The Android App Store is chock full of health and fitness related apps. From calorie counters and workout logs to how-to yoga guides, it can be an overwhelming task to narrow down the field and choose the ones that will benefit you the most. Here are five of the best to get you started. Have fun trying these and discovering more on your own; remember, the best ones are those that you will stick with in pursuit of your goals. All of these apps are available on the Android App Store.
1. Men’s Health Workouts. $1.99
This is the only app on the list you have to pay for, but at $1.99, it’s a steal. Browse through over 20 workouts and 165 exercises, with no muscle left behind. Keep a log of your own workouts down to every last rep, with the option of sharing results with friends and fellow gym rats. With a built in timer and tons of useful tips and tricks you’d expect from one of the biggest names in the field, this app delivers the goods.
2. Calorie Tracker. Free
Looking for six pack abs? Good news: you already have them. We all do. Unfortunately, they are usually hidden away under a layer of flab. Calorie Tracker can help you stick to your nutrition plan and reach your weight loss goals. Search for foods by name, brand, supermarket, or restaurant. There’s even a barcode scan for quick access to packaged food info. Create a food and exercise diary to keep track of your daily calories in / calories out, as well as protein, carb, and fat intake. With over 450,000 foods and restaurants in the database, you’ll be melting inches faster than you can say “hold the mayo.”
3. Cardio Trainer. Free
One of the great things about advancing smartphones is that a variety of pricey gadgets can now be accessed for a fraction of the price (or nothing at all) on one device that fits in your pocket. Cardio Trainer is a workout enthusiast’s dream. Using your phone’s GPS, it displays your walk or run on the map, while tracking time, distance, pace, and calories burned. You can also select from a generous selection of other activities (bike, roller-blade, etc.) for even greater accuracy. And if GPS is not available, Cardio Trainer can be used as a fully functioning pedometer. With a built in music player and fully customizable settings, Cardio Trainer earns its reputation as “better than any fitness app on the iPhone” (Bob Tedeschi, New York Times).
4. Round One Timer. Free
Not just for boxing aficionados, Round One Timer is an awesome app for anyone who likes to work up a good sweat with some interval training. Interval training, according to Men’s Health, is the quickest way to burn fat and get in peak sports performance shape. Round One Timer lets you set your “round” time as well as recovery time, and plug in how many “rounds” you want to perform. There is even a round-end warning sound that gives you a heads up when the round is coming to a close. This app is especially useful when doing stationary intervals, like jump rope or shadow boxing, because you can focus on your exercise without having to continuously peek at a clock or reset a stopwatch. Bottom line, Round One Timer packs a punch.
5. Instant Heart Rate. Free
The old rule of thumb is that during a moderately paced workout, you shouldn’t be able to sing your favorite song, and can only carry on a conversation that is interrupted or labored. I find I get some funny looks at the gym when I suddenly belt out a few lines of “Sweet Home Alabama” or start conversing with my water bottle. Instant Heart Rate takes the guesswork out by utilizing your smartphone’s technology. By placing your index finger on your phone’s camera lens, this app recognizes the small changes in your skin color each time your heart beats, giving you an instant readout and real time graph. Keep track of your intensity level with this amazingly accurate app, and save your singing for the shower.