The best fitness tracker apps


deep down inside we all know how important it is to try to live a healthy and active life but actually making that happen every day can feel like a chore the truth is you don’t need a personal trainer or gym membership if you want to stay on top of your activity in fact you don’t need a wearable tracker either the smartphone you already have in your pocket can help you stay on top of all your activity goals the best activity tracking apps just use the motion detectors built into your phone and they don’t require you to purchase any additional hardware they also make it easy to set and monitor goals that work for you and motivate you along the way with timely information about your progress the app that gets all that right and even goes a few steps farther is up by Java up can learn from the data that it collects and give you a nudge when you’re having an off day or a thumbs up because you’re exceeding one of your goals because a tracker that requires you to check in all the time it’s too easy to forget the first step to getting any of these trackers to work for you is to set up some simple goals but it’s really hard to know where to start without some extra help most trackers start everyone out at the same 10,000 steps per day goal and expect that you adjust it to find the right balance instead up cleverly suggests a good place to start with your goals by showing you where other people with the same height weight and age averaged it’s a simple feature but it goes a long way to ensure that up feels more like an aid than an annoyance up can also let you customize how it keeps track of you during the day you can set up notifications for when you’ve taken a certain number of steps as well as scheduled progress reports for a more detailed overview of your day if you’re the competitive type up can use Twitter and Facebook to find your friends and compare your week’s progress on a leaderboard even more game-like is a feature called duals that lets you pick a friend to go on a head-to-head step battle with over the course one or many days keeping tabs on your movement and exercise during the day can only give you a partial picture of how you’re treating your body the problem is logging everything you eat and drink is a huge pain and often far too time-consuming to maintain up tries and mostly succeeds at solving this problem by making it fast and easy for you to input the things you eat drink drink you can use the camera to log many simple items like an apple or a peanutbutter sandwich a scanner can quickly find any prepared food or drink item with a barcode and a list of restaurants nearby allows you to add whatever you’ve just ordered to your food log with a few taps if you’re using an iPhone your next best option is Fitbit like up Fitbit lets you use your phone in place of a separate hardware tracker fitbit’s notifications and social features are less robust but it still does a great job of tracking your activity weight and food intake on Android your next best option is google fit google fit is a more pared down approach to tracking asking you only to set up a single goal for daily activity with this home screen widget you can quickly check your progress or dive into the app and see how your day stacks up against your weekly average if you’re not worried about capturing things like your food intake or just want a simple way to start tracking your progress google fit is a great choice apps like up fitbit and google fit lets you grow into the world of fitness and health tracking get your feet wet with a simple step goal and then add or subtract other goals to make these apps work for your routine they won’t track your latest marathon using GPS or build detailed graphs of your weightlifting regimen if you’re a hardcore gym rat you probably want a dedicated wearable tracking device which all these basic apps also support but if all you’re looking for is to monitor your step count and daily activity Jawbone’s up app gets the job done you

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