My Favorite Health-Related Apps

I like to apply myself.

 

My grade school teachers would laugh… they always wrote on my report cards “if Laura would only apply herself…”

With age came discipline.  And the iPhone, which I use to keep me on track with my fitness.  Every day I use my top apps.  It may be a little OCD, but it works for me.

 

1. Sleep Cycle

I will never be a morning person, but this gem makes waking up a little easier.  Sleep Cycle uses the accelerometer in your iPhone to monitor your movement throughout the night an determine which sleep phase you are in.  It wakes you up in a 30 minute alarm window that ends at your set alarm time, depending on when you are in your lightest sleep phase.

Sleep Cycle App

I need more hours of sleep…

 

2. Social Apps

I’m lumping these together since I’m sure most of you are already familiar.  I love social media.  Maybe too much.  HootSuite is a big time saver because it allows me to manage Facebook and Twitter in one place.  I also use the Facebook app to interact with friends and post random quotes and resources on my page (click to “like” Sprint 2 the Table!).

And my beloved Instagram.  What did we do before this?  When I can’t decide what to eat, it’s my first stop for inspiration!  That first pic was for a recipe I was going to post today… but the pics were SO bad in the night lighting.

Instagram

 

3. FitBit

The app is great for tracking my water throughout the day.  I drink 120 ounces… it’s hard to keep up with that in my head!  There are a lot of apps that will do this for you; I use FitBit because I already use the pedometer.

I use my actual FitBit One device daily to track steps, distance, and stairs.  It also give you a calories burned number… but I don’t think it’s accurate.  It’s value – to me – is that it motivates me to keep moving.  When you have a desk job, it can easily lead to a sedentary state.  Yes, I work out regularly… but in reality it’s only about 1.5 hours a day.  The rest of the time I am at a desk.

FitBit

I drink 120 oz a day… yes, I pee a LOT.

 

4. Full Fitness

I just started using this app to track my progress in the gym.  I can record workouts, reps, and the weights I use easily and in real-time at the gym.  A pen and paper will do the trick… but I hate carrying that stuff around, and I can never remember exactly what I did by the time I get home.

Full Fitness App

This app also track progress graphically, making it easy to see improvements over time.  Heather just wrote a great post about the importance of measuring your progress.  I love her point about setting benchmarks – it is SO important to keep challenging yourself so as not to stagnate.  We don’t work this hard to stay the same, right?

I haven’t used the following features but… if you don’t already have a routine, the app offers 25 pre-defined workouts (with pictures and instructions), cardio exercises, and stretches.  It also offers a calorie counter.

 

5. Lose It

This is both an app and an online service.  While the name is Lose It, I use it to gain.  This service allows me to track the foods I eat, complete with macros!  Their catalog of foods is pretty extensive, but if you can’t find something you can scan the bar code or enter it manually.

One of my favorite features is the ability to enter recipes.  You can choose the number of servings and enter all of the ingredients into dishes you make, then save it for future use.  I use this to calculate the recipes I post on this site.  Like that recipe on Instagram last night… this is coming soon!

Lose It

 

Another cool feature is that you can enter exercise… and the calories burn is pretty accurate.  Lose It! asks your age, weight, and height when you sign up, which I supposed really can give a good idea of the calories you burn.  I was skeptical.

To confirm its accuracy, I used my heart rate monitor.  Most of the time the calories burned match, give or take 20-40 cals.  I will never understand how this is possible.

Lose It

The Lose It! review is part of a sponsored campaign with Lose It! and FitFluential, LLC. All opinions are my own (and I was already using the app). Learn more about Lose It! on Twitter.

***

 That chili recipe is coming as soon as I get some good picture-taking daylight… it was GOOD!

What are your favorite apps?

How much water do you drink in a day?

 

Comments

  1. says

    I haven’t heard of most of those apps. I’ll have to check them out, especially Full Fitness and Sleep Cycle. I’m always solo king for a perfect log.

  2. says

    This is such an awesome post!!! When I first saw it I thought, “Oh, I probably use all the apps she’s going to list” but NO! There are a couple I don’t use- checking them out now!! Thanks girl! P.S. Your muscles are spectacular :-)

  3. says

    Lose It sounds awesome! I’ve never heard of it before! Thanks twin! I might have to look into it, too, and, of course, use it to gain ;)

  4. says

    How does Sleep cycle work, Laura? Do you sleep with your phone??

    I use calorie count because I adore their recipe analyser. Just copy and paste! Otherwise, my latest app find is Pocket to keep bookmarked recipes. I just wish I could do a full-page search, oh well.

  5. says

    Health-related, my favorites are: Weight Watchers, Zenlabs Couch to 10K, Nike Fit (I think this is what it’s called), and Fertility Friend (umm, yeah.)

    Non heath related – facebook, instagram, echofon, scramble with friends

  6. says

    Looking at your sleep cycle, I had to laugh. If I went to bed at almost 2am, I’d die, because I get up at 4 to workout. Isn’t it funny how we are all wired so differently when it comes to sleep needed & what time we go to sleep? My husband is also more of a night owl than I am, but maybe that’s because I’m in bed by 8:30 mos nights! ;-) Thanks for sharing these cool apps!

