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Best Android health and fitness apps of 2011

by Kate Currin

These days, your Android phone is your best friend when it comes to diet and fitness. There are tons of free and paid Android apps to help you on your path to well-being. Start the New Year off right with some of the best health and fitness apps of 2011 for Android.

RunKeeper Pro

The free RunKeeper Pro app tracks your overall weekly mileage and pace, so you can one-up yourself with more miles earned the following week, or work on improving your pace. You can also keep track for activities like cycling, hiking, downhill skiing, snowboarding, elliptical and more. Other features of the running-themed app include audio cues, customized interval workouts, manual entry for treadmill and other cardio equipment, integrated RunKeeper FitnessClasses and no advertising. Overall, this fitness app works well for wellness walkers, professional runners and general sports enthusiasts to keep track of workouts for improvement week after week.

Pocket Yoga

Hit the mat just about anywhere with the Pocket Yoga app for Android ($2.99). This yoga app offers a picture glossary of poses as well as three different types of practices. For each practice, you can choose from beginner, intermediate and expert, as well as follow voice instructions for each pose. There is accompanying music during the practices, which is sort of awful, so I put on my own "om" playlist — an easy change in the settings. Once you pick your ideal practice, you select the time for your workout from 30, 45 or 60 minutes. I love that you can press pause during the workouts at anytime and pick it up later with the "Workout in Progress" button.

Endomondo Sports Tracker

The free Endomondo Sports Tracker app helps users keep track of their favorite running paths and so much more. Not only does the app track your running path through GPS, it allows you to compete with friends and other users, as well as keeping track of calories burned and mileage. It also offers random pep talks from friends while you run, hike or bike. Another cool feature allows you to download routes, and try to beat the champion of that route — it's kind of like "mayorships" in Foursquare, but for running, cycling and the like. So, yes, you can use this app for more than just running, you can track spinning, hiking, skating, snowboarding, golfing and more.

Calorie Counter - MyFitnessPal

Looking for a simple way to watch your calorie intake and balance that out with calories burned through exercise? Look no further than the free MyFitnessPal – Calorie Counter app for Android. Entering a diverse range of foods is not a problem with this healthy app with more than one million foods listed in its database. You can also scan the barcode of the food item you ingested for even easier compilation. I’ve downloaded many other calorie counters but always go back to this one on my Android phone.

Ease into 5K

Begin a running program with the help of the Ease into 5K app for Android ($2.99). The nine-week series is broken into three weekly runs. You do a five-minute warm-up, then your C25K trainer (you can pick a woman or man's voice) tells you with a voice cue when to run and when to walk, and then you finish with a five-minute cool-down. So you don't have to constantly look at a stopwatch to figure out your run/walk intervals, the app also alerts you when you're halfway through your training. Another fabulous feature of this app allows you to listen to your own music by creating a playlist within it. At the end of your run, you're automatically prompted to enter a journal for how you felt during the day's training. The app builds to your runs incrementally, so if you're feeling quite challenged by a particular day or week, you can easily choose to redo that training.

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