Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year Resolutions? iPhone to the Rescue!

Big plans for the new year? Are you planning to lose weight, eat healthier, save money, exercise, budget your spending - any or all of the preceding? If so, there are some excellent tools for the iPhone/iPod Touch that can help you achieve the goals you have set for 2009! This list is not meant to be exhaustive in nature, the following tools are the tools I have been using and that I have found helpful.

Livestrong App(free) - This iPhone native application is tied to the Livestrong "daily plate" website, use the app/website combo to record your daily calorie intake and exercise. I have found the best method to watch your eating is to actually track the calories and nutritional value of the foods you are eating. As a former Palm user I was a paid subscriber to CalorieKing (note: not currently available as a native application for the iPhone, you can access their web interface from the iPhone and it is usable, but I found the Livestrong application to be a better experience especially when inputting exercise), I have been waiting for CalorieKing to be released as an iPhone application, but, a few weeks ago the Livestrong application showed up in the Health & Fitness category. I downloaded it, registered as a Livestrong user and have been tracking my calories since. When searching for foods, the number of entries is numerous and complete, the more precise you are - using trade names - the better your results are. The app displays your recent foods and you can setup meals as well. All of the data is synced to the website and you can use the web to analyze your eating with graphs and weekly views. The price is right and having the ability to look up the nutritional content of just about any food at any time is good news in the battle against the bulge!

Weightbot ($0.99) - "Tracking your weight has never been more fun!" Weightbot is a simple, single minded application, weigh yourself and input the data into weightbot. You are presented with your BMI and a nice graph of your progress, you can set your goal weight and review as you get closer to your goal. The interface is elegant and fun. Checkout the website for screenshots.

iStayFit ($5.99) New gym membership for 09? iStayfit is the tool you need! You can use the prefab workouts or create your own. I tried a few of the iPhone workout applications and ended up using iStayfit because of its logging functionality. This is the perfect tool to use to keep track of your fitness routines (the app remembers the last set you performed for a given exercise), and the developer is updating on a regular basis. You will soon be able to export your workout logs and review on your desktop. Go to the website for more details... I highly recommend this application.. $5.99 may seem high for an iPhone application, but if you are into logging your workouts.. this is money well spent!

NIKE+ (iPod Touch 2G) I have been using Nike+ to track my walking/jogging on a Nano since it was released, yes it is an expensive pedometer, but Apple and Nike have put together a nice community at the Nike+ website. Plus, anything that motivates me to get out and run is a positive! Nike+ on the Touch has a certain "wow" factor missing from the Nano implementation. The full screen view is nice, the app will run in the background while running other Touch application.. all very well done, and the receiver is built into the Touch 2G. (Website $12/year) While not an iPhone application, this is a website that allows you to setup daily goals, such as exercise for 60 minutes per day. Once your goals are setup, use the site to motivate yourself! In the example above each day you exercise for 60 minutes you check it off, on the iPhone pull up the website and touch the box in question. The site tracks the number of days in a row ("break the chain" motivation), total points for the day, etc. The flexibility and simple starkness of this website are what makes it such a useful service. Check it out at

Mint (free) The iPhone Mint application combined with give you command of your finances. Use the website to setup all of your cash, credit and investment accounts. Then Mint syncs with your accounts and imports all of your transactions into one place. Setup budgets and alerts. The iPhone application gives you access to your spending habits etc. I do suggest that you lock your iPhone if using this application. I just started using Mint the week before Christmas, with the start of the new month I am really beginning to see the value of this application/web service, it takes some effort to setup, although, nowhere near the effort required in the old days of Quicken/Money, but the budgeting and daily download of your transactions is handy.


Dave Y said...

You should also give Fitnio a try.

It is a free iPhone fitness app that uses the iPhones GPS to help you keep track of time, distance, speed, and calories burned while you run or ride.

It's really easy to use and automatically uploads the data from your run to its website. The website keeps track of all your runs and rides and even gives you a little map of where you went.

The website also makes it really easy for you to show off a great run to some friends.

Check it out:

Kipp W. Ottley said...

Dave, thanks for the advise. I will check it out. Sounds great for outdoor cycling/jogging/walking