When it comes to establishing a health and fitness routine, some of us need all the help we can get. Luckily, these days there is an abundance of technology and apps to help you stay on track. Here are six that may come in handy for you.
1. Allergy Alert
Whether you’re walking briskly or training for a marathon, being able to breathe is kind of important. Therefore, people with pollen allergies are going to want to check out Pollen.com. Simply enter your zip code and you’ll get not only the weather, but also the quantity of pollen in the air as well as an allergy forecast. The site — which offers a free Allergy Alert app for iPhone (also works with iPod Touch) and Android — also offers cold and flu forecasts so you can plan your outdoor workout schedules wisely, as well as levels of UV radiation so you can protect your skin.
2. Zombies, Run! 3
You can get a basic pedometer to track your steps, or you can have a bit of fun while walking and running by downloading this fitness app available for either iOS or Android. The app marries exercise and gaming. When you’re ready to walk, jog or run, you get your mission and music and go, go, go once the zombies start giving chase. You automatically collect supplies to build up your base.
3. FitBit Surge
If the FitBit isn’t enough for you anymore, check out the FitBit Surge. This smartwatch includes various features, including GPS, a calorimeter, a heart rate monitor, compatibility with many sports and an alarm. It’s compatible with computers and smartphones, so while you walk, jog or run you can play music and receive text messages.
4. UP2 by Jawbone
This fitness tracker generates activity plans and is touted for providing you with motivation to move more, sleep better and improve your fitness. It has a battery life of one week, so you don’t have to waste time charging — and presumably more time moving. It tracks steps, exercise, overall calories burned, hours slept and quality of sleep. You can also combine it with the UP App Food Score to track food, drink, calories and nutrients. And of course, it wirelessly syncs with compatible Apple and Android devices
5. The Smart Sock
You want some wearable technology? What better tech than a sock that aims to protect your foot from plantar fasciitis and other injury? These socks have built-in sensors that inform you in real-time when you are striking with the heel or the ball of your foot. The sensors count the steps you take and monitor cadence (steps per minute). Combine the socks with the Sensoria Fitness mobile app, which is available for both Apple and Android devices, so you can see a foot heat-map on your smartphone.
This app encourages you to walk your dog because it’s good for both of you. The bonus is that while you’re out there walking, WoofTrax’s Walk for Dog app, available for iOS and Andrioid, enables you to raise money for a local animal shelter or rescue group. How awesome is that? You have to walk your dog anyway, so why not do other dogs in need a good turn? Users simply enter in their pets’ info, select a shelter or rescue from the more than 7,000 currently partnered with the app and get moving. The free app tracks the route, speed and distance you travel. What if you don’t have a dog? Well, you can walk or run with Cassie the virtual dog, of course!
No money for a gym membership? No room for a bunch of equipment? No problem. Sworkit, short for Simply Work It, is a fitness app that takes you through 5- to 60-minute strength, yoga, Pilates and stretching workouts — no equipment required. You can get a workout anywhere, anytime, no excuses. Sworkit Lite is free for iOS and Android devices. Or you can pay $3.99 for Sworkit Pro, which lets you customize workouts, same as you would a playlist.