Apple’s iPhone is among the most powerful and popular mobile devices on the market today, with the capability to support a plethora of apps and extensions created by the developers of the App Store that allow you to manage everything from your household budget to your professional life. There are also a wide variety of health and fitness apps designed to get you back in shape and help you learn to manage your diet, making it easier than ever to maintain your figure or lose a few pounds. Unfortunately, the iPhone is also a bit pricey, making expensive paid apps out of the question for users on a tight budget. These 10 health and fitness apps are among the most popular in the app store, and they won’t cost you a penny to download.
- Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal – With a calorie counter database comprised of more than two million foods and a quick, simple food and exercise entry system, Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker is one of the easiest and most effective health and fitness apps in the App Store. A Wired Magazine Editor’s Pick for Lifestyle Apps and PC Magazine Editor’s Choice Selection, Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker is a recognized and highly praised entry into the Health and Fitness category of the App Store.
- Lose It! – Lose It! combines the data management of calorie tracking with the motivation of peer support, making it easier than ever to stay on track with a fitness regimen. The interface is simple and easy to use, with a large database of both foods and physical activities to choose from. You can even add new exercises and foods to the available database, track nutrients, and manage packaged foods with a barcode scanner feature.
- Nike+ Running – Engage in a bit of good-natured competition with your friends to compare logging stats for miles and number of runs, boosting your motivation to get out there and get moving with this free offering from the makers of one of the world’s most popular athletic shoes. The PowerSongs feature allows you to listen to music that pumps you up, while Cheer Me On connects you with encouragement and self-esteem boosts along the way.
- Fooducate – Healthy Food Diet & Nutrition Scanner – Part of managing your weight and staying in shape is making sure that you’re not only eating better under direction, but actually making better dietary choices on your own. This app helps you learn the pros and cons of the foods you eat, choose alternatives that may be better for you, and access information that food manufacturers deliberately obscure in order to make more informed choices about what you put in your body.
- Daily Ab Workout FREE – If you’re looking for toned, taut, six-pack abs without springing for a personal trainer or expensive workout equipment, Daily Ab Workout FREE might be just the tool you need to accomplish your goals. Five to 10 minute daily workouts come complete with videos of a certified personal trainer demonstrating the proper technique, with an on-screen timer to let you gauge your progress.
- Workout Trainer – With Skimble’s Workout Trainer, you can access coaching and workout instruction for the exercises you choose, be it gym-based weight training or yoga at home. Audio content includes instruction and progress cues, while videos and pictures demonstrate proper form and technique. To keep yourself on a dedicated workout schedule, you can even choose your workout times and set up alert reminders so that you never forget another session!
- Restaurant Nutrition – Eating healthily and making smarter dietary choices can be tough enough at home; choosing the healthiest option at a restaurant can be downright bewildering. The Restaurant Nutrition app from Foundation HealthCare Network helps you access more than 60,000 food items from over 250,000 restaurants, getting important allergy, carb, calorie and fat content information with a few simple taps.
- Healthy Diet & Grocery Food Scanner by ShopWell – Using Shopwell’s Healthy Diet & Grocery Food Scanner every time you visit the grocery store can help you stock more nutritious options by motivating you with coupons and gifts when you choose healthy food items at the market. If you scan items that aren’t so healthy, Shopwell will suggest a better option for you. Created by Registered Dietitians and a community partner of the United States Department of Agriculture, Shopwell is one of the most comprehensive and highly recommended health and fitness apps in the App Store.
- Simply Yoga FREE – Great for beginners, Simply Yoga FREE edition will help you learn basic poses and routines from the comfort of your own home, with instructions at the tips of your fingers. 20, 40 and 60-minute workout sessions are supported, with each pose demonstrated by a certified personal trainer to ensure your accuracy.
- Jillian Michaels Weight Loss Plan – With the free version of Jillian Michaels Weight Loss Plan, you can track calories with the Enter & Track Foods feature, access fat-burning exercises demonstrated by Jillian Michaels herself, find recipes for healthy and delicious meals, and track nutritional information for packaged food items with the barcode scanner.
These apps are popular choices for maintaining your physical health and wellbeing, but they can’t help you reach your fitness goals if you never use them. Establishing a health and fitness routine that features your chosen apps is the best way to ensure their effectiveness, so don’t be tempted to neglect these apps just because they were free. It’s also not wise, however, to spend your commute tracking calories or building a workout routine, because they can’t help you avoid costly citations or potentially dangerous collisions that can easily accompany the decision to text, email or run an app while you’re driving.