Best fitness apps kids 2012

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More than a third of adults in the United States are currently ranked as obese, and over the course of the past 30 years, childhood obesity has more than tripled. Learning to how to exercise, keep fit, and how to eat right is no longer something that can be left to chance – from an early age, children need to learn both about fitness and nutrition.It can be tough to get children to eat foods that are healthy for them, and it’s tough to motivate them to turn off the TV, the computer, and the iPad to go play outside. At least one of those devices, though, can help you teach your children how to move and eat right.
Apple’s iPad has hundreds of great fitness and nutrition apps, and several of them are even aimed at children. If you’re looking for a way to educate your kids on health and fitness, make sure to take a look at our list of must have exercise and nutrition apps for kids.

Awesome Eats (Free) -
Awesome Eats, from the Whole Kids Foundation, is a fun game that’s aimed at kids. Kids will sort, stack, pack, and plate a rainbow of yummy fruits and vegetables that have been freshly picked from the garden. In each level, kids will stack fruit to win stars and earn points, but this app isn’t all fun and games. It comes equipped with tons of healthy eating tips in between levels that will encourage kids to try new foods and to gobble up their fruits and vegetables. This highly rated app can even be fun for mom and dad.

Eat-And-Move-O-Matic(Free) –
This app, from the Learning Games Lab at New Mexico State University is an app designed to teach children about the food that they eat and how it helps to fuel their bodies for different activities. Kids can learn all about their favorite foods and learn how small changes in their diet and their fitness level can make big differences in their life. It was developed in support of a program that encourages young people to develop and maintain healthy, active lifestyles. This app is useful for adults too – learn just how much exercise it takes to burn off that cupcake or that bag of chips.

Smash Your Food HD ($2.99) -
In this fully Retina app, kids will smash up fast food hamburgers, crush chocolate milkshakes, explode sodas, and pound pizzas all while learning about good nutrition. This app is designed to teach children all about how much sugar, salt, oil, and fat is in the foods that they regularly consume, and it comes with tons of high definition video of those foods being squished and smashed in innovative ways. There are also plenty of personalized nutrition tips and advice, so kids learn about eating right while having plenty of fun.

($1.99) – This fun, cartoon-style interactive yoga app was created with kids in mind. The app uses storytelling, animation, and video examples to show children how to make yoga a part of their daily routine. Kids will love following along with Super Stretch as he guides them through a variety of practice poses (which are also demonstrated by real kids in instructional videos). This app can be used by kids, parents, and the whole family, really. Yoga is something that the whole family can do, so download this app and get everyone moving. Have a teen? Try Yoga by Teens.

There are apps to track how many calories you’ve burned, measure your blood pressure and plan meals.As part of the special report Chasing Cures, CBC News checked with doctors, dietitians and other experts to assess some health and fitness apps.Their 10 most commonly recommended apps were:

MyFitnessPal

A free tool to help people lose weight by counting calories and tracking physical activity levels. “Research demonstrates that those who record their food intake will achieve greater weight loss than those who don’t, so I highly recommend this to all my clients. For those high-tech users, apps are fantastic option,” says Jodi Robinson, a registered dietitian and fitness specialist in Toronto.

Lose It! app and LoseIt.com
“It’s free, it helps you to count and budget calories, plan meals, factor in exercise, and lose weight at a safe, sustainable pace,” says CBC medical specialist Dr. Karl Kabasele.

MyNetDiary
Another app to track nutrients, MyNetDiary is free, but also offers a $3.99 upgrade, though that isn’t necessary, says registered dietitian Rosie Schwartz. The Toronto-based expert emphasized monitoring food intake — the food, time and amount after you eat. Taking steps to record your food consumption can help limit it, Schwartz advised.

Sodium 101
This Canadian site has an app for the iPhone and iPad that tells you how much sodium is in foods and tracks your consumption. CBC medical columnist Dr. Peter Lin says it’s valuable for people with high blood pressure.

Apps can help people to reach their food and fitness goals, but the key is to make a plan and stick to it, says registered dietitian Zannat Reza. Reza suggests My Heart and Stroke Health app for people who want to find out about their risk for heart disease and get heart-healthy recipes that are lower in sodium.

iMapMyFitness
The site maps out your workout route for running, cycling, etc.

Digifit

A tool to track heart rate, distance, pace and calories burned during exercise.

Pedal Brain

The app has a GPS that tracks where you bike and uploads performance data in real-time to a website where personal trainers and teammates can track your progress, says Dr. Brian Goldman, host of CBC Radio’s White Coat, Black Art.

“Apps designed to promote physical activity and healthy eating should be easy to use, allow you to input your own goals or targets, monitor behaviours (e.g., built-in GPS to record and store physical activity) and provide motivational prompts,” advises Mark Tremblay, director of Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research in Ottawa.

GluCoMo

An app to help people with diabetes track their blood sugar levels, food consumption and insulin dosage and transmit the data to a network of doctors for feedback, said Goldman.

Way of the future

WebMD for Android, iPhone and iPad

The app offers advice about acute symptoms, with reliable, up-to-date information, Lin says. Goldman calls patient apps the way of the future for getting healthy and staying healthy. The bottleneck is finding a doctor or hospital in Canada to receive the data and advise patients accordingly, he says.”We’re also starting to see apps that enable patients and doctors to look at X-rays, CT scans and MRIs together. As well, apps can be very helpful in getting patients to book their own appointments with specialists instead of waiting for your GP to do it for you,” Goldman says in an email.”To make that a reality, Canadian doctors must be willing to embrace new technologies and to surrender some of the traditional control they maintain as gatekeepers of the health-care system.”

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