Most people prioritize keeping fit and healthy, but it’s not always easy to fit in with a modern lifestyle. Even if you book a personal trainer at the gym, for the rest of the week, making healthy decisions necessitates a great deal of self-control.
Exercise and nutrition apps have been a revelation since they were introduced. Providing ongoing support to stay on track, they are also helpful for monitoring activity and diet.
There is now an abundance of exercise and nutrition apps in the market, but they don’t all offer the same facilities and service. Here’s a look at the best ones for 2021.
To get the most out of your app you’ll need an accompanying device. With a lot of information and support available, if you’re trying to use the app on a tiny or distorted screen you won’t get the maximum benefit.
This means that you’ll need to have a computer or laptop, or a cell phone that has a large screen. If you don’t have one of these already, browse through the Best Buy deals to pick up a bargain. Their laptop deals start from as little as $199. Some of the apps are free while others cost varying sums; there’s no point paying out for an app if you don’t have the technology to use it properly.
Some apps require a certain piece of equipment, such as a Fitbit. It’s, therefore, a good idea to check for compatibility before making a purchase. Of course, if you do end up with a phone or computer which isn’t compatible with the app, you could always try a different app – there are lots out there to choose from!
We’re now going to have a look at some of the best exercise and nutrition apps available in 2021.
The fitness tracker that was a global sensation, the Fitbit was one of the earlier devices which kickstarted the current trend for using digital technology to monitor fitness.
Although there are now lots of similar bits of kit, the Fitbit remains as one of the most popular available. The Fitbit app is free to download and install but there are some in-app purchases.
It’s less about diet and lifestyle, and mainly just focuses on physical activity. You can track how many steps you take each day, calories burnt, hydration levels, calories consumed and weight. The Fitbit also measures your heart rate which helps you to objectively manage your fitness and exertion levels.
Fitbit and the accompanying app are designed to be your own personal trainer in a box. As well as providing accurate metrics on all the values already described, the Fitbit also allows you to participate in challenges with friends and family.
One of the most comprehensive apps around, Noom works by looking at the overall health of the individual. Rather than just focusing on either exercise or nutrition, Noom encourages users to take a holistic approach to their wellbeing.
At the start, Noom requires lots of information to create an accurate profile. It then creates a personalised plan for individuals to reach their goals. As well as offering suggestions for what to eat, Noom also encourages other healthy habits, including being physically active.
The app provides users with access to features that include a calorie tracker, food log and an activity monitor. However, it goes beyond the basics and supports users to redefine their relationship with food and exercise for long-lasting good health.
There are live chats plus a whole community of fellow users which make Noom feel more than just your average tracker. The downside is that Noom isn’t free. The introductory rates aren’t too steep but if you decide to stick with the plan beyond this, it’s quite a significant cost.
Similar to Noom, MyFitnessPal encourages users to consider more than just what they eat and how often they exercise, promoting a healthier mindset and overall lifestyle.
It includes a wide variety of strength and cardio workouts that are suitable for all levels of fitness. Taking on the role of a personal trainer, MyFitnessPal integrates with other technology such as the HealthKit from Apple plus Garmin, MapMyRun and Fitbit. More than 300 different workouts are included in the app which encourages users to get active at every opportunity.
Food isn’t neglected either as MyFitnessPal has a database containing over 11 million different foods. A barcode scanner makes updating your diet log simple, plus there’s a way to import recipes if you’re eating home-cooked food. As you’ll receive feedback on your eating habits, this feature is invaluable.
This is one of the most popular health and fitness apps, and its community is one of the reasons why. With an enormous bank of other users who you can connect with online, it’s like having your own cheerleaders on tap.
MyFitnessPal is completely free to sign up and use, but if you want to unlock all the features for the full experience you’ll need to sign up for the $50 annual membership.
Intermittent fasting is a controversial but popular way of dieting that supporters claim delivers real health benefits. There are lots of different intermittent fasting diets, such as the 5:2 and there are early indications that this approach can deliver health benefits, as well as weight loss.
The disadvantage is that with intermittent fasting it can be more difficult to keep track of where you’re at, and that’s where Zero can help. Designed to accompany intermittent fasting plans, it tracks your eating habits and counts down to when your next meal is due.
If you’re struggling to stay motivated to stick with the fasting, seeing the clock ticking down can be a powerful motivator. Another benefit is that Zero shows others who are also abstaining, giving you a sense of community and the feeling that you’re not alone.
The app is very flexible and if you forget to start the app when you begin a fast, you can edit the start time if needed. The notifications about others fasting can be a good way to keep going and stick to your plan.
Zero is compatible with both iOS and Android and although it’s free to install, there are some in-app purchases offered.
Jillian Michaels Fitness App
This fitness app doesn’t have a snappy title because Jillian Michaels is already a famous trainer to the stars. With a proven track record of helping people lose weight, there’s nothing she doesn’t know about getting fit and healthy.
There are customised workouts to keep you exercising at the right intensity. These include a mixture of disciplines so you’ll be challenged but not exhausted. At the end of every workout, you’ll have the chance to provide feedback which the app uses to influence future intensity levels. Smart stuff!
Although Jillian Michaels is known for her knowledge of fitness, this app isn’t just about exercise. There are also meal plans included which have been created by a team of dieticians and professional chefs. These diet plans can accommodate all types of diet, including vegan and the Paleo diet.
You don’t need to cook everything from scratch to enjoy a healthy, well-balanced diet. However, if you aren’t too sure how to read the nutritional labels in the store, this is the app for you.
Fooducate teaches users what to look for on food labels, and how to make nutritious choices when assessing what to buy. The app helps to create confidence in purchasing healthy food by promoting education and knowledge.
To use Fooducate, you simply need to scan the food label and you’ll be presented with a wealth of information about the product. As well as telling you what the content is, you’ll also be able to see how it stacks up compared to other food.
Although nutrition is the main focus for this app, you can also use it to keep track of sleep, fitness and mood.
WW (previously Weight Watchers)
Previously known as Weight Watchers but restyled to the new abbreviation, WW has a global reputation for helping to promote a healthy weight. They support both weight loss and maintenance, helping individuals remain at a beneficial weight rather than piling it back on.
With the WW system, users are allocated a daily number of SmartPoints which correspond to calorie allowances. There are also some ZeroPoint foods included such as lean protein, fruit and vegetables.
You can choose to attend WW meetings in real life, but this app allows you to manage your whole weight loss experience digitally. There are over 8000 recommended recipes included and there’s a barcode scanner to make it easier when you’re at the store. A diet coach is available to provide personalised advice if you need it, plus you can chat with other members in the WW community.
Although the WW system counts calories, there’s a greater emphasis on making healthy choices and eating consciously. You can win rewards such as wireless earbuds and water bottles if you manage to stick to a healthy lifestyle.
If you’re already a WW member, you’ll get access to the app for free. If you’re only interested in digital membership, WW offers a cut-price version but it still involves a monthly fee.