The best apps to track fitness, health and diet

SACRAMENTO, CA -- Forget the expensive gym memberships, with today's technology, you can find all you need to stay fit and healthy, in the palm of your hand. Whether you're trying to get in better shape or training for a marathon, there are many apps out there to choose from.

So what are the best fitness and running apps?

Marathon runner Chris Malenab's vote goes to Strava.

"It's easy to use. It gives me a good sense of pace and time and distance. It also logs - if I run the same route multiple times - my fastest," said Malenab.

Whether you're running, cycling, swimming or skiing, Strava tracks your work out from start to finish through its GPS feature. You can also compare your times with others who have done the same trail, swim or ride.

"There's a constant connection with the rest of the running community even if you're not in the same area as them," Malenab said.

RunKeeper is featured in Shape Magazine as being one of the most popular and efficient running apps out there. It too has GPS and can monitor distance, speed, caloric output and activity history. Once your workout is complete, the data can be synced to your account on to keep track of your vital stats, and if you're training for a distance run, you can set a training schedule.

Another favorite according to Shape Magazine is MapMyRun. With more than 2.4 million users, you can easily connect to friends and family via social media. MapMyRun also uses GPS to track your distance, and it offers distance-based challenges on its website to help motivate runners.

Of course, the key to weight management is:

"Energy balance, so calories in, and calories out," said dietician Beth Goodrich.

For the best fitness and diet apps, Goodridge votes for MyFitnessPal.

"I think the very best app is called MyFitnessPal. What you do is you diligently log everything you eat and drink for a day, and it does all the math for you. It adds your total calories, grams of fat, sodium," said Goodridge.

Goodridge also suggests anyone trying to watch their caloric input look to a food diary app such as CalorieKing or LoseIt.

Leanne Mack of Sacramento tracks both her caloric input and output using MyFitnessPal.

"I can track my food and I can track how many miles I walked," said Mack."I find myself wanting to look at it all the time."

Mack said using the apps to track her diet and exercise has helped keep her on track to a healthy lifestyle.

Each of the mentioned apps can be used with both the iPhone and the Android and range in price anywhere from free to about $10.


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