NEW YORK (
) - Halloween's coming up and it's time to fit into that Big Bird costume. It's a good thing that there are
apps to help you!
From calorie counters to pedometers, don't be overwhelmed by the countless health and fitness options in the Apple app store. Whether you're a part of the
or an athlete in training, these seven
can help you eat right, sleep tight and burn calories left and right.
If you're eager to meet your fitness goals, you can hit the ground running with
app. Whether you're on the treadmill or lapping the loop in Central Park, this app tells you how far and how fast you're going. And with audio notifications, there's no need to slow down to look at your phone. The app also lets you listen to whatever music gets you going.
Competitive folks might like the NikeFuel points feature. Keep pace by comparing stats with runners around the globe. Sync Nike+ with
to share results with your world. Not surprisingly, wireless connectivity is required for sharing. And the app warns that the GPS could "dramatically decrease battery life." But as Nike might say, "just download it."
The free app is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, and requires iOS 4 or later (soon iOS 5).
Busy people have a lot to keep track of, like deadlines, appointments and tasks. Fortunately, there's no need to lose your mind from keeping track of calories.
makes it easy. Scan barcodes or manually enter your daily food intake. Lose It! will not only count calories, but also carbs, fiber, and other nutrients.
The Lose It! log also tracks calories burned through exercise. Progress reports and charts help with motivation. Additional features such as social media sharing and goal recognition are available through a LoseIt.com registration.
The free app is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, and requires iOS 3 or later.
If you can't afford a personal trainer and you're too busy to spend an hour at the gym, then
may be helpful for you. Its 5-30 minute routes are great for targeting bodyparts. This app has separate workouts for abs, arms, butt, and more. Video tutorials demonstrate how each workout is done. And a countdown timer lets you know when to switch exercises. Workouts can be customized to maximize effectiveness.
It's up to you to stay motivated. But I can tell you from firsthand experience, this app helps!
The full version of this app is $3.99. It's compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, and requires iOS 4.3 or later.
Eat This, Not That! Restaurants
So it's Friday night and you're out with your friends at McDonald's. There are so many healthy choices to choose from. What should you order?
Eat This, Not That! Restaurants
will help you. It turns out that you should pick the Big Mac! At least that's what this app will tell you. There's a long list of restaurant chains, with the pros and cons of 13,000 menu items!
The app also includes a calorie counter. There's even a game that's designed to make you recognize how deceptive food and beverage choices can be. Stay away from those white chocolate mochas.
This app is $4.99. It's compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, and requires iOS 4.0 or later.
Healthy Diet & Grocery Food Scanner by ShopWell
is pretty helpful, if you don't mind being that person mysteriously holding your phone up to boxes of food at the grocery store. (Join me at Trader Joes on 14th Street and we can do this together).
But if you are monitoring a variety of ingredients, comparing nutrition labels can be overwhelming. Once you fill out a quick survey on this app, it stores all your nutritional preferences, such as fats, sugars and vitamins. It keeps track of allergies and tailors diets for those with diabetes or other health conditions. Scan a barcode and the app will tell you if the product meets your needs. If not, it will suggest something else similar. Helpful, but I'm a little disappointed that Marshmallow Hot Chocolate Pop-Tarts aren't recommended.
The free app is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, but requires iOS 4.3 or later.
Healthy Recipes - By SparkRecipes
Once you buy all those nutritious grocery foods, how should you go about preparing them? There's an app for that.
has everything you need to know about cooking a wholesome meal. With 190,000 recipes (!) to choose from, you're bound to find something that's both healthy and tasty. The app sorts recipes by ethnic cuisine or dietary needs. From Mexican to gluten free, there are options for everyone.
For those amateur cooks who aren't sure how many teaspoons are in a pint, the app has a conversion section. And if you're looking to perfect your cooking techniques, the video tutorials are helpful. Tex Mex calzones, anyone?
The free app is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, and requires iOS 4 or later.
Sleep Cycle alarm clock
Do you remember if you dreamt last night? Well,
does. Or at least it claims to know how deep your sleep was. This useful piece of information is how Sleep Cycle decides when to wake you up. Set your alarm clock from 6:00-6:30, and Sleep Cycle may choose 6:23. It chooses your "lightest sleep phase," so that you begin your day "rested and relaxed." iPod music can be used for the alarm sound.
The app charts your sleeping patterns and lets you know how much sleep you're averaging a night. Even more helpful (or creepy), the app lets you export this sleeping data to Excel. Print it and post it on your wall.
Warning: This app works by tracking movement, so it's only effective if you place your phone next to your head. This may be a problem if someone is sleeping next to you.
This 99 cent app is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, but requires iOS 4.3 or later.
--Written by Katie Roof in New York