  7. says

    Oh, cool apps. I really never use any apps on my phone. But I love that sleep one. i’m generally an insomniac and of course fall into a deep sleep right before the alarm goes off. And great one for tracking gym progress too. I always hated carrying around my tattered up notebook

  8. says

    Maybe I need a Smartphone. I can’t do any of this. Of course if I had the Smartphone, I’d have to learn to use it and then try to figure out how to use the apps…So much pressure… ;-)

  9. says

    The Sleep cycle one sounds really interesting. I am a morning person but would love to analyze when I’m in my deepest sleep and what phase etc. I literally fall asleep when my head hits the pillow (actually prob before)

    • Laura says

      I am the same way! I think at work it gives me an excuse to get up (to pee and get more), so I subconsciously drink more.

  10. says

    Ohhh I can’t wait for that chili recipe! Yum!! I’m also really intrigued by that Sleep Cycle app. Downloading it asap! Thanks for sharing! As far as water consumption goes, I don’t drink enough. But I aim for getting somewhere between 60-80 oz each day.

  11. says

    I am seriously so jealous of everyone who has an iPhone. I still have a blackberry, and its an old one so it’s more than annoying to use the internet and all that jazz. I hope to get an iPhone in the next year or so because all of these apps seem to be incredibly helpful in losing weight, tracking progress, figuring out activity levels (sigh). The coolest one to me sounds like Full Fitness. I’ve been tracking my CrossFit workouts since the beginning of the year but this would help greatly. I drink a TON of water each day and it really makes me feel healthy. You’re back and arms are looking awesome!

  12. says

    Oh great apps! Um, I definitely need that sleep app. I get the worst sleeps ever…around 4-6 per night. Ick. Thanks for sharing these! I’m kind of obsessed with apps.

  13. says

    I love fitbit as well – I just discovered it and I really enjoy it.
    For food I really like to use myfitnesspal!! It really is an awesome app.
    Other than that, I’m obsessed with runkeeper, instagram, pinterest, and SNAPCHAT!

    I am a snapchat addict – it is an obsession!

  14. says

    Full Fitness sounds interesting. I LOVE my pencil and paper, but I’m curious about this one. Tony would love it too since he likes having easy access to this information on his phone. He HATES that I like paper so much. ;)

    I don’t keep track of my water, but I drink at least 32 oz since I use the big hospital cup at home (I drink two of those) and then I take my water bottle with me everywhere I go. I LOVE water!

  15. says

    Hmm, I need a water-tracking system. I like my fitness pal, pretty sure there’s a water option on there too, I should actually use it. And oh, Instagram, how I miss it…I’ll just have to wait around here for you to post about that chili, I suppose ;)

  16. says

    I have the older version of the FitBit, and while I love it, I would love the app that comes with the newer version. So many great ideas here–I will check some of these out.

  17. says

    Cool apps! I don’t have an iPhone so… but honestly, I am not a big tracker person at my age.. I did when I was younger & was doing more challenges & stuff. I am pretty good at remembering what I do in the gym BUT I also am not doing what you are doing so that is key. Back then in the old days of the wild wild west, I wrote it all down! ;)

    Recipes – I am waiting for you & the other great cooks out there to cook for me! ;)

  18. Amelia says

    Thank for the apps! I only knew of a couple of these. The rest are new to me and now I need to add them to my phone.

    Water? Um, yeah…I’m the girl that pee’s every 15 minutes. It’s ridiculous!

    My job varies day to day so sometimes I am sitting at a desk, other times I am making rounds, seeing patients, or going up and down the stairs (I try to avoid all elevators!). Plus, I am lucky enough that if the weather is okay, I can walk to and from the parking garage everyday (about 2 miles round trip). :) Screw the treadmill! Btw– your back muscles ROCK! :)

    • Laura says

      I always take the stairs too… and people think I’m weird. LOL! 2 miles to and from the parking deck? That’s so far… and so awesome!

  19. says

    The sleep cycle app looks really cool! I love how it says how many weeks you’ve spent in bed. Yeahh… I drink very little and have so my whole lifetime. I’m actively working to drink 6 cups of water a day ^^

  20. says

    You’re good at keeping up with all of those apps! I need to try Full Fitness because I always forget my weights and I’m currently trying to get my bench press max up.
    Great to see you tonight! :)

  21. says

    Love this post, Laura! The sleep cycle one is awesome… I hate when an alarm goes off in the middle of a deep sleep… although I’m not sure how well I’d do with a phone near my head at night. Thanks for all the tips here- I’m not a big apps user, so most are new to me!

    • Laura says

      You put the phone face down so there’s no light to bother you… and I think it disables sound. Or I sleep so hard I don’t hear anything. :)

  22. says

    Does the “lose it” app have a bunch of the “weird” or different foods? flaxseed, coconut flour, not common foods? i find that to be a problem with most of the food tracking apps

    • Laura says

      I know they had flax… I think I manually added the coconut flour though. Being able to manually add and save ingredients is a HUGE plus for me.

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