There are apps for calorie tracking, exercise ideas, exercise reminders and that make exercising more fun. Here are a few of the more popular ones and a few of my favorites that you might want to give a try. I stick to free or low cost apps (under $5.)
Apple Health: This app comes standard with your new Apple device or OS update. The Health app integrates with other apps to provide a dashboard view of your calorie intake and activity level. The Health Data Tab tracks everything from sleep to body measurements to nutrition. Even if you are not using this to consolidate your data from other apps, you should go to the Medical ID tab and add allergies, emergency contacts and organ donor information.
myfitnesspal: This is the most popular calorie counter out there. You enter your current weight, goal weight and activity level. It will make a daily calorie intake recommendation for you and track that total as you enter food. It will also track water, weight and exercise. The interface is easy to use and the database of foods is huge. You will find many fast food and restaurant menu items have already been calculated for you. This mean you can add Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad - Crispy - rather than have to add each component.
SparkPeople: This is my preferred calorie counter. It's very similar to myfitnesspal. But SparkPeople has two distinct differences that make it more enjoyable to use. It has a social aspect including chat and coaching. This allows you to connect to people with similar goals and support each other. The second difference is SparkPoints. You can earn SparkPoints by answering questions, posting questions, tracking calories and reading articles. Those points can be traded in for rewards such as app add-ons or entries for gift card giveaways. SparkPeople is myfitnesspal's warmer, fuzzier cousin.
Walking and Running
Runkeeper: Uses the GPS in your phone to track and map out your runs. Very fun if you are running outside. I like that it will periodically tell you your distance and pace while you are running. I end up competing with myself to see if I can beat the last half mile's pace. You can set goals and notifications to remind you to run. If you like to share, you can post your runs and maps to Facebook. It has a pace adjuster which allows it to be used for walking or slow jogs just as effectively as for fast runners.
Run Zombies Run: This app is a blast. It is not free, but worth every penny. Imagine a future world where Zombies have taken over. You are holed up with some other survivors and assigned the job of Runner. You have to brave the wilds beyond the compound to gather supplies for the community. As you run, you encounter things like helicopter crashes, crying children and of course Zombies! You must evade the Zombies by sprinting. There are plenty of missions (and new ones added frequently) to keep you running.
The Walk: My favorite thing about this app is that it runs in the background and constantly measures your activity like a pedometer. I have not noticed it draining my battery. As you walk, it unlocks segments of a story. You can listen to segments as you unlock them or save them up for use at a later time - like a book on a tape for a car ride. There is an interactive element. You collect clues, choose your path and complete challenges as you walk. Terrific app for beginner fitness. You will find yourself walking just a little more to complete a challenge or unlock the story segment. The story is set in Scotland and starts with a terrorist attack. You are a government agent and need to get out of Edinburgh to report in. Along the way, you encounter fellow agents, possible terrorists and people in need of your help.
7M Workout: 7 Minute Workouts from Johnson and Johnson are tried and true. This is the very workout used in those studies you hear about that say shorts bursts of exercise can be just a productive as longer sessions. It's a nice mix of cardio and strength. There are 72 exercises that are combined into unique workouts. Instructions are provided for each exercise and you can indicate which ones you like and don't like. You can't go wrong with this app.
FitStar: This app starts by asking your fitness level - Out of shape, About average, Athletic or Elite and customizes from there. It integrates with FitBit and the Apple Health App. Like the Johnson and Johnson app, it uses 7 minute workouts. The difference is that this one has a lot of videos and a more modern feel to the interface. I like both of these apps and it can be nice to alternate between them.
TheCarrot: Should have be named the carrot and the stick. It calls you things like meatbag and is full of sarcasm. It also syncs with the Health App and will track calories and activities. Expect it to make fun of you if had dessert last night. It turns red and zaps your avatar when you miss exercise sessions. It will reward you with things like clothes for you avatar when you complete sessions. This app also uses 7 minute sessions. I could see this app helping to make exercise fun, but due to the lack of instruction and videos - it's not my favorite. It's also not as customizable to your fitness level as FitStar.
I hope something here struck your fancy and you are ready to give it a try. Finding exercise that you enjoy will keep you on the fitness path. Do you have a favorite fitness app that was not mentioned here? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!