Tech Aid: Top Health & Fitness Apps for 2015

Apple Health App

New year, new goals, right? We’ll sort of. Maybe. I give up. Anyone want to go get burritos?

That’s probably your thinking at this somewhat depressing time of year, when we’re bombarded by articles telling us what to eat and what exercises to do to keep that core tight. It’s frigging cold out and all we want to do is eat comfort food, so it’s no wonder most people are left feeling unmotivated and lethargic.

We sat down with Canada’s only Nike Master Trainer Eva Redpath, who personally swears by “adequate sleep, lots of liquids, daily smoothies, tons of veggies, healthy grains and fats, and of course lean proteins like egg whites, organic cheese and meats” for maintaining an ongoing healthy lifestyle. She also recommends “a daily ‘sweat’…whether it’s dance cardio, a STACK or Tabata workout” and went on to say that “I’m at my best with at least 45 minutes of cardio plus upper and lower body functional training every day.”

We look to technology as a reminder and a motivator to follow through on our healthy intentions and the new Health app on our iPhone 6 and 6 plus makes it ridiculously easy to measure and track our success all in one place. There are tons of cool new apps for everything from health, wellness, and fitness that sync with the Health app, plus comparing your steps and flights climbed with your friends never gets old. Not only are fitness and health apps a great way to stay motivated and on track between regular workouts, they’re especially good in the winter months when braving the cold for a class isn’t always an option.

We’ve rounded up a few of our favourite fitness and nutrition apps that sync with Apple’s new Health app below to keep you healthy and on track for the next 354 days.

Fitness Apps:

RunKeeper App

Weather you’re A runner or not one of the best new free work out apps is RunKeeper. It not only tracks running pace, cycling speed, route distance, elevation and calories burned for physical activity, but also maps your heart rate, weight and measures your pace over time. You can also sync with hundreds of nutrition apps like MyFitnessPal, Fitbit, Sleep Cycle app and more. It’s a great app for those who might be training for a marathon, and likewise for those who just want to get more active, make a plan, and track their results.

Fitness Builder App

Perhaps you need a little more one on one attention when working out, then Fitness Builder is an amazing personal training app which you can use practically anywhere to reach your goals no matter your level. Used by fitness professionals, coaches and physical therapists this app has over 400 workouts and 16 multi-week plans at the free level, and tracks your total body stats right into the Health app. It’s got great visuals that can be expanded into a video tutorial if you need, and shows your progress within the app week to week. There is also a pro level account and physical therapy upgrade if you’re a professional looking to work out on the go, as well as additional workouts once you master the basics.

Nike+ Training Club App

For workouts we regularly use the Nike+ Training Club app, which naturally is Eva’s favourite, “it’s by far the most innovative, featuring every kind of workout from Tabata to yoga.” You can sync your own music with workouts led by top female athletes to suit your schedule ranging from five minutes to twelve minutes, updated regularly, leaving you no excuse not to stay on track. They’ve also updated the app to make it social, so your friends can see what your score is and you can share photos of group workouts. It doesn’t sync with the Health app just yet, but their Nike+ Running app does.

Nutrition & Wellness Apps:

If you’re looking to loose weight balancing a healthy diet with exercise is the only way. Eva recommends, having a realistic goal that’s measurable and achievable. “If it’s too far out, forget about it! Start small and go from there.” She also recommends cutting out anything white “think processed foods and anything packaged, along with insulin-rising carbs like bagels and muffins. Swap these out with healthier choices such as sprouted breads and grains including quinoa (one of my favourites) and kamut.”

Here are a few of the best nutrition apps that sync with the Health App.

MyFitnessPal App

MyFitnessPal is perhaps the worlds most popular and free health and fitness apps. It’s got the largest database of food, remembering your favourites and saves entire meals making it easy to track your calories if you’re looking to lose weight and keep it off. It also tracks your fitness either entered manually or synced through other apps and devices, and lets you create your own personalized diet and exercise program.

ResMed S + Sleep Moniter

Just as fitness and nutrition are important for a balanced lifestyle, adequate sleep will help you achieve optimum health. The S+ by RedMed monitors and analyzes your breathing and movement while you sleep and syncs with your health app to give you a sleep score, and suggestions on how you can improve. It also offers feedback on your bedroom environment, and charts your sleep in stages including wake, REM, light, and deep. It syncs soothing sounds to your breathing so you can easily chill and fall asleep and once you’re ready, a smart alarm gently wakes you at the appropriate time so you feel refreshed.

Personal Diet by Nutrino

Unlike other food tracker apps the Personal Diet by Nutrino app instead tells you what you should be eating to reach your health goals taking into account your medical profile and culinary preferences. It’s visually quite pretty and adaptive to use that addresses the challenges of eating right every day with meal planning, grocery lists, and on the go decision support. By syncing through to the Health App you can see the nutrient facts of each meal as well. Nutrino also communicates with other fitness and health apps, so once you’ve finished a mega intense workout, you know exactly what to eat to refuel.

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