There's an App for That
Written by Cassie Vanderwall, MS RD LDN CPT
In the mobile era where smart phones abound, there are applications, or “apps” for just about everything. This technology can be used to harness health in the modern age by encouraging clients to become more aware of and accountable to themselves. There are an abundance of nutrition and exercise apps out there, which vary in their accuracy and user-friendliness. The following apps are my personal “faves” in the categories of Food Diary and Personal Training.
Food Diary Apps are those that help to keep a log of when, what and sometimes even why a person eats throughout the day. There is substantial research that links the use of a food diary and sustainable weight loss. The following apps are all free and allow the user to track their food intake on their smart phone or their computer.
Calorie Counter from FatSecret has a large database of foods and users. It provides a dietary analysis of the day’s intake beyond the macronutrients. It also provides an area for journaling and a community area.
FitDay was created as a weight loss tool and also has a vast database of foods. The dietary analysis is limited to Carbs, protein and fat.
My Fitness Pal is an app that can be used for tracking eating and exercise. It also comes equipped with tickers that help to remind the client how far they are from their personal goals. This app also provides a community of users.
Personal Training Apps can provide the guidance and structure of a personal trainer whether a client is in a gym, hotel room or amidst nature. Most fitness apps come with a price.
THI Personal Trainer app comes highly touted was awarded the “best app for ___ fitness” several times. It appears to provide great programs and instruction; however it is criticized because it also provides audio prompts which many dislike. This app is around $3.
Workout Trainer from Skimble is a free app that many rate quite highly because it provides workout templates and video instruction to insure proper form.
Cyberfit360 is a training program that offers individualized guidance by a personal trainer and registered dietitian. There are several programs to choose from and each can be tailored to the needs of the client. The app and accompanied instruction costs $99 per year; however there is a free for 14-day trial. An individual has to provide payment information for the free trial, but can cancel at anytime within the 2 weeks. Additionally, there is a 20% coupon for initial customers.
MapMyRun is a free app that can plan, track, and analyze outdoor and indoor aerobics. It is best used for walking and jogging and does not provide workout templates.
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