The top 5 free health apps

Want to lose weight, get in shape and keep track of your diet? There's an app for that! Here are the top 5 free health apps that can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle

The top 5 free health apps

Source: Web exclusive, July 2010

Too busy to visit the gym or to track your dietary needs or health concerns? Smart phone technology can help. New apps are constantly being introduced with the aim of keeping us healthy, happy and organized. Here are the goods on the top free apps that will help you achieve a healthy lifestyle, whether your goal is to stay in shape, lose weight or just feel better.

1. Jillian Michaels Fitness Motivation

Jillian Michaels, the popular trainer on NBC’s The Biggest Loser has a knack for choosing exercises that reap results. Her new app gets top marks for featuring easy-to-follow videos’all starring Michaels herself. Choose from fourteen different exercise categories that are jam-packed with stretches, calisthenics and free weight movements. Try one activity, or combine several to create your own full-body workout. If running is your idea of physical nirvana, there’s a dedicated section just for you. Track your distance, your favourite routes and compare previous results. While the exercise content will get your heart pumping, the actual app layout may leave you somewhat frazzled. The Goal area’s Track Calories calculator is tricky to figure out. This flaw aside, the videos within Jillian Michaels’ Fitness Motivation puts this exercise app at the head of its class.

2. MyFitnessPal Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker

There’s a cornucopia of weight-watching apps on the market yet few have offered a Canadian perspective until now. Food from Canadian companies such as President’s Choice, Longo’s, Sobey’s, M&M Meat Shops and Tim Horton’s‘they’re all included within MyFitnessPal‘s extensive database. Simple to use, this app serves as a food diary, exercise tracker and diet coach all in one. Search for calories and nutritional details of over 425,000 foods. Record your meals and workouts, then watch the automatic calculation of calories consumed. If losing weight is your goal, this app will flag how many calories you have remaining in order to meet your daily requirements. Plus, there’s a website component so you can conveniently add or review information online as well.

3. Period Tracker Lite

Tired of all the calculations that go into figuring out the arrival of your next menstrual period? Good news: Period Tracker Lite does the math for you. The app’s calendar highlights future periods months in advance, ideal for planning a vacation or a baby. Discover your cycle’s most fertile days and when ovulation will occur. Keep a journal of your monthly symptoms and moods. Period Tracker Lite even has your privacy in mind’the app features a discreet on-screen thumbnail that requires a four-digit access code keeping your personal data safe from prying eyes.

4. Six Pack App

With a moniker like Six Pack, you would expect this app to be hardcore, and it is. This small helper packs a mean punch with multiple exercises and routines for the chest, shoulders, back, legs and abs, plus yoga and stretches. Use equipment in your workout? Need suitable exercise routines for when you travel? Six Pack App is your answer. The app features handy step-by-step tips, photos and muscle diagrams, plus helpful dos and don’ts. The only downside is this app features many pop-up ads, which can only be avoided by purchasing an upgrade. If you can ignore this distraction, the Six Pack App is one of the best free trainers on the circuit.

5. Medscape

Got a cough that won’t go away? A child stricken with an overnight fever? Calm your fears with WebMD’s Medscape app. With access to over 3,500 illnesses and conditions, you’ll be privy to a wealth of information at your fingertips. Search its library for prescription bios, harmful medication interactions, and the latest medical news. Medscape even covers herbal medications and vitamins. However, the app’s health directory does not include Canadian hospitals, doctors or pharmacies.

(*All apps available on iTunes and compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.)

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