone.
And what is it that the app offers? Workout tracking with streaks, milestone, and idle alerts; detailed food logging with the ability to set goals; and more. Perhaps most importantly, the user interface is so well-made that it makes you actually open the app and use it to help you reach your goals.