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Best New Health and Fitness Apps

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In a Nielsen survey, one-third of Americans said they planned to use smartphone apps to achieve health and weight-loss goals. If that sounds like you, these apps will get you going in the right direction.

Lose It! Weight management apps are a dime a dozen, but few are as comprehensive as Lose It! It works with popular health and fitness devices, such as the Nike+ Fuelband and FitBit Tracker, and offers head-to-head challenges with other users. The basic version is free. The premium version ($39.99/year) tracks a wider range of health metrics, including body fat, sleep, and exercise calories. (Android, iOS, Kindle, loseit.com)

The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout App A 7-minute workout? Yep, and you’ll work up a sweat, too. You’ve done these exercises before: push-ups, wall sits, abdominal crunches, step-ups, squats, jumping jacks, triceps dips, planking, high knees, and more. A video guides you through each move. The 7 Minute Workout App is free, and no special equipment is required. (Android, iOS, 7minuteworkout.jnj.com)

Sleep Bug Having trouble nodding off at night? This ambient sound machine lulls you to slumberland with your choice of 24 scenes and dozens of music and sound effects. The waterfall scene, for instance, serenades you with sounds of cascading water, to which you can add chirping birds and other effects. The timer and clock let you turn off Sleep Bug at a predetermined time. Sleep Bug Pro ($1.99) adds more sounds, including the airport, city, and “fun horror scene” mixes. (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, sleepbug.net)

Charity Miles Here’s a great way to get fit and do some good at the same time. When you run, walk, or bike, Charity Miles tracks your mileage. The more ground you cover, the more money you earn for your choice of a variety of nonprofits: 25 cents per mile for runners and walkers; 10 cents per mile for bikers. The donations are courtesy of Charity Miles’ corporate sponsors, which include Humana, Kenneth Cole, and Timex Sports. (Android, iOS, charitymiles.org)

TalkSpace Therapy is expensive, but TalkSpace offers a more affordable online alternative. For $25 per week (billed monthly), you can chat with a licensed therapist — that’s 80 percent lower than the average co-pay for in-office therapy appointments, the company says. The TalkSpace network has more than 300 therapists who specialize in a variety of work/life issues. You can message your therapist 24/7, too. (iOS, Android, talkspace.com)

Food.com At the market, steer clear of fat- and sodium-laden premade entrees and instead launch the Food.com app to browse 500,000 recipes, including tasty choices that meet your dietary needs: gluten-free, vegetarian, low-fat, and other options. You can see sales at local grocery stores and instantly add recipe ingredients to your shopping list. (iOS, food.com/app)

Endomondo Some folks just do it. Others prefer to analyze their workouts, dive deeply into fitness stats, and compete with a global community of exercise enthusiasts. If you’re in the latter camp, check out Endomondo, a data-driven free app that uses GPS to track your performance in 40-plus sports, including running, cycling, and kayaking. The premium version ($5.99/month or $29.99/year) is ad-free and tracks a bunch of additional metrics, such as calories burned per month. (Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows Phone, endomondo.com)

Zombies, Run! Running can be a little boring at times, but Zombies, Run! livens things up with an immersive audio drama where you play a vital role. For example, when you hear zombies coming, speed up. The free edition starts with four missions, and you can unlock an extra story each week. The pro version ($2.99/month or $19.99/year) offers more than 200 missions. (Android, iOS, zombiesrungame.com)

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