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148Apps 2013 Holiday Shopping Guide for Health Nuts

Posted by Rob Rich on December 9th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

The turkey leftovers have been finished off, distant relatives have made it back to their homes, and the holiday shopping season has officially begun! Knowing what to get for someone, regardless of how familiar you may be with their tastes, can often be a challenge. Thankfully there are people like us putting together handy-dandy holiday shopping guides for you! Whether you’re looking for new hardware and accessories, or just something a bit less impersonal than an iTunes gift card, we’ve got you covered.

Other 148Apps Holiday Gift Guides: for [Socializers] [Creative Types] [Gamers] [Power Users]

Today’s guide is for the health nuts. Those people who get up inhumanly early to exercise, bike and/or jog with regularity, or otherwise make athletic activities a significant part of their day. If you’d like to help the health-conscious iOS users in your life with some handy gizmos, or maybe nab a useful app or two they may not have heard of, check out our list below for some ideas.

earHero Headphones


The earHero Headphones ($149 - iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) are definitely something to think about for the people on your list who go jogging or biking in busy urban areas. These earbuds are all about safety. They actually allow outside sounds to reach the listener even while in-use, which may sound silly but can make a big difference to someone riding their bike through the streets of a major metropolitan area. Car horns, truck engines, etc, won't be drowned out - which will theoretically make running and biking around town significantly safer. At least from an "almost getting blindsided by an SUV while crossing the street" point of view. Admittedly the sound quality isn't ideal for listening to music, but when safety is a concern I think it's a worthwhile sacrifice. [Our Review]

While the sound quality may not be ideal for music, that's no reason to think that there aren't some worthwhile apps that would pair well with earHero headphones. Take Zombies, Run! ($3.99 - iPhone) for example: it's not about music but about listening for the approaching zombie hordes and running like mad to keep from getting eaten. Then there's TempoRun ($2.99 - iPhone), which is admittedly music-focused but it's more about the tempo than the actual tunes. It allows users to set their own pace by way of adjusting the speed of their music, and even offers streaming radio if they get tired of their own playlist.

Dodo Hardcover Case for iPhone 5 and 5s


Why the Dodo Hardcover iPhone Case ($34.95 to $54.90 - iPhone 5/5s)? Because it's a good-looking and sturdy iPhone case, that's why. It may not be ideal for clipping to a waistband or strapping to a limb, but it offers great protection when tossed in a pocket. And sometimes people prefer to put their iPhone in a pocket (presumably a zippered or buttoned one) when they go running or biking. So the Dodo case will protect their phone, and look good when they take it out for a moment or two during a breather at that little cafe on the corner they like to stop at sometimes. [Our Review]

With such a durable and good-looking case, there's no harm in taking a look at some rather movement-intensive apps. For example, if your recipient were to load up Performance Stretching ($2.99 - iPhone) or Pocket Yoga ($2.99 - Universal) before going for a run or otherwise working out, they wouldn't have to worry much about their iPhone falling out of a pocket and bouncing off the floor. The same goes for Pedometer Pro ($1.99 - iPhone), which will keep track of the user's running information whether they're out on the street or on a treadmill. If the phone happens to fall out of their pocket while in mid-run, the Dodo case will be there to protect it.

Adidas MiCoach SPEED_CELL


On the more literal side of things, we have the Adidas MiCoach SPEED_CELL ($70 - iPhone). It's a tiny stat-tracking gizmo that measures speed, distance, steps, stride rates, and more, and clips right on to a shoe's laces or can be placed into a special cavity found in specific brands. Just sync it up with an iPhone and start running! [Our Review]

RFLKT+


Then there's the RFLKT+ ($129 - iPhone); an iPhone-powered bike computer. The RFLKT+ clips on to a bike's handlebars and displays app data (and controls music playback) straight from the iPhone - transmitted wirelessly over bluetooth, of course. In other words, users can clip their iPhone somewhere or stuff it in a secure pocket or something, then control everything from this tiny display mounted in front of them. Yes please!

FitBit Force


The FitBit Force ($129 - iPhone) is another worthwhile stat-tracker to consider. This little watch-like thing can be worn all day and night - keeping an eye on calories burned, steps taken, sleep, and more. Those stats can then be wirelessly synced to an iPhone, where users can monitor their progress in real time and even set personal goals to try and beat. It also supports a sizable number of third-party fitness apps. Oh, and it tells time.

