iPhone essentials: for keeping fit

If you made one of those ‘new year, new you’ resolutions and vowed to keep in shape in 2010, then the chances are that your appetite for exercise has already waned and you’re back on the chips again. Don’t lose hope though, because with a bit of help from your iPhone you can rejuvenate your fitness plan and have some fun too. I’ve picked out ten essential free apps for anyone who wants to lose that unsightly bulge that built up over the Holidays and won’t go away. Clicking any of the links will take you to that program on the App Store, via iTunes.

Watch what you eat with Lose it!

Lose ItCounting calories is a classic weight loss tactic, but it only works if you’re vigilant. Lose It! makes it much easier to track exactly what’s going into your mouth. It allows you to set up a daily ‘calorie budget’ and then helps you to meet this by offering a tool that keeps count of the calories in everything you it. Simply select whatever you eat, from the extensive food database in the app, and Lose It! will keep a daily tally of your calorie intake.

Get trim and toned with Virtual Trainer

Virtual TrainerUnfortunately, diet alone isn’t going to make you fit, and you’ve got to put a bit of physical effort in too. Virtual Trainer is a great tool for getting into shape, be it general fitness, weight loss, or muscle development. The app comes with more than 120 fitness programs of between 6 and 60 minutes each. Each has its own detailed 3D video animation, along with detailed descriptions of what you should be doing.

Train like an athlete with NikeWomen Training Club

Nike Training ClubThe NikeWomen Training Club app is a tool to accompany your training program on the site of the same name. It lets you create customized workouts and training drills to focus on five key fitness areas, namely: cardio, core, strength, balance, and flexibility. It contains instructional videos from professional trainers, and uses a unique points system for a bit of added incentive. You can even invite your friends and ‘compete’ against them.

Manage your own fitness programs with FitnessPlan

Fitness PlanIf you prefer to go it alone and set up your own fitness regime, then FitnessPlan can help makes sure you keep on track with it. The app lets you record the time and date of all the exercise you do, and then presents this information in the form of a clear and simple calendar. It offers you the chance to track the history of your exercise over time, and even produces graphs of the evolution of your activity.

Record every step with StepTrakLite

StepTrakIf you’re looking for a simple iPhone pedometer, StepTrakLite is a good choice. This application counts every step you make, whether you’re running, walking, or just ambling along – in fact, it can distinguish between all these types of activity. StepTrackLite can also record timings of your workouts and allow you to view just how much strenuous activity you’re done over a given period of time.

Track all of your runs using RunKeeper Free

RunkeeperWhether you’re a casual jogger or a serious runner, RunKeeper Free is a useful app to have on your iPhone. Using the GPS technology found in the iPhone 3G/3GS, the application tells you how far you traveled, how long it took you, your average speed, and the calories you burned. Best of all, it plots your course on a map, allowing you to see where you went and store details of your routes.

Measure your body mass index with BMI Calculator

BMI CalculatorWant to see if all this huffing and puffing is actually paying off? Then install BMI Calculator and find out your current body mass index. Based on the result, the app will tell you whether you are overweight, underweight, or right on the money. BMI Calculator supports both metric and imperial units of measure (i.e. it supports kilos and stones, and centimeters and inches). The app is dead easy to use and will calculate your BMI in just a few seconds.

Get more from your bike rides with iMapMyRide

iMapMyRideIf you’re a keen cyclist then you can’t afford to be without iMapMyRide. As soon as you get on your bike and start riding, the application starts tracking your route, along an interactive map. It automatically records all manner of details about your ride, including duration, distance, speed and elevation. You can save all of this data on the iMapMyRide web site and track your performances over time. Non-cyclists should check out iMapMyFitness, which does the same kind of thing, but for more general activities.

Find a gym with Yellow Pages

Yellow PagesIf all else fails and you’re finding it too difficult to manage your own exercise plan, even with all these apps installed, then perhaps you should join a gym instead. Just whip out your iPhone, install the Yellow Pages app, and you could be booking an appointment at a gym within moments. The application will give you reviews and ratings of gyms in your area, so you can get an idea of which ones to try.

Wind down with iRelax Melodies

iRelaxRelaxing after a grueling session is important and with the iRelax Melodies you can unwind in the most blissful way. The application lets you create your own relaxation melodies using a variety of soothing loops. The loops have been specially designed to induce tranquility and include stuff like wind, river, flute, rain, birds and soft lounge music. You make mixes just by dragging these loops into an order on screen.

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