Five of the best fitness apps for looking after your body and mind
iTreadmill Dubai residents, on average, take an estimated 5,500 steps per day – that’s little more than half the 10,000 steps recommended by experts to prevent weight gain. If you’re not sure how many steps you’re taking but are wondering why you’ve become more prone to putting on a few kilos since you moved to Dubai, the iTreadmill pedometer could help you figure out where you’re going wrong. With both metric and imperial options, enter your weight, set yourself a goal (steps, calories, distance or time) and off you go. You can also configure it for your next run, and create playlists to keep you going from your iTunes library, while charting your progress each day. Dhs7.30, available for iPod Touch and iPhone.
MyFitnessPal An easy-to-use food and exercise diary, MyFitnessPal has recently beaten a number of big names to become the diet tool that US slimmers have had the most satisfaction with. Once you’ve entered your weight, height and goals, it works out your recommended calorie intake. It’s also a useful tool on the go: scan a product’s barcode and the app will scour the internet before reporting back with calorie and fat information (useful at your local supermarket, where Arabic food labels often obscure nutritional information, and some brands neglect to add calorie info). As well as offering calorie counts, it also allows you to tailor serving sizes to easily deduce your exact calorie intake. Free, available online and for iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and Windows phone.
Nike Training Club Designed to act as a personal trainer in your pocket, this app offers workouts for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, with several different workouts at each stage. It’s also free to download, so you’ll instantly save yourself the going rate in Dubai for a personal trainer (which can cost anything from Dhs200 per hour). As well as being able to record your workouts and progress, many of the workouts require no gym equipment at all, meaning you can jump wherever you are in the city – the park, at home, or by the edge of the marina at night if you like your workout with some atmosphere. You can then upload your workout results onto Facebook for the world to see. Free, available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android.
Simply Being If you’ve always been curious about guided meditation, but not sure how you’d feel in a group scenario, this app offers a personal one-to-one. Don’t feel the need to pay attention to exactly what the words and phrases are saying: they’re just designed to be gentle prompts for the mind. Sit or lie comfortably, then pop in some headphones to help you tune out everything else. The app offers five-minute, ten-minute, 15-minute and 20-minute meditations, and you can choose to have just a voice, a voice and music, or a voice and nature sounds. It’s good for soothing stress on the metro on the way home from work, or promoting sleep. Dhs3.69, available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android and Blackberry.
WebMD This tool, compiled and run by a team of doctors and regularly reviewed by an independent medical board, is equipped to deal with everything from skin conditions to sleeping problems, allowing you to compile a list of your symptoms before offering a list of possible, sensible diagnoses. Each diagnosis suggests the next step, whether it’s drinking more water or making a doctor’s appointment. Though it doesn’t yet feature a Dubai hospital directory, it does boast an excellent drug directory, allowing you to check the precautions, side effects and dosage for anything handed to you. Free, available online and for iPhone, iPad and Android.