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January 15th 2014 9:58 am

What apps and devices are you using to get healthy?

The new year was the impetus I needed to think seriously about getting healthy.

So I bought a Fitbit Force, started tracking nutrition on Lose it app again, bought the premium version of Fitstar (my favorite app right now) and have them all connected so I don't permanently have my face buried in my phone logging activity, sleep, hydration, nutrition and workouts.

I have a Garmin Forerunner 305 which I use for more accurate heart rate, calories burned and mileage data for my workouts (connected to Fitbit via Garmin Connect, and it adjusts data for the time period of the workout).

Fitbit is connected to Lose it and they adjust the calories burned value periodically throughout the day.

It is still work though... Even though Lose App has a barcode scanner now..

What is the best set up of apps and devices for accurate data for the least amount of time spent logging info?

I also use Stretching and Flexibility, Runkeeper, Chirunning, Mapmyrun, Fooducate, 7 minute workout, FIRST iPhone running companion, (iOS) from time to time...

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I use a Garmin FR10 to calculate calories burned during my runs and manually enter them in Lose it (no integration with Garmin Connect and I trust the watch's calorie count more that Lose it calculations). I also have a Withing's scale that is connected to Lose It. (The scale is the weight + BMI only version as the body fat scales are inaccurate and more expensive).

Would love to see a Garmin watch/hr combo that incorporates a separate HR sensor (optical arm band) to the watch for more accurate calorie burn calculations: I don't like wearing the chest strap and, during the winter months, often have to strap the watch outside my clothing.

As far as iOS goes, I listen to audio books from Audible on my 4th gen iPod when I'm running. I'm outa luck with newer devices that only support the latest bluetooth technology. Thinking about ditching iOS altogether and replacing my dumb phone for a Nexus 5. Will still keep the Garmin watch as I like to see how I'm doing during my runs: can't see pulling out a large device while on the road.
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  • Fitbit Ultra - It's nice to see my relative step count on a day to day basis and see whether or not I'm being active enough (hint: lately, I have not been).
  • Fitbit Aria - Trying to keep my weight / BMI within a certain range and this helps track that on a day to day basis. Also nice to see overall trends.
  • Runkeeper - I use this to log my runs on my iPhone.
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I have a Garmin Edge 810 for Mountain Biking - being able to record and input courses/trails is key for me. Makes it possible to ride new areas without spending all your time stopped and looking at a map. The calorie counts are suspect though. Garmin Connect is better than it used to be too.

Runkeeper for runs, inline skating, all biking. They do a great job on their website. Also, when it works, posting maps/workout summaries to Facebook is a great feature. It really annoys my FB friends which of course is the main reason to post anything to Facebook.

Jefit Pro for weight training. Surprisingly few good choices in this category.

Loseit! When I was dropping some lbs. Very effective tool.

Withings Wifi scale to record daily weight.

Wahoo heart rate strap. Great integration with runkeepr but I found it difficult to use.
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Jefit looks like it's really similar to GymBuddy but modernized, thanks for sharing, I'll have to give it a try. Does it have the capability to record drop sets? That's one function I can't find anywhere.
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I'm not sure what you mean by that. It can record any set you perform. You input the weight and reps so it can be drop sets or any other type of sets.

If you mean can it record changing weight amounts within the same set, no I don't think it can do that. It would have to be input as different sets.

My big complaint is that the font is very small and I have to squint to read the amounts or break out the reading glasses which isn't practical in the gym.

They appear to be a small company and are working to improve the app. It does most of what I need now but it does have room for improvement.
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I used to use a FitBit and Withings Pulse but have since put them to the side. I also relied on myfitnesspal a lot but have since moved away from that as well. I think the only all purpose item I use right now is my Withings Scale which I only use maybe once a month.

Currently I use a Garmin Edge 510 with the HRM and cadence sensor when on my bike. I then put all my rides into Strava for a better visual aid and guidance. At some point I may upgrade to a power meter but I need to decide if the investment is going to have a good benefit for me.
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So, all of the triathletes and cyclists that I have encountered who splashed the cash on a power meter, showed marked improvements. I think because having the power meter gives them a much more accurate idea of how hard they are working, beyond HR and speed.

If you want an intelligent opinion I recommend this company.


The owner and founder, started Brooklyn Triathlon Club and knows about as much about bikes, power meters, performance riding and triathlons as anyone.

He is also a nice guy.
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I'm giving myself one more year before I try and formulate a proper plan. I'm currently reading Joe Friel's training book and even he recommends waiting 2-3 years before trying to build a plan. After that though I think I may need to invest in a power meter because as Friel points out a HRM can give you some information but 180 for me wont be 180 for you. Whereas a power meter is the same.
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I used to use Jawbone UP until it got ruined. Got a second one from them, then that got ruined as well and I gave up on UP.

