Saturday, January 5, 2013

Top 5 Health and Fitness Apps for 2012

There are literally hundreds of thousands of apps that have been built across all industries..."there's an app for that." I'm going to focus on health and fitness apps where some reports have suggested that there are currently more than 40,000 to choose from! It is now one of the fastest growing segments of the health/fitness industry.  This can be seen in the increase in sales which are up from 718 million in 2011 to 1.3 billion for 2012.  "The increase of revenues stems from downloads, in app-advertisements, mHealth services, direct transactions and sensor sales." 1

Throughout the year I have tried some pretty neat apps that you may want to take a look at. I have narrowed my list down to the top 5 for 2012.

1. Restwise - (free app/product cost $99) This is a great app that enables you to look at how well your body has recovered from the previous day of training.  "Using evidence-based research, rigorously-tested variable weightings and a proprietary algorithm, Restwise has defined a patent-pending solution to the question that plagues every athlete: "am I training too hard... or not hard enough?" The app offers a series of questions that enables you to input data such as HR, SPO2, B.W, Hrs Slept, plus a series of subjective questions that results in a recovery score for that day. For example, today my score was 90% and it stated "you are functioning in an almost fully-functioning state etc.  My daily scores are plotted on my customized graph that I'm able to email.  Visit here for some fantastic articles on training and recovery from the Restwise archives.

2. Fooducate - (free app) This is a well-developed app that helps you on the nutritional side of things.  It enables you to scan the barcodes on food packages and rates them with a letter grade, it can also compare different foods and make suggestions if your looking to improve on that type of food you were eating. From this you can develop your own healthy shopping list.  This is a very educational app as well; you can learn a lot about the foods that you're currently eating (that you may have thought were healthy) and see if that particular food has too many trans fats, GMO's, HFCS etc.  There is also a free Fooducate Diabetes and Fooducate Plus ($3.99) app as well.

3. Shopwell (free app) - I like the simplicity of this nutritional app and I think it has the best available shopping list that enables you to modify depending on various health conditions that you may have (i.e diabetes or maybe your looking for gluten-free foods etc.).  Instead of giving foods letter grades, like Fooducate, foods are ranked by numerical grades.  For example, the Oatmeal that I ate this morning received a grade of 100 and I was told it was a strong match for what I was looking for nutritionally. It offers a nutritional food label and ingredients page as well.

4. Tabata (free app) - It seems everyone is jumping on the band wagon in regard to Tabata training and as a result there are more apps coming out. No need to pay for this type of app.  If your not familiar with Tabata training read this.  This is a clean, basic app that allows you to complete 8 bouts of 20-seconds of work followed by 10-seconds of active recovery that is performed for 4 minutes.  The idea is to warm-up for 5:00 on your own - use the app for 4:00 of challenging work - and then perform a self-imposed cool-down for 5:00 = a 14 minute workout.  There is also a Tabata Timer app that can be used as a training tool as well.

5. Sleep Cycle ($0.99) - This was one of the few apps that I actually paid for but really enjoyed.  This is an area where many people have no idea how well they are sleeping.  You may have the exercise and nutrition down pat but lacking in sleep can be detrimental to your health.  You place your Smartphone on the corner of your bed and it records the amount of time in bed, offers an idea of quality of sleep and even acts an alarm clock. My favorite thing about this is app is that it gives you a picture (graph) of how much time you spent awake, sleeping and in deep sleep and tracks that over time.  For more on the importance of sleep read The Promise of Sleep by William Dement MD.

Please let me know what some of your favorite apps were as well - Enjoy!

1. Research2guidance website

1 comment:

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Amazing blog and very interesting stuff you got here! I definitely learned a lot from reading through some of your earlier posts as well and decided to drop a comment on this one!