Maintaining peak physical fitness is never easy, but it’s a heck of a lot easier when you’ve got your own personal trainer or dietician keeping you on track. Of course knowledgeable trainers aren’t cheap and meeting with them for weekly training sessions can be very time consuming.
If you’re strapped for time and cash but still want to enjoy the benefits of a personal trainer, you’ve actually got some pretty good options. There are plenty of really great online fitness trackers that provide all the instruction and motivation you’d get from a personal trainer at a fraction of the price. Better yet, a number of these sites don’t charge anything at all.
Here’s a quick look at three top online fitness trackers and the services they offer.
Like a lot of fitness trackers, MyFitnessPal.com offers some pretty robust food diary capabilities. Users can take advantage of their extensive food information database to help track their eating habits and maintain their weight.
It’s a pretty simple site to use and registering as a full member costs nothing. All you have to do is simply log on, enter the foods you’ve been eating and MyFitnessPal handles the rest. That includes tailoring a fitness and eating plan that’s customized to your specific needs.
MyFitnessPal also provides a host of mobile apps that makes maintaining your food diary a lot easier if you’re constantly on the go. Members are also encouraged to interact with the site’s very active community through blogs and online forums.
FitDay.com is another popular choice for fitness trackers. While this site does offer some basic food tracking features at no charge, many of its features are not accessible without a monthly membership plan.
The basic food diary functionality of this site is very easy to use and anyone with basic computer skills should have no problem using it right away. We liked the ease with which users can enter foods and access fitness plans, but found the free side tends to move a little slow.
Premium FitDay accounts run just $4.19 a month, but require a yearlong commitment. Along with a slew of customized results and exercise plans, the premium plans feature advertising free pages and quicker load times.
DailyBurn.com offers the most personalized fitness and diet plans of three sites we’ve looked at, but does not offer any free membership plans. That said, this site is loaded with features, including lots of workout videos that more than make up for the $10 monthly fee.
The core functionality of DailyBurn is built around a dynamic algorithm called, IntelliBurn that adjusts diet and exercise plans as users goals change. This means that the exercise plan you’re working with when you meet your goal is probably going to look a lot different than the ones you start out with.
Like most fitness trackers, DailyBurn offers a bustling community and free mobile apps to make logging on, and staying interested. We also noticed that DailyBurn offered more contests and motivational efforts than some of the other sites we evaluated.
We encourage anyone who’s interested in using an online fitness tracker to spend some time doing a head-to-head comparison. After all, an online fitness tracker is meant to help enhance your wellness experience, so be sure you sign up with one that’s a good fit for your personal style.
Grant Adams writes about fitness, weight loss, and strength training. Shopping for supplements online is easier than ever before.