Apps sure have become a big part of our lives. And with what we do at Okanagan Peak Performance Inc it’s inevitable that we see more people using apps to track their health, log their nutrition and structure their workouts.
With more and more people owning smart phones it’s reasonable to expect the number of fitness apps and users to climb. Currently it is estimated that 20% of smart phone owners have a least one fitness app.
So I took some time to check out some of the more popular fitness apps out there. Here’s what I found.
1. My Fitness Pal – free http://www.myfitnesspal.com/
Because it’s a free app you will see ads bordering the pages of the app. And I’d say that’s a small price to pay for a resource that helps you track your nutrition. And with 40 million users apparently others don’t mind a little monetization from some ads either.
This app also includes a section for exercise but I would pass on it using it for exercise help for a couple of reasons. One is it estimates caloric expenditure based on the exercise type. Looking under ‘S’ I couldn’t find squat. Not good. I eventually did find an entry for squat but when it asked me for minutes of squatting rather than load and reps I knew we can do better.
2. Fitness Buddy – $0.99 http://fitnessbuddyapp.com/
While the previous app was geared around your nutrition this one is all about your workouts.
The workouts seem to be a bodybuilding style of training where you select body parts to put a particular emphasis for a workout. So you might choose Butt and Thigh Toning or a Big Chest Program.
From the looks of the app it includes pictures rather than videos of how to perform the exercises. And unfortunately the body recognizes movements, and not muscles, when it comes to training and so you’d be at a disadvantage if sports performance were your goal. Or if you have any type of joint pain. Or just wanted a progressive approach to training.
3. Nike Training Club – free
Usually Nike invests heavily in any space it wants to own. For example they have assembled some of the brightest minds anywhere to train their athletes and help design the next generation of performance apparel, footwear and equipment.
So I was a little surprised when I took a quick look at the Nike Training Club app. First of all, it appears to be directed primarily at women. I say this because all the images are women and the url for the webpage has ‘women’s training’ in the title.
But beyond that the first example of an exercise you see is a woman doing a push up from her knees. This is not how to do a push up and at least they didn’t call it a ‘woman’s push up’ on their site.
Because it’s free and it’s Nike I’ll probably download and play around with this one but first impressions made me feel that as a man it’s not for me.
4. Sleep Bot free http://mysleepbot.com/
If you’ve noticed a pattern regarding price I’m trying to give you some ones to try that don’t involve paying money each time.
You may remember a few years ago I introduced you to the Sleeptracker watch which monitored your sleep cycles and woke you up at your most awake moment rather than when your alarm said you should wake up.
Now with the Sleep Bot app you can do the same thing. The only thing I’m not sure I want to have my phone under my pillow all night to track my sounds and movements. And when I looked around their website there were some gaps in the pages and incomplete info. This might be one scenario where investing in a Sleeptracker might be more worthwhile.
5. Stress Check $1.99 http://www.azumio.com/apps/stress-check/index.html
One of the key differences between zebras and ourselves is that we worry about mortgages, taxes, relationships and many other things that raise our level of stress. Stress Check is an app that able to measure the time between heart beats and then correlate this to something called Heart Rate Variability (HRV). High levels of variability between heart beats is correlated with lower levels of stress.
While I’ve listed the paid version of this app, apparently there is a free version that includes ads and limits the ability to view as much content and rotate the screen. Kind of a weird upgrade feature?
If you’re thinking of investing in a HRV unit like a Bioforce this might be a good place to start. You can try the free app and then decide about investing further.
In the comments section let me know if you’ve tried these apps or have use something else. There are thousands of apps out there and it’s impossible to try or review them all so your feedback would be appreciated.
All the best,