published Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

High-def health: Nutrition and fitness apps help iPad users get off the couch, live better

Nutrition and fitness apps help iPad users get off the couch, live better.
Nutrition and fitness apps help iPad users get off the couch, live better.
Photo by Contributed Photo.

With its high-resolution display and access to thousands of games, movies and TV shows, the third-generation iPad offers plenty of excuses to laze on the couch.

For the more health-conscious among the 3 million users who picked up a new iPad last weekend, however, there are many free and paid apps that can incorporate Apple's latest tablet into a fitness routine or diet regimen.

Currently, there are more than 3,700 iPad entries in the App Store's Health & Fitness section. Want to know what to eat or desire a custom workout routine for achieving beach-worthy abs? Yeah, there's an app for that.

[Note: Although iPhone/iPod Touch apps will work on the iPad -- albeit in an expanded form -- this list is limited to native iPad apps that take advantage of the device's increased screen real estate.]

GENERAL FITNESS

All-In Fitness HD

* Developer: Arawella Corp.

* Price: $1.99.

* Who needs it: Those with access to a gym or a home exercise machine who want to lose weight and tone or build muscle.

* Why it's worth it: A custom workout generator provides programs tailored to users' needs. Each exercise includes narrated videos to demonstrate proper technique and an illustration of which muscle groups are being worked. The database includes hundreds of activities, from yoga positions to free-weight exercises.

* Alternate apps: "Navy SEAL Fitness" ($1.99).

CALORIE TRACKER

"Calorie Counter*"

* Developer: About Inc.

* Price: Free.

* Who needs it: Those interested in an app for keeping track of eating habits and analyzing nutritional intake.

* Why it's worth it: "Calorie Count" is free, simple to use and has a searchable database with entries for popular restaurant chains and brands. The app also includes exercise and weight logs and an analyzer for breaking down daily nutritional intake and showing areas that could use improvement.

* Alternate apps: "Calorie Counter by FatSecret" (free).

NUTRITION/FITNESS ANALYSIS

"Diet & Fitness Fracker by SparkPeople"

* Developer: SparkPeople.

* Price: Free.

* Who needs it: Any statistically minded person who is motivated by visual metrics and wants to lose weight.

* Why it's worth it: Like many fitness apps, "Diet & Fitness" offers logs for food, exercise and weight and bases daily goals on users' target weight loss. What sets it apart is its conversion of that data into colorful charts and graphs that visually depict dietary choices and exercise habits.

* Alternate apps: "Food Scanner: Good Food or Bad Food?" ($2.99).

YOGA

"All-in Yoga HD"

* Developer: Arawella Corp.

* Price: $1.99.

* Who needs it: Anyone with an interest in practicing yoga, from novices to gurus, who wants the motivation of a coach without the cost of a class.

* Why it's worth it: After inputting age, weight, level of expertise and the goal of your session (flexibility, de-stressing, etc.), the app creates a customized, narrated workout from a database of more than 300 positions. The app will also sync data online to keep track of your workout calendar, and videos are available to demonstrate proper form.

* Alternate apps: "Daily Yoga" ($2.99).

RUNNING

"Couch to Half"

* Developer: Uncaged Confidence.

* Price: $1.99.

* Who needs it: Beginning runners with an eye on completing the 13.1 miles of a half-marathon who need help setting a schedule and maybe a bit of extra motivation.

* Why it's worth it: Certified personal trainer Trish Blackwell guides users through a 12-week program. Each week has training tips, a workout schedule and videos for motivation and cross training. Blackwell also provides consistent encouragement and tips for beginners.

* Alternate apps: "WalkJogRun Running" ($4.99).

BODY BUILDING

"iMuscle -- (Nova series)"

* Developer: 3D4Medical.com.

* Price: $4.99.

* Who needs it: Those without access to a personal trainer who want to know how to strengthen or tone muscles.

* Why it's worth it: Using an interactive, detailed 3-D rendering of the body, "iMuscle" allows users to zoom in on specific areas, identify each muscle and get a list of exercises that will develop it. There are more than 400 exercise animations with tips for proper execution. Users can string these together to create customized workouts.

* Alternate app: "Get Ripped" ($4.99).

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

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