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Why is the fitness app Under Armour bought for €425 million last year so popular?

We’re reviewing the best apps on the market.

Image: Shutterstock/Bloomua

OVER THE NEXT couple of weeks, we’ll be taking a closer look at the fitness apps on the market which are designed to assist you in your training.

We’re starting with one of the most popular, MyFitnessPal.

It is a free website and mobile app that lets you track your food intake, exercise and weight loss as well as allowing you participate in community discussions, if you wish.

Very simply, as you go through your day, you enter what you eat and what activity you do.

Under Armour last year spent €425 million to acquire the app, along with running app Endomondo, in a deal which followed the purchase of MayMyFitness back in 2013.

Why is it good? It’s free, for starters and it allows you monitor how many calories you consume every day while also giving you suggestions on what you need to do to burn off these calories.

There’s a huge database of food items pre-loaded in the app so it takes out much of the guess work and this allows you to become more aware of your eating habits.

It’s easy to manage and one nifty feature is MyFitnessPal remembers these eating habits.

This way, you can create recipes or meals so if you eat the same things over and over, you don’t have to start from scratch each time; you can just check a box and click ‘Add’.

And there is always the “quick add calories” option, which allows you to put something arbitrary in when you just don’t have time to deal with the details.

Why is it not so good? Three things we discovered that really annoyed us were:

  1. You need to know quantities of items you’re using so you can get an accurate calorie count.
  2. If your food item isn’t in the database you don’t have the option of adding your own
  3. Who knew there were so many different types of beans?

What else? Okay so you need to ‘Sign Up’ which takes a couple of minutes. This requires you filling out details like your current weight and height as well as your ideal weight and how many times you currently exercise per week.

After this you’ll be directed to a pretty comprehensive page which outlines your target calories for each day.

This figure is based on your answers and you’ll be given suggested nutrition and fitness goals.

And that’s it. At the bottom of this page you’ll see your projected weight loss in kilos per week and the date by which you should have lost the amount you specified earlier.

It’s here the fun starts – though be warned, you need to be patient.

There are a two main tabs; ‘Add Exercise’ and ‘Add Food’ and it’s pretty much a battle between the two; calories burned versus calories ingested and hoping to come in under your target calories.

Give it a try for a month and let us know how you get on!

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‘Look at exercise as medicine. The right amount will cure you so the dose is important’

A training session with a difference as we workout with Cian O’Sullivan

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The42 Team

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