While it may be unsettling for some to put one’s life into the hands of computer applications, there may actually be programs that can bring some benefit to an individual and perhaps to many others as well. These can include emergency apps that tell users what to do during medical emergencies and natural disasters or mobile fitness apps to achieve personal fitness goals without necessarily going to the gym.
An example of such an app is “Charity Miles,” which can be downloaded free on IOS and android systems. This app is used to count miles while walking, running, or biking. Aside from keeping track of the miles (and calories one burns), corporate sponsors donate a few cents for every mile completed. One may think that this accounts for nothing but staying focused on one’s fitness goals ensures that money goes to people who are most in need.
The top picks
New applications are developed and come out each day making it very difficult to find out which ones actually work. Luckily, many tech-savvy people, health buffs, and even plain housewives have road-tested some of these apps. Among them, which have been hand-picked by PC and Forbes magazines and which can be downloaded free (or can be upgraded for a fee), are:
· Lose It! - Many health coaches agree that diet plays a bigger, more crucial factor in weight loss or weight programs than exercise itself. So before beginning an exercise routine, one must first stick to a prescribed number of calories per day to complement physical activity. Inputting name-brand American food (and some generic) items into the Lose It! interface calculates the number of calories for each one.
· Fitbit – This app counts calories, takes note of one’s weight and other vital information such as blood pressure and blood glucose levels.
· Fitstar– Designed by a former NFL player, this app inspires one to get fit by providing basic workouts, such as “Get Strong” or “Get Lean,” that do not require gym equipment and which guarantee to keep a user moving. These workout combos include jumping jacks, elbow planks, kneeling push ups, body squats, etc. Initially, the app will gauge the user’s fitness level through a test that will determine the fitness program that is right for individual fitness needs.
· Johnson & Johnson Official 7-Minute Workout – This is app is perfect for busy bodies. The only equipment needed is a chair. The workout only requires 7 minutes (plus 2 minutes each for warm up and cool down). A medium intensity workout includes jumping jacks, push ups, knee-high running in places, crunches, tricep dips, etc.
· Pact – This is not actuallyan app that gives tips on what diet and exercises to adopt to attain certain fitness goals but a tool that uses money as an incentive. Users pledge a number of days they intend to work out a week and attach a corresponding amount to it.
· UP Coffee – Sleep also plays an important role in attaining one’s fitness goals. If one loses sleep because of consuming too much caffeine, one’s productivity will likely be compromised. By logging in one’s caffeine intake, the app can assess how the stimulant can affect one’s sleep, and consequently, one’s workout intensity the next day.
· Cody –It’s always a chore and a bore to be working out alone. Having people with the same fitness goals for support helps make workouts easier. Cody provides connections, much like social media apps, to fitness communities where one can share and complete workouts.
· Noom Weight Loss Coach – This app strikes a balance between diet and physical activity. It allows a user to input meals and work outs and serves as a pedometer. It also gives out positive encouragement and sends out wellness articles and recipes to help one become more creative in planning fitness goals and routines.
· Human – For those who are uncomfortable with the idea of machines controlling them, this application may be a good option. Human simply encourages a user to reach one’s “Daily 30,” i.e., 30 minutes of running, dancing, jumping jacks or whatever physical activity that can be done in 30 consecutive minutes.
· Mindshift– A sound mind also translates into a sound body. This app helps coach people who are struggling with anxiety to find a way out of it. Designed for both teens and adults, the app teaches techniques and gives advice for coping with social and professional situations which can cause one to be anxious.