I also use a Withings Smart Body Analyzer and RunKeeper.
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GymBuddy... Sadly hasn't been updated in years but still the best to track strength training sessions.

Argus... Great to see a snapshot of your day/week to make sure you stuck with your plan and see where/how you faltered. Syncs with fitbit and bluetooth HR monitors too.

And... MS Excel... If you plan your nutrition instead of tracking it you'll see much better results.
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I'm finding the Nike Plus stuff really good at the moment. I have a FuelBand and use the running app.
The FuelBand is really good at motivation. It may not have the accuracy of other systems, but it really helps me make the effort to go to the gym when I'm under my target for the day.
I would like it to link with some kind of scale, however.
It doesn't track foo at all but I've found that to be a real faff when I've tried it before. Especially if you cook a lot yourself.
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The Polar FT60 HRM (which unfortunately isn't great in terms of integration with 3rd parties), the Withings WS-50 scale, the Withings Pulse for the day-to-day activity (the overall ecosystem is great), RunKeeper for the cardio activities and MyFitnessPal for the nutrition.

I'm still looking for a real good app to cover the strength training days. Any suggestions are welcome...
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I have a number of devices, including a Fitbit One (I hate wearing things on my wrists), an old school Withings WiFi Body Scale and a Wahoo Blue HR (bluetooth heart rate monitor). Apps I use include Runkeeper, MyFitnessPal, Strava, Fitbit, Wahoo Fitness.

I use Runkeeper for running, as I'm working through C25K (again) and like the ability to set up workouts with their audio cues. For cycling, I use Wahoo Fitness because it's easy to upload the data to both Runkeeper and Strava (which I use to compare to my brother).

Syncing and stuff is all quite complex, but I wrote a blog post about how the data flows around:

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For keeping running/biking data synced across services I really like iSmoothRun (www.ismoothrun.com) for iOS, it will automatically post your run/bike to an impressive amount of different services (RunKeeper, Strava, Dailymile, Nike+, Garmin, Fitbit, etc). Not sure if there's something similar for Android, I used to use Google MyTracks (www.google.com­/mobile­/mytracks/) and then share the run/bike to each service manually.
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The main app that I recommend for everyone - it honestly is a simple change to help with getting enough sleep is Flux. (justgetflux.com/) This is a little different, but I still thought it relevant to getting healthy (one easy change is to get enough good sleep).

It's a simple app that changes the lighting on your computer so that your screen isn't as bright. As a result, your eyes will be ready for bed - even if doing last second reading/emailing/watching on your computer. It really helps me get to bed when I want to.
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What do you want exactly? Apps market is full of various apps. There are apps for recipes, exercises, calorie tracker etc.
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I am interested in finding out what combination of apps and devices other folks are using and how they connect/sync those apps and devices to each other in the most efficient way. Taking care to not duplicate calories burned, mileage, weight etc. whilst not having the chore of logging data in multiple apps.

How do you use technology to accurately assess your healthy lifestyle choices in real time with ease?

I like my setup:-

Fitbit Force (relative steps and sleep)
Garmin Forerunner (HR, calories burned during physical activities and mapping)
Lose it App (nutrition and hydration tracking)
Fitstar App (excellent personal trainer in my pocket for core and cardio. With calories burned )

All connected to each other and synced so that I only really have to log food and water intake. Calories burned through activities are combined and consolidated by Fitbit and then are synced to Lose it which adjusts the calories burned value for the day accordingly.

How do your health and fitness apps and devices talk to each other? And consolidate information?
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Hey! I fond for you 3 different list of apps. My boys said these apps are handy and useful. So, #1 bodybuilding: provides with detailed explanations on how the different muscles of the body works http://bit.ly/1eiwa0r
#2 Weightlifting: explains how the bench press can be a “badge of honor” among weightlifters & teaches you how to safely increase your max http://bit.ly/1aGp3yt
#3 Abdominal workout: teaches how to develop core strength, syncs your timing with the beat of your music etc http://bit.ly/KBQsaw

I am sure you find something for you)
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Thanks for the bodybuilding apps, I will definitely check them out.

Any suggestions for apps that "integrate", sleep, steps, calories burned, food and hydration logging in real time throughout the day.

An app that pulls data from different apps and presents it ?

Fitbit does a nice job. And syncs with other apps.

Argus is the closest thing I can find.

As much as I like my phone ... I like to put it away sometimes and just exercise. I don't always want to run or ride my bike with my phone..

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