Each year, right around the end of December, millions of people take time out of their busy schedules to reflect on the past year and promise themselves to improve parts of their lives that could use more attention. New Years resolutions can vary widely but the two most popular resolutions usually have something to do with losing weight and saving money. The problem is that New Years resolutions are tricky things to keep.
To help out, weve made a two-part list of the top smartphone and tablet apps for keeping the two most popular kinds of New Years resolutions. First up is part one, which covers the top five apps that can help you achieve your weight loss and physical fitness goals. Be sure to check out part two, which covers the top five apps that can help you with your savings and fiscal fitness targets.
To lose a pound of fat, you need to lose 3,500 calories. Thats the mantra behind MyNetDiary, one of the most comprehensive diet apps and calorie counters on the market. There are countless versions of the app, from the free iPhone version to the MyNetDiary Maximum version, so theres a combination of features and cost for everyone. The developers even offer a website that you can use to enter and sync your data with your smartphone or tablet. Use the app to track foods and supplements, customize recipes or scan barcodes for instant entry.
Platforms: Android, Blackberry, iOS (iPhone)
Price: Variable, depending on version (from free to $5 per month)
2. Calorie Tracker
Developed by LIVESTRONG, Lance Armstrongs health and fitness organization, Calorie Tracker is a popular app for tracking your daily caloric, fat, carbohydrate and protein intake and matching it with a database of exercises and activities that customizes your calorie burn based on your personal measurements. The app also works as a companion tool for members of The Daily Plate at LIVESTRONG.com, which provides a large database of restaurant foods that you can track when you dine out. The app will also sync information to and from the website.
Platforms: iOS (iPhone)
In order to lose weight, youll need to eat smart. AllRecipes represents one of the largest databases of recipes available in an app. For dieters, the free version of the app allows recipes to be searched by nutrition while the pro version allows specific ingredients to be included or excluded for highly customized recipe searches. The pro version also allows you to create, save and share shopping lists and to recalculate ingredients based on the number of servings.
Platforms: Android, iOS (iPhone), Windows Phone
Price: Free, $2.99 for Pro version
4. Gym Buddy
Exercising at the gym is a great way to lose weight, but trying to keep track of your exercise routine can be frustrating. Gym Buddy helps by allowing you to leave your notebook and pen at home and use your iPhone or iPod touch to keep track of all your exercises, including reps, time, weights and other notes, which comes in handy for recording things like how a weight machine is set up for a particular exercise. The app includes countdown timers, personal data tracking and calendars to help you get your exercise squared away. An optional Web service called Gym Buddy Central allows you to enter and manage data on your computer and sync it to your iPhone or iPod touch.
Platforms: iOS (iPhone)
Price: $2.99, $9.95 for optional Web service
The iFitness app gives you the power of a personal trainer on your Android phone. Unlike Gym Buddy, which assumes you already know how to do the exercises, iFitness starts at the beginning with details of more than 200 different exercises, some of which include videos to help you do them correctly. The app is like an interactive book that allows you to select and save specific combinations of exercises for your own routines, including time, date and reps. The app also allows you to select predefined routines for specific sports, such as golf or basketball, or specific muscle groups.
Have a suggestion for a health and fitness app? Clue us in and let us know how it worked for you.
Top 10 iPhone Apps to Improve Your Fitness, iPhone App Café, Nov. 10, 2011.
Top Five: Health and Fitness Apps for Android Smartphones, Life of Android, Nov. 3, 2011.
Software for Shaping Up, The Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2011.