Lifestyles

Get “App-y” and healthy for springtime

From Fitbits through to Garmins, it’s becoming increasingly common to see people sporting fitness 'wearables'. Keeping track of how many steps we’ve taken or calories we’ve consumed has become second nature to many of us, and often there can be some healthy competition between friends and colleagues in comparing data.

Our Commissions Administrator Jenna Osborne is also studying for her Graduate Diploma in Sport and Exercise with a focus on nutrition, so we asked her for her pick of fitness and food tracking apps.

She says:

Do you get more sleep than your colleague, or take more steps? Maybe you’re tracking how much sugar you're eating, or using heart rate variability to train for a marathon.

All of this information can be used for health promoting purposes. A bit of healthy competition can be a great way to eat a better diet (increase veggie intake, or reduce added sugars, for example) or to move more. Fitness trackers such as the Fitbit have challenges built in where you can challenge your friends and colleagues to see who can climb the most stairs, or take the most steps. As a nation, there's no denying that we need to move more.

If you're curious what these apps or trackers would say about you, why not borrow a Fitbit from a friend to try, or sign up to a free food tracker?

Meantime here are my picks based on data produced and ease of use:

1. Fitbit

There’s one for everyone. They come in many different colours, from very simple step counters, to more advanced heart rate, sleep, and activity trackers. Data feeds into an app on your smartphone or your own portal on their website. Fitbits can sync with many different food trackers in the market (including the two apps below!).


2. MyFitnessPal (MFP)

Easy to use and free, MFP continues to be a very popular choice for people wanting to track basic nutritional information. It contains a huge database of foods, with the ability to create your own foods and recipes. It gives basic information about calories, macronutrients, and a few vitamins and minerals. The ability to add friends and share your diary creates a great sense of community and support.

Available from the App Store, Google Play and Windows Phone Marketplace; or visit www.myfitnesspal.com


3. CRON-O-Meter

More advanced than MFP, for the true nutrition nerd. CRON-O-Meter has both free and gold level memberships. It also has a huge database of foods, and allows you to create your own. However, what really sets it apart is the amount of information you get out of it – it tracks virtually every vitamin and mineral you can think of, and can track your exercise and sleep if used in conjunction with a wearable device such a Fitbit.

Available from the App Store and Google Play; or visit https://cronometer.com

Disclaimer: The information published in this article should not be taken as medical or nutritional advice, or as an endorsement of the author or any products discussed here. At Fidelity Life, we try hard to make the information we publish accurate and helpful to you, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy and we aren’t liable for any action you take or decisions you make as a result.