Health and Fitness Apps (iOS) Part 2

We review: Blood Type Diet, Heart Rate, Full Fitness, Sleep Cycle

Getting fit has never been easy, and while this is mainly due to motivation and trying to adapt to introducing massive change in your life (instead of small incremental steps), there are a plethora of tools and apps available today to help you on the road to fitness. I’ve used a few and have a kit-bag of apps on my iPhone to help keep me on track or provide a diversion to my usual program to break up the monotony.

As you know, I started taking health and fitness more seriously a couple of years ago when I hired a personal trainer. I have always been conscious of health and tried to balance out my diet and avoid the nasty things that often find their way into the foods we eat. Working out once a week helps keep me on track but you need some help along the way.

This is part 2 of a summary of the apps I use to help me workout and add fresh ideas to my workouts to keep it interesting. The order I am working through is based on the frequency I use the apps and each post covers 4 apps, so there will be 5 posts in total. App icons are links to the Apple Store.

Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3 • Part 4 • Part 5

Blood Type Diet

Blood Type Diet AppI was out in Lebanon last summer and we were discussing health conditions with a good friend of mine who suffers from diabetes and was looking at everything to find a way to better cope and maybe conquer the disease. The conversation turned to the Blood Type Diet and after reading (well skimming) his copy of the book I found that my diet had gravitated to the right foods for my blood type, and the few problem foods I ate – the ones that upset my system to a lesser or greater degree – were identified in the diet as problem foods. So I downloaded the app which is a great reference tool for choosing the correct foods for my particular type of body. I’d recommend this in your toolkit of nutrition and fitness.

Heart Rate

Heart Rate AppThis is a great little app that measures your heart rate using the flash in the iPhone. It’s accurate and useful to get a heads up on your heart rate. It’s not a full-blown fitness app that measures heart rate over time, but I haven’t found a suitable one yet for this purpose that doesn’t use the in-built gyros and drain the battery like crazy.

Full Fitness (iFitness) (pro)

Full Fitness AppThis is my replacement for Weightplan (see later entry). It has lots of exercises targeted for specific muscle groups, as well as general programs for weight loss, toning, etc. It also allows you to record things like weight, body fat (though it doesn’t calculate it), height, and different measurements of your body (eg waist, biceps, calves, etc) and it graphs them over time. More comprehensive that Weightplan and doesn’t require an account or in-app purchases. Sometimes you want to work on your abs and need a few ideas 🙂

[No Longer Available in App Store]

Sleep Cycle

Sleep Cycle AppA fascinating little app that measures how good your sleep is. If you’re getting the right balance of nutrition and exercise you should – theoretically – get a better sleep. This app graphs each night and provides summaries over time so you can see how your sleep varies. I actually managed a 100% quality sleep once! My sleep pattern closely matches my working pattern – the more stressed or tired you get from being active (working) the lower your sleep quality overall.

Part 3 next week.

Disclaimer

Before you start any exercise program or make any changes in your lifestyle and diet you must get your doctor or physician’s approval. This post is for informational purposes only and is not meant as professional advice, nor is it a substitute for professional advice. Many of these apps are designed for fit and healthy individuals only (I have marked these “pro”).

Performing exercise of all types can pose a risk to the exerciser. I advise that you should take full responsibility for your own health and safety. Before exercising make certain your equipment is in good condition and be sure to know your own physical limits. Adequate warm up and cool downs should be undertaken before and after any exercise.

Do not perform any of the exercises in these apps until you have been shown proper technique by a qualified fitness professional. If you experience any pain, discomfort, dizziness or you become short of breath, stop exercising immediately and consult your doctor/physician.