AppWatch: Four apps for keeping fit

With Australians getting fatter, it's time to get fitter

At last count, over 500,000 Australians are considered obese, two to three per cent of whom have Body Mass Indexes (BMIs) of over 50, weight that far outclasses the clinical classification of "morbidly obese" and strolls into the territory of "super obese". Well, if you're looking to shed a few of those Autumn/Winter pounds or perhaps to slim up that management gut, here's a few apps that you can use to help you along the way.

SixPack App by Pocket Cocktails Inc for iPhone Price: Free or $1.19 The SixPack app is a basic exercise app which sources training exercises which target various areas of the body for a number of different. This app provides helpful photographs showing how each exercise is done and even gives little warnings against common mistakes. The app contains a variety of workout routines for a range of skill levels, most of which require gym machinery, which can be difficult to get to if you're on the go. Thankfully, the app includes a daily "travel routine" for people who can't get access to gyms. Unfortunately, what the app doesn't do is give any motivation for doing the exercises. The free version of the app also pop-up advertisements for upgrades or dating services, which can get very irritating when you're trying to untangle yourself from a yoga routine.

Pros: Exercise don'ts help prevent injury during workouts. Workout routines are varied for skill levels Cons: Requires discipline. Most exercises require gym equipment. Pop-up advertising is very distracting.

Calorie Counter by FatSecret for iPhone Price: Free The Calorie Counter is an app for diet fanatics. It keeps track of the number of calories burned throughout the day, including such categories as desk work and housework alongside traditional methods of keeping fit like walking, running and gym workouts. The counter also has a very comprehensive list of calories within various foodstuffs that you've consumed throughout the day. Barcodes on prepackaged foods can also be scanned by taking pictures with the iPhone, which saves time when inputting foodstuffs. The app's lack of metric conversions for measurements is a bit of a drawback in Australia, though. Still, it more than makes up for its lack with forward planning tools such as a weight tracker, food and exercise diaries and an overall diet calendar to show how much you've put on or lost each day.

Pros: Barcode scanner saves time. Keeps track of calories lost throughout work day. Cons: No metric conversions.

Weight Loss Sensei by Sensei Inc for BlackBerry Price: $US9.99 Weight Loss Sensei is a programmable dietitian for the BlackBerry. The app creates a personalised meal plan based on parameters set for it by its user, whether it be that they want to lose weight or maintain their current weight, and based on its users food and exercise preferences. It creates a weekly shopping list, documents meals and dishes from restaurants and even has a little list of healthy recipes for the cooking clueless. Since diets aren't always followed strictly, the app also accounts for last-minute changes to meal plans, allowing users to make up for mistakes in upcoming weeks via exercise or diet changes. It even provides alarms to remind users when to eat or exercise. It's a fairly good way to start a diet and stick to it.

Pros: Well calculated. Recipe and shopping lists. Reminder alarms. Cons: Overheads can get expensive.

BeerGut Fitness by LiveOncePlayHard for Android Price: $US0.99

Finally, the ultimate fitness app for the Aussie bloke! BeerGut Fitness keeps track of and calculates the number of calories that you've drunk and then cross checks that against the amount of exercise you've been doing, producing a sort of "balance" of exercise (or calories) owed to your body based on your body type and the average metabolic equivalent for the exercise or alcohol consumption. Alternatively, you can input the exercise you've done, and Beer Gut Fitness will tell you how many drinks the exercise equates to. The program is fairly simple and can only account for four different types of exercise (walking, running, cycling and swimming) but fun really can be had by doing lots of exercise, then seeing how many drinks you're "owed".

Pros: Fairly accurate calorie count. Cross checks fitness with alcohol Cons: Only accounts for four types of exercise

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