Android Apps for Health, Food, and Fitness - dummies

Android Apps for Health, Food, and Fitness

By Daniel A. Begun

A variety of Android apps fall into the health, food, and fitness category. You can use these apps to count calories, find recipes, locate or input nutritional information on your favorite foods, and track your fitness workouts (many fitness-related apps incorporate GPS).

Following are some popular health, food, and fitness apps for Android devices:

  • AllSport GPS ($9.99 US): This app uses GPS for outdoor activities such as running, cycling, and skiing. Its Stats page tracks distance, average speed, and calories burned, and it enables you to customize which of these items appear on the page. The stats update in real-time during your workout. The Map page shows your current location and a trail of where you’ve just been. The Charts page displays your elevation or speed, measured in distance or time.


  • BigOven (free; ad supported): Quite a few recipe apps are available for Android, but few have such a rich collection of recipes to choose from as BigOven. There are over 170,000 user-submitted recipes here. If a recipe catches your eye, read the user comments. Many users provide valuable feedback on modifications they’ve made to improve the recipe or alter the ingredients’ measurements in order to adjust serving size.

  • Calorie Counter by FatSecret (free; ad supported): Type in just about any type of food and Calorie Counter reports a wealth of nutritional information, such as total fat, protein, and carbs. Calorie Counter even offers quick search lists based on food categories, restaurants and food chains, popular brands, and even supermarket brands.

    Calorie Counter’s best feature is its built-in barcode scanner. Just point your device’s camera at the barcode on a packaged food item, and it instantly pulls up all its nutritional information. If you eat packaged food, this makes entering meals into Calorie Counter ridiculously easy.


  • CardioTrainer (free): This app can track your workouts, help you schedule your workout routine, and share your calorie-burning efforts with your friends. CardioTrainer uses your Android device’s GPS to track your location. Obviously, CardioTrainer is best suited for outdoor exercises, such as walking, running, or cycling. You can use it to track your indoor workouts as well, but you won’t have as much data to peruse afterwards.

  • Epocrates (free): Geared toward people working in the medical profession, Epocrates provides detailed information about more than 3,500 brand-name and generic medications. But this free app can also be a valuable tool for informed consumers. For all medications, Epocrates lists adult and pediatric doses, black box warnings, contraindications, adverse reactions, drug interactions, pricing, and much more.

  • First Aid (free; ad supported): This app offers detailed tips about what to do in a variety of traumatic and emergency medical situations. First Aid explains the possible signs for a particular ailment, such as head injuries or poisoning, and explains how to treat it. Many of the listed treatments even include links to informative YouTube videos.

  • Gentle Alarm (€1.99): With Gentle Alarm, you can set a pre-alarm to lightly sound half an hour before the main alarm. If you are in a light sleep, the alarm will awaken you and you should arise feeling refreshed. If you are in a deep sleep, you may sleep through the alarm; then 30 minutes later, when you’re probably in a light sleep, the main alarm sounds. The alarm first plays at a soft level, and then slowly fades up to full volume.

  • iTriage Mobile Health (free): iTriage Mobile Health provides a wealth of health information. It can help get you to the nearest medical facility, using Google Maps to give you turn-by-turn directions. You also can use this app to look up symptoms, learn more about a particular disease, and learn about medical procedures. No other Android apps come close to the breadth of medical information that iTriage Mobile Health provides.

    Although you find plenty of useful medical information in iTriage Mobile Health, do not use it in place of advice from your own medical professional — especially during an emergency. Remember, in a true emergency, your safest bet is to call 911.

  • Jefit (free): Jefit comes preloaded with set workout routines that work different muscle groups on different days. You can add, delete, and edit the routines. Choose from plenty of exercises, which include simple animations (downloadable as a free plug-in) that show the beginning and end points of every exercise. You can even add your own exercises.

  • White Noise ($1.99 US): With a catalog of 40 ambient sounds to choose from, White Noise can instantly transform a chaotic environment into a calm oasis. Tune out the rest of the world and relax to sounds such as Amazon (the river, not the retailer), Light Rain, or Wind. You can set a timer so that the audio will turn off after a specified interval.