After a Christmas of self-indulgence comes the inevitable New Year’s resolution to detox, get fit, lose weight, and eat more healthily. Believe it or not, there’s an app to help with all of that but with a choice of thousands of fitness apps, which one should you use?
We found that it’s worth checking out the reviews and scientific credentials of an app or tracker before making a purchase. A recent study by Dr Charoula Nikolaou, Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium and Professor Mike Lean, University of Glasgow, UK, assessed the current mobile apps market for weight management. They found that of 29,000 apps relating to weight loss and fitness, only 17 were based on verifiable scientific research.
To help you make a more informed choice, we sampled a few of the more innovative apps in the app stores:
1. Step Bet – This novel app lets you wager whether you would achieve your exercise goals. StepBet is the perfect app for anyone who needs some extra motivation to get moving – if you like losing fat and don’t like losing money, this is an app to try!
2. Optimize – Optimize Fitness provides a personalised program based on your workout history, and the time and equipment you have available. The workout plans then adapt future goals to the person’s past performance.
3. Lose It! – Wouldn’t it be great if you could take a picture of your food, and its nutritional value was logged so you could track what you’ve been eating? Snap it by Lose It! aims to do just that while managing your daily calorie budget. It will take time before the app becomes sufficiently clever to recognise most food variants but this is well on the way to becoming a useful tool in our ongoing quest to eat more healthily.
4. Lifesum – gives you a weekly “Life Score™” on your health, based on 16 nutrition and exercise measures. The score comes with an overview of what you did good and what you need to work on, as well as great advice on how to improve your health. You get a full overview of how you perform with your nutrition intake, water intake and exercise.
5. Seven – Using nothing more than a chair, a wall, and your own body weight, you can accomplish a daily physical workout that will dramatically improve your well-being with no internet connection needed.
Behavioural psychologists believe the sense of achievement we get when meeting goals is integral to altering our habits in the long term. With this in mind, the key to improving fitness or weight loss is to set goals and to meet them consistently.
The better exercise apps learn from how well you’ve done in the past to help tailor your future goals and ensure they’re attainable.
Setting and meeting goals, builds a sense of achievement which boosts your confidence and makes you more likely to meet your goals in the future.
Good luck with your resolutions!