Obesity is becoming an increasingly looming issue in the First World, particularly in the U.S.
In our post-industrial economy, the rise of the sedentary office job, coupled with the prevalence of fast, less-than-healthy foods and an overly hectic 21st Century schedule, make it difficult for individuals to take the time to exercise, sleep well, and eat healthy.
And not just for middle-aged to retirement age professionals, either. One study from the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that as of 2008, more than 30 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 and 39 were obese, and these numbers have not shown to change much since. If you count those who are overweight OR obese, that number moves to 68 percent (Being “overweight” is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 29.9, BMI being a number calculated from weight to height ratio; “obesity” is defined as a BMI of 30 or more).
There are no shortage of health and fitness apps, but below, we’ve narrowed it down to eight of our favorite picks for healthy, free apps that professionals can use to stay lean and mean on the job.
The best healthy eating and fitness apps for professionals
Carbodroid (for Android and iOS)
Do you inadvertently go for the soda machine when you’re thirsty?
One well-known cheat for losing weight and staying slim is to consume plenty of water (about one-half gallon to one full gallon daily) – it helps curb your appetite, keeps you hydrated and with energy bolstered, and it keeps your body happy. Each sip of water you take improves the mood of the app’s digital droid, who gradually becomes happier. Kind of fun, and good for your water drinking habits.
My Fitness Pal (Calorie Counter, for Android and iOS, you can sync with desktop)
Let’s get real – fad/crash diets don’t work, at least not for the long term. You should be thinking “change in lifestyle and mindset,” not just in terms of some quickly-rewarded temporary changes in behavior. My Fitness Pal helps you track calorie intake, taking into account water consumed and calorie reduction for exercising – it reminds you to track these things daily and consistently, so that healthy living becomes second nature.
Office Workout (Android and iOS)
The best kind of office workout, is of course, one that no one else notices you doing (isometric, while seated), and those kinds of exercises are somewhat limited. Office Workout offers a few free brief office workouts, and you can set alerts to remind you to knock them out periodically throughout the day.
Zombies, Run! (Android and iOS)
Get all “Walking Dead” on your fitness game with this fun spin on a running app, where you run to “survival outposts,” and complete “missions,” like gathering food, defending your camp, and rescuing survivors – secret missions, too. With the apocalyptic zombie outbreak hot on your tracks, now you finally have some real motivation to run!
Sleep Cycle (Android and iOS)
Author Arianna Huffington refers to a current “sleep deprivation crisis, [one that] has profound consequences – on our health, our job performance, our relationships, and our happiness.” Poor sleep habits have even been linked to unhealthy weight gain. Rest easier and healthier with this app that tracks your sleep patterns and wakes you up gently during light sleep – it feels like waking up naturally and rested, without a loud, intrusive alarm clock.
Argus (Android and iOS)
Argus is a more comprehensive fitness/personal health tracker that helps you keep tabs on everything, including calories consumed, heart rate, pedometer, workouts, weight, hydration, vitals and even sleep. There is also a social community of millions of users where you can invite friends, make new friends and share your successes.
Daily Yoga (Android and iOS)
Serenity now! Want to burn fat efficiently, lose weight, get relaxed and relieve stress? Daily Yoga is a yoga coaching app suitable for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels. It features more than 50 yoga exercises and 500 yoga poses, shown in HD video, with a live voice guide and calming yoga music.
Pact (Android and iOS)
Hate to lose a bet? Here’s your chance to stay fit, stay motivated and cash in on other people’s laziness. This app features three different types of “pacts” – gym, veggie eating, and calorie logging, and you can set weekly goals, buy in with real money, and then cash in from those Pact community members who don’t keep their goals.
Got a favorite app that’s helped you stay lean, healthy and mean in spite of your demanding office job? Let us know in the comments. Or, better yet, submit your own review!