Bike2Power BikeCharge Power Pack


For the very active bike riders who tend to stay out for hours at a time, there's also the Bike2Power BikeCharge Power Pack ($59 - iPhone). This durable all-weather battery backup attaches to the user's bike and can be hooked up to a number of iOS devices (yes, even an iPad) when needed. If they're out for a while and need more juice for music on the ride back, they're covered. If the forgot to charge their iPhone and need to call for a pickup due to inclement weather or exhaustion, no problem. Of course if they stay out even longer after recharging their stuff, that's another matter entirely.

With that in mind, how about an app like gMusic 2 ($1.99 - Universal) for all their audio entertainment needs? It allows users to stream their entire Google music collection, and if they burn out their phone's battery in the process of listening to Queen on repeat they can easily charge it back up again with the Bike2Power. Anything they'd be using while out on the road would be a good fit really; from Cyclemeter GPS ($4.99 - Universal) to MotionX 24/7 - formerly MotionX Sleep ($0.99 - iPhone).

Feel free to peruse our Editor’s Choice selections for more top-rated fitness app ideas.

Keeping Fit As A Game, Thanks To My Humble iPhone

Posted by Jennifer Allen on November 9th, 2012

It's a plight suffered by many. I want to be fitter. I want to be able to run a 5k without feeling like I'm going to die. Heck, I want to be able to run any distance without feeling like I'm going to collapse into a wheezy heap. I'm not overweight, I don't smoke, drink or anything else particularly negative. I am lazy, though. Given the choice between hitting the gym or playing a video game, I'll take the latter every time. I suspect I'm not alone there. However, this is starting to change, courtesy of my iPhone and the wealth of apps I can pick up to encourage me to achieve my goals.

Last year, I discovered the Fitocracy website. It turned exercise into experience points, it offered me awards and challenges to work towards. It immediately boosted my motivation levels. Relatively soon afterwards, the iOS app for Fitocracy was released.

It's great. I can enter all my activities while I'm in the gym. Reps take a second to enter and I can watch the points flow in. It's not perfect, though. Given my weak cardio exercises, the points aren't massive. Longer runs or cycles are needed, and that takes time and effort. I needed an extra carrot to tempt me along.

I dabbled with MiCoach, a great gadget that connects to your trainers tracking my every move.

It's a useful app and gadget. Tracking how I was performing was great and I could also use my stats to progress in MiCoach Soccer. I needed more newbie focused guidance, though.

Two of my all round favorites are Two Hundred Situps and Get Running, the apps that I recommend to anyone vaguely interested in pursuing such things. They do a great job of keeping me exercising while not exhausting me, reminding me not to push myself too far.

As a zombie loving gamer though, I have a huge soft spot for Zombies, Run! 5k Training. It's quite new compared to the competition, but it's great. It offers a similar set plan to Get Running but with a zombie themed storyline to follow. It's the little things like that which make me keen to 'play' the next section and actually look forward to the next treadmill session.

The best part? I have a direct route planned for once I, hopefully, complete the 5k, in the form of Zombies, Run!

For those days where I'm not on the treadmill but I want to keep track of my progress, I stick to Striiv. Offering me a steady trickle of trophies and rewards for walking a lot, it gives me a nice sense of satisfaction, even if I'm just walking around the grocery store. Even better, it's free and helps me resist the temptation to pick up a more expensive solution such as a Nike+ FuelBand.

While I might still need the motivation to get out of bed on a cold, wintery morning in the name of getting fit, such apps encourage me to do it. Sure, I should have the willpower alone but no one's perfect! Fitocracy, in particular, has changed my outlook immensely. Turning potentially tedious work into a game is guaranteed to help matters.

Tempted? Go sign up and feel free to follow me on there to see my progress. I'm slightly behind at the moment, as no app can yet keep you 100% healthy at all times!

Adidas MiCoach SPEED_CELL Hardware Review

By Jennifer Allen on December 22nd, 2011
A great way of tracking distance and speed while doing all kinds of different exercise.
Read The Full Review »