Most of us could stand to lose a few pounds, but a sustainable lifestyle change isn’t always easy. A missed day at the gym can give way to a cheeseburger, and before you know it you’re back on the couch two weeks deep into a black hole of inactivity and junk food. These things happen, but your Android-powered phone can help you dig yourself out of that rut and improve your overall health, fitness and (probably) happiness.
The Android Marketplace offers a wide range of health- and fitness-related apps for the choosing. Here are some of my favorites that have helped me avoid a catastrophic health meltdown.
I tend toward no-frills, easy-to-use apps and this one fits the bill nicely. Diet Assistant tracks your daily meals and offers calorie estimates, which are tracked and graphed to show your progress. Similarly, it will keep tabs on your weight and give you a graph to show to your friends. Just kidding, don’t show your friends — they won’t be as excited as you. Anyway, you’ll be surprised how the momentum builds as you see your weight drop with your reduced calorie intake. Soon you’ll be making smarter food choices just to keep your graph looking nice. Oh, and there will be the added bonus of weight loss.
2. Push Ups
Again, a simple app that serves its purpose well. Push Ups is a virtual trainer that allows you to set goals for consecutive push ups and creates a routine so you can achieve it at your own pace. This may be my favorite app on the list because the gains impressed me. [Bragging alert] I’ve been using Push Ups for a couple of months and started my program barely able to do 20 push ups in a row. With the help of this app, which accounts for off days, I can do over 50 without rest. Push Ups transformed me into the total stud I am today. Hey — don’t roll your eyes at me.
Motivation is a major obstacle that miCoach aims to solve. This app is a trainer for a variety of sports, including custom workouts, that measures your distance, pace, calories burned, and more. MiCoach monitors your workouts and offers assessments that keep you steadily improving. Trust me, it’s a lot easier to reach your goals if you have a program telling you what is acceptable and what is lazy. MiCoach is feature-packed (even GPS!) and will keep you rolling with whatever form of exercise you choose — yoga to basketball. Definitely worth a try.
If you have a competitive streak in you, Softrace is probably your ticket to reaching your fitness goals. You can choose from a variety of race types (biking, skiing, running and more) and compete against others on pre-defined tracks in your area. Softrace tracks your statistics like altitude, pace, and time and keeps it all in a convenient workout diary. Sometimes you just want to race somebody, and Softrace makes this exceedingly convenient, even if you don’t have any competitive friends.
Face it, if you’re a working sap with any amount of ambition, you probably aren’t sleeping well. If you spend a lot of time on your computer at night, that just makes matters worse, and believe it or not, it affects your diet and exercise by making you lethargic during the day. Sound Sleep offers ambient sounds to help you relax at night and get to sleep more easily. Match this with some light reading and you’ll be snoozing in no time. Remember, a good day starts with a good night’s rest.
As they always say, change comes from within, but don’t be afraid to seek help from your friendly Android phone in your journey to self-improvement. Mix and match the apps that work for you and maybe one day you’ll be able to do as many push-ups as me. Ha, yeah right!