With the release of iPhone 6, 6 Plus and iOS 8, which include Apple’s new Health app, there is a lot of buzz around health and fitness apps. Developers may use Apple’s HealthKit software create apps that interact with the Health app should users allow their apps to communicate and share information with one another and even healthcare providers. With permission, the Health app will pull data from a user’s health and fitness tracking apps and publish it on a dashboard where they can see information such as heart rate, calories burned, blood sugar and more published in one place. A new era of iPhone health and fitness apps is certainly upon us.Analytics firm Flurry reported seeing a 62 percent increase in usage of health and fitness apps from January through June 2014. With the new Health app at the fingertips of millions, usage is likely to keep growing. Apple announced Sept. 15 record preorders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus with more than 4 million sold in the first 24 hours.
While we have yet to see how Health works with current apps and what new apps will follow as a result of HealthKit, there are thousands of outstanding health and fitness apps available in the iTunes store right now—many of them free. Based on functionality, here are five of the most up-to-date and popular free health and fitness apps in the iTunes App Store right now.
1. Daily activity superstar – Moves
Track your daily activities from your morning walk to the bus to your evening run using the Moves app. Its clean, simple design makes it easy to see what you’ve done at a glance. Activity bubbles show your distance, duration, steps and calories burned for activities including cycling, walking and running—you can add other activities, such as gym training and swimming, too. Additionally, a timeline of your day maps out what activities occurred when. The app also tracks calories burned and plots your routes on a map. It may be used with other apps including MyFitness Pal, Move-O-Scope, Wokamon, Microsoft HealthVault and many more.
Free. Requires iOS 7.0 and later.
2. Your favorite fitness sidekick – Nike+ Training Club
Billed as the training app for the world’s biggest female fitness community, Nike+ Training Club allows users to choose individual workouts or follow a structured four-week program that targets specific fitness goals related to getting lean, strong or toned. This app is all about options and engagement. You can choose 15-, 30- and 45-minute full-body workouts guided by female athletes, trainers and celebrities—and customize them with your preferred drills. The app allows you to earn milestones based on how many minutes you workout and tracks your progress, which you can share on Facebook and Twitter. The workouts are easy to follow, professional looking, and accommodate various fitness levels and goals.
Free. Requires iOS 5 and later.
3. Weightloss support with social media savvy – Weilos
In the age of selfies and food pics, Weilos turns social media sharing into a way for people to support and motivate one another in weight loss. This app tracks weight loss progress and allows you to share it, along with weight loss before and after pictures, healthy food photos and motivational quotes with others in the Weilos community. If you love Facebook, Twitter or Instagram but prefer to limit your weight-loss-related posting to place where others are on the same journey, Weilos is probably the app for you. Users may click “inspired” or comment on one another’s posts. It’s a great way to share experiences, get inspired and offer encouragement. The app’s marketing blurb claims the community’s dieters have lost over 150,000 lbs together.
Free. Requires iOS 7.0 or later.
4. Top-notch fertility tracking – Glow
There are several fertility tracking apps in the marketplace, but Glow may be among the most successful. The app takes credit for 25,000 pregnancies, according to an August 2014 article in Fortune. Founded by a group of technology veterans and data scientists, Glow “brings its advanced proprietary algorithms and its ability to crunch vast amounts of data to women at multiple stages in their reproductive journey.” In other words, the app is a tool that tracks ovulation and menstruation and may be used by women looking to get pregnant as well as those wishing to avoid pregnancy. It offers reminders and suggestions to help users improve reproductive health and fertility, makes daily fertility recommendations based on your cycle day and symptoms, provides personalized insights about your health based on your cycle and the data you’ve entered, and allows you to download and print cycle data historically for your physician, in addition to many other features and functions. The app may be synced with your partners’, and you can join the Glow Community for additional support.
Free. Requires iOS 6.0 or later.
5. A must-have for the masses – First Aid by American Red Cross
It’s no secret that we love to go to the Internet for medical advice, and First Aid by American Red Cross puts trustworthy, valuable and potentially life-saving information in our hands—for free. The app includes videos, interactive quizzes and step-by-step advice that allows users to learn and practice first aid in a multitude of scenarios, including burns, choking, heart attack and more. It also includes safety tips for severe winter weather and other emergencies, allows you to call EMS from the app, and comes preloaded with content so you have access to the information even without a signal or Internet connection. Everything is laid out and spelled out in a clear, easy-to-follow manner, complete with photos and illustrations. The information provided can come in handy for most anyone, so it may be as universally applicable as health and fitness apps get.
Free. Requires iOS 7.0 or later.
 Apple. “iOs 8 – Health.” N.D. Retrieved from http://www.apple.com/ios/whats-new/health/.
 Khalaf, Simon. “Fueled by Fitness Fanatics.” Flurry by YAHOO! June 19, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.flurry.com/blog/flurry-insights/health-and-fitness-apps-finally-take-fueled-fitness-fanatics#.VBc87lYqC0t.
 Solomon, Brian. “Apple Hits New Record with Over 4 Million iPhone 6 Preorders.” Forbes. Sept. 15, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/briansolomon/2014/09/15/apple-hits-new-record-with-over-4-million-iphone-6-preorders/.
 Sen, Preetisha. “How Max Levchin’s Glow App Got 25,000 Women Pregnant.” Fortune. Aug. 27, 2014. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2014/08/27/how-max-levchins-glow-app-got-25000-women-pregnant/.
 iTunes. “Glow – Period Calendar & Tracker, Ovulation Calculator, Fertility Predictor.” Apple. Sept. 12, 2014. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2014/08/27/how-max-levchins-glow-app-got-25000-women-pregnant/.