Smartphones are a waste of time. Pretty much everything we use our phones for are time wasters. Candy Crush? Facebook? Snapchat? A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME. I know you’re running to the top of your apartment building right now to throw your useless phone off the roof but wait! It’s actually pretty amazing that we have a teeny device which takes the place of a camera, radio, wallet, atlas and alarm clock all at once. Wouldn’t it be crazy if we had to carry that stuff around all the time? Or if you’re as old as me – you remember when you did have to carry all that stuff around and should thank your phone more often. Also, call your mother. And get off my lawn.
Here’s the kicker: Not every app is a time waster. There are so many out there that can help you become a better human. Not all apps are created equal, however. I slaved away at this keyboard day and night to sort through all the fluff for you (you’re welcome) and made a list of the 5 most necessary free apps to help you get fitter, faster. Physically and Mentally!
My Fitness Pal
My Fitness Pal is my very favorite health app. It’s main function is calorie counting but it does so much more than that. You can also use it to track your macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, protein). It has options to track food, workouts, weight, how much water you drink and you can update your status if you want. My favorite part is the social aspect of the app. People can’t see your food diaries unless you make them available, but it does tell your friends when you’ve lost weight, when you work out and how often you log. You can like and comment on the notifications, so you can be supportive of your friends who are on the same journey as you. In the food tracking section, you can scan the bar code on the food and it will automatically upload the calories for you. It’s amazing. This is an absolute must-download.
What’s better than losing weight? Losing weight and get paid for it. The basic premise of DietBet is that you pay a certain amount of money up front, usually around $20 and the money from each person who joins the bet goes into a pot. Sometimes the pots get up to thousands of dollars! You agree to lose a certain percentage of your weight in a month. At the end of the month, the pot gets split between all the people who lost the weight! They have built-in rules and requirements so you can’t cheat. This is actually a lot of fun. If you’re a competitive person, this is the app for you.
For beginner runners or for people who are using the Jeff Galloway Walk/Run training program, this is an easy to use, reliable interval timer. It has a function where you can get access to your playlist through the app, which is really nice because you don’t have to switch back and forth between apps to change your music while you’re running or walking. The app queues you at the beginning and end of each interval. It’s a very useful app.
Runkeeper is my absolute favorite running app. It uses the GPS on your phone to track how long your runs or walks are. If you’re an advanced runner, it has a setting for pacing and it will queue you to let you know how you’re doing against the pace you’ve set. There is also a social aspect to the app as well and I get a popup anytime a friend goes for a run. It’s another good way to encourage your friends and get some encouragement yourself!
Stop, Breathe, Think
Stop, Breathe, Think is a guided meditation app. I truly believe that you can improve yourself and your outlook on life through meditation. Science says so too. This app is really cool because it starts with a “check in” where you think about how you’re feeling right at the moment. It then has you choose 5 feelings (anxious, happy, hopeful, etc.) into the app from lists they have provided. After that, the app suggests guided meditations based on your feelings. Each meditation is about 5 minutes. I like to do it at night before I go to bed, but you could use it to center yourself in a stressful situation or in the morning as a positive start to your day.
Do you have any apps you use that aren’t in the list? Let me know in the comments!