Fitbit Apps You’ll Love!

I LOVE my Fitbit Flex, and have worn it daily for nearly 2 years.  It keeps me honest on the fitness front, and gets me moving each day by buzzing me with silent alarms.  While the band does all the counting, there are some great apps it integrates with to make your life, health, and fitness management easier.

fitbit.jpg

 For starters, you’ll want to know about the Fitbit App itself.  It’s a very easy to read and understand interface that counts your steps each day, tracks your sleep, records weight, and activity, and as you’re about to see, meshes with many third-party apps. The app syncs with your wristband via Bluetooth each time you launch the app on your mobile device.  While it syncs your steps automatically, you’ll need to input things like weight and water consumption yourself, and use one of the apps below if you want to track your food.  The Fitbit app also syncs your sleep pattens automatically so you can get a good sense of how many hours you’re getting, and what times of night you might be restless, or awake.

The Fitbit app is clean, streamlined and easy to read at a glance, and configurable to some extent, allowing you to keep or discard certain metrics, depending what you want to see.  Need a crash course in what the Fitbit is or how it works? Check out a great Tech Blog about the Fitbit line.

 Health & Wellness

 

My Fitness Pal (My personal favourite)MFP.jpg

Probably my #1 app for use with the Fitbit.  My Fitness Pal tracks your food and exercise, and also meshes that information with the movement and steps you get from the Fitbit. You set up an account, and tell it if you’re looking to gain or lose weight, or just keep things where they are.  It then tells you how much you should be eating in a day.  From there, the easy to use (and recently improved) interface allows you to manually enter your food, or to scan a barcode, and it will input the food for you.  It keeps track of your calories, then adjusts your calorie count for the day, based on how much or how little exercise you do.  So if you have a particularly busy day, it actually wants you to consume more calories!  The Fitbit, once you set the app up to link with your Fitbit, makes all the adjustments and shares any info with the app for seamless info flow.

Price: Free

Other Fitbit-compatible apps like it: Lose It, Foodzy

 

TactioHealth

This app snagged “Best App Ever” in 2012. tactio.jpg It’s said to be the #1 Medical App in in over 10 countries, and in the  Top 10 Medical App in over 25 countries.  Tactio tracks all your body stats, from weight, to body fat and BMI, and your body measurements.  If you’re looking for something more in-depth than My Fitness Pal, this is your app, because it also tracks blood pressure, glucose levels, and cholesterol to give you a much better handle on your personal health markers.  It also counts steps and syncs with Fitbit to share the data, and allows you to make meal plans and count calories.  The app will even remind you to weigh in, get to your annual physical and deliver news updates (based on your profile), from the CDC and WHO. When I went through the set up, the questions were detailed and specific; it wants to know how many veggies you eat, what your waist measurement is, how much you move at work and in workouts, if you smoke, and more.  Be warned; if you’re going through the set up and get interrupted it doesn’t save what you’ve already input, so finish this before exiting, or before letting your phone go to sleep! Once your account is set up, link it to your Fitbit.

Price: Free

Similar to : My Fitness Pal (but much more in depth)

 

Beeminder

We all know the feeling; you set some goals, make a plan, and after a few weeks, boredom (or real life) sets in, and your carefully orchestrated fitness plan goes kaput.  Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 7.10.00 PM.pngWhat if you had to pay for missing a workout?  That would probably make you think twice about your lame excuse.  Beeminder ’stings’ you for missing a workout, by making you pony up a cash penalty. “If you go off track, you pledge money to stay on the road the next time. If you go off track again, we charge you,” says the company’s app description.  Basically, if you flake, you pay. It’s not just for workouts.  If you want to learn Spanish, ballroom dance, or just to commit to doing something on a regular basis (call your mother!), Beeminder will make it your top priority, and penalize you if you don’t follow through.  Worth noting: I had a great deal of difficulty getting the app set up.  The only setup options are via Facebook and Twitter, and it kept giving me an “Authentication failed” message saying it didn’t recognize my profile. I’d love to know if it works better for any of you, and I’d be willing to give it another try.

Price: Free

Games

 

Tappy Fit

You’re the kind of person who likes to gamify your life, so this is right up your alley. photo 2-1.PNG

This low-res faux-80’s era app uses your Fitbit data to improve your game experience as you navigate your flying shoe around your 2-bit world. Take more steps, some tasks get easier.  Skip them, and you have to work your thumbs a lot harder.  It’s a very basic (and a little dull) app, but fun for those who might need an extra boost.  I deleted it almost immediately after testing.

Price: Free

Similar to: Welly (which is basically a digital pet who gets cared for via the steps you take)

 

For Runners

 

Map My Run

I’ve been looking for an app like this for weeks, and was pleased when my research led me to this one. photo 1.PNG
Map My Run geo-locates you, and finds different routes you can take nearby, to cover a particular distance you might want.  Looking for a 5K near the office?  It lays out a handful of options.  Just want a quick 2-mile close to home?  Take your pick from the displayed maps. The app is colourful and very user-friendly.  Just touch, and run! And of course, it syncs with your Fitbit!

Price: Free

Similar to this: Digifit,  Endomondo and…

 

Runtastic

photo 3.PNGA really great pedometer app.  It uses the accelerometer inside your phone to track distance, speed, steps and calories burned.

You click it to start it when you go out for a walk, run or bike, and the app automatically sends your data to the aforementioned My Fitness Pal.  Technically this app doesn’t sync to Fitbit but it’s a great app to try out to see how (and if!) you might use a pedometer like a Fitbit.

Price: Free

 

Fitbolt Web App

You work a desk job, and you spend 7.8 hours per day sitting.  Need some motivation, maybe a reminder to get up, move, and do some stretching?  The Fitbolt desktop app claims to be just what you’re looking for.  It puts a tiny counter in your browser, and counts you down to a pre-set interval.  It will also display recommended stretches and movement activities you can do at your desk.  While the elbow/arm stretches were fine, I wasn’t about to do a plank on the dirty office carpet. I also didn’t like the fact that when the counter hits zero, there’s no alert, or alarm to remind you to get up.  It (in my Firefox browser, anyway) just reset it self and started counting again.  Also annoyingly, when do do remember to remember to look at the clock and try out a move, if you click that you’ve done it, it rewards you with …an ad.  Not to mention it kept crashing when I tried to log in to the dashboard.  Great idea in theory, but don’t waste your effort on this program.

Price: Free

 

Do you have a Fitbit-connected app you LOVE?  Tell me about it in comments.  I’d love to check out your favourite.

 

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