It's safe to say most of us would be lost without our smartphones. Our phones help us organize our lives. They serve as an alarm clock, send us meeting reminders, take photos, play music and perform a million other useful functions. But perhaps the most important thing our phones can do for us is help us get in shape. By downloading health and fitness apps, our phones can help us run faster, work out better, eat smarter and live healthier.
We asked several health and fitness experts to recommend their favorite apps for staying healthy, no matter your style or motivation:
For philanthropic entrepreneurs: Charity Miles (iOS and Android, Free)
Fitness is not only good for your health, it can also be a great way to raise money for your favorite charities. This app allows you to earn money and raise awareness for charities by walking, running, or biking. The app measures your distance and raises 10 cents per mile for cyclists and 25 cents per mile for walkers and runners, all thanks to the app's $1,000,000 corporate sponsorship pool. Recommended by Manhattan-based registered dietitian Sharon Richter
For outdoor exercisers: MapMyRun (iOS and Android, Free)
Using a built-in GPS, this free fitness app enables users to access real-time fitness tracking. Follow your route on an interactive map while logging time, distance, speed, pace, elevation and calories burned and share your fitness success with friends. Recommended by San Diego, Calif.-based personal trainer and running coach Jennifer Purdie. MapMyRide is a similar app for cyclists.
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For the detail-oriented entrepreneur: MyFitnessPal (iOS and Android, Free)
When it comes to health and fitness tracking, this free app is one of the most popular. It allows users to record meals, water consumption, physical activity and weight progression. Use the chart function to show your progress doing over the last week or month. Recommended by Dallas, TX-based registered dietitian Megan Ware.
For sedentary entrepreneurs: MOVES (iOS and Android, Free)
This free app tracks your movements, showing how small changes to your daily routine can turn into healthy lifestyle habits. Turn the app on and keep your smartphone in your pocket to allow it to record the distance, time duration and the number of calories you burned as you moved throughout your day. The app divides up activities into walking, running and cycling. Recommended by Ariane Hundt, nutritionist and founder of Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp
For stressed-out entrepreneurs: GPS4Soul (iOS, Free)
Counteract the negative health effects of stress with this free app. Using the smartphone's camera, this app measures users' heart rates to determine how stressed they are and offers guides to calm them down. Guides vary from meditation to yoga poses to positive affirmation mantras. Users can also make their own guides using smiling photos of family and pets or songs. Recommended by Orlando, Fla.-based Dr. Jennifer Landa
For hitting the gym: GymFlow (iOS and Android, Free)
If you’ve ever felt frustrated after ending a difficult day at work only to have to wait an hour to run on your gym’s treadmill, this app is for you. GymFlow records when and where people are swiping in to select gyms and shows you just how crowded your gym will be when you arrive. Recommended by New York City-based Jonathan Ages, founder of Blood, Sweat & Cheers
For rushing at the grocery store: Fooducate (iOS and Android, Free)
Busy entrepreneurs don’t have time to read through the nutrition information on every box at the grocery store. This app helps shoppers better analyze food labels quickly. Scan the barcode on any product and the app will give it a grade for “healthiness” from A to D and highlight its positive and negative attributes. If it’s above a B, it’s a winner. Recommended by Jill Latham, registered dietitian and owner of Vibrant Earth Juices, a mobile juice and juice cleanse truck in Denver, Colo.