Ready to get outside this summer and get fit? Your smartphone’s hardware, its software and an app store full of programs can help lead the way. Here’s a guide on how to get the most out of your device.
Here’s to Your Health
In 2014,and both announced dashboard apps to track personal health and wellness, and the companies have been enhancing those apps ever since.
Theapp works on the and operating systems. (It can also import health data from , Apple Watches .) In collaboration with the , the Google Fit helps users set activity goals to earn “Heart Points” for better cardiovascular health. This year, that the app could also use the phone’s camera to measure and rates for informational purposes (but not as a medical diagnosis); Google’s own Pixel phones were the first to get this function.
Bothand include basic tools like a pedometer, which uses the phone’s motion sensor to track your steps, but fitness and food apps can provide more detailed information.
Get a New (Exercise) Routine
If you’re looking for a workout app for an exercise plan that goes beyond step-counting, you have many options. Most of the popular programs are available for both Android and iOS. These include theand ; both offer guides to specific exercises and routines for small subscription fees.
Theapp ($13 a month) offers video-driven workouts, and Google Fit has a curated list of free . For those planted in the Apple ecosystem, the service is $10 a month and with your iPhone to monitor your vital signs.
Runners and cyclists wanting to measure their progress have a variety of apps to consider. For beginners, the $3app provides a training plan for somewhat stationary newbies to work their way up to a solid running routine. and use the phone’s location services to log and trace routes; both are free with in-app purchases. and are also inexpensive apps that track running, cycling and more.
Keep a Food Diary
If you want to focus on dietary adjustments — eating more protein, consuming less sodium, shedding a few pandemic pounds — and don’t want to manually log food labels, consider a dedicated nutrition app. Many of these are free to download but offer in-app subscriptions for personalized diet planning, community support and other features.
Among the apps in this category,focuses on calorie-counting and weight loss, and can with Apple Health, Google Fit and other apps. Lose It! has a huge database of nutritional information for millions of items and can scan package labels to add new foods. is a similar program with a database of 11 million foods, a huge online community and the ability to with 50 other fitness apps and devices.
Map Your Way
Your phone’s maps app can help you get more active in general. For example, just enter “gyms near me” to see where you can get a workout, or “hiking” to find nearby trails.
Last year, bothand added new features for urban cyclists, including biking routes in certain cities, the location of bike-sharing docks around town and elevation information. In Google Maps for and , you can also tap the Layers button to see Cycling routes and the Terrain — so you can really be prepared for any non-metaphorical uphill climbs on your journey.