Turn Your Phone Into a Fitness Tracker

Warmer weather is finally on its way, which means swimsuits, shorts, and tank tops become our main clothing staples. Many people want to get into shape before they start shedding their layers of cold weather clothing. Devices like a Fitbit are great tools to get you moving, but they can be a bit pricey. Fortunately, your iPhone can pretty much do the same thing!

Many iPhones have the Health App already installed on their phones. If you do not however, you can just visit the Apple store to get it (and it’s free).

In the Health app, on the Dashboard tab, you can view the number of steps you took, your walking + running distance, the number of flights climbed, and an analysis of your sleep. This runs behind the scenes, so you won’t have to constantly turn it off or on to use.

Click on the next tab, which is Health Data, and you can enter some personal information. Add things such as the food you consumed for meals, your body measurements, and your lab results. You can even enter your daily vitals, or information for reproductive health such as basal body temperature.

If you have a medical condition, there is a Medical ID tab where you can add information that would be vital in the event of an emergency. List allergies, medical conditions, and contact numbers. The Medical ID can also be accessed without unlocking your phone from the emergency dialer.

Depending on how active you are, or how active you want to be, you can add also add apps to give your more options. My Fitness Pal is a great app to input your food and activity. It has a huge database of foods with all the nutritional data so it’s simple to find exactly what you ate, or at least something very similar. It also allows you to enter goals, and shows you the progress you’ve made towards that goal, along with the estimated date you will reach it.

If you are looking to begin a running program, 5K Runner is a great app that lets you listen to your music while you run. It gives your cues when to walk and when to jog. There are a variety of training plans to choose from that focus on different areas of your body. It also lists tips to getting healthier, and some inspirational quotes.

The one disadvantage to using your iPhone instead of a device such as a Fitbit is the size. It can be awkward to carry your phone or try to keep it in your pocket as you are running. Many times you may even be wearing clothing that doesn’t accommodate your phone. A solution to this is wear an arm band to hold your phone, or even a small fanny pack. I’ve seen people use an arm band around their ankle.

There are so many different things you can do with your phone to stay in shape. The important thing is to figure out what works for you, so you can create healthy daily habits that your will be sure to stick with.