Download these apps to stay fit

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Rick Nease/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Lauren Darnis

Because it’s a medium where all types of information is at your fingertips, it isn’t surprising that smartphone applications are catching on to the current health, fitness and wellness trends. The new trend in health and wellness is an integration with social media platforms.

Those who use social media to stay updated with trends and information are now able to receive more health and wellness tips. And those who participate in social media to gain followers or share information compete with others by posting photographs as well as sharing recipes, workouts and stories for others to learn from.

All these images of health and wellness explode on all facets of social media. Below are three smartphone applications that most successfully exemplify these collaborative and all-encompassing qualities.

My favorite application, Charity Miles, is free for iPhone and Android users. It gives you the opportunity to improve your health while having a real-world impact.

Corporate sponsors, the “Charity Partners,” contribute to the charities of your choosing based on your miles walking, running and biking. It’s all tracked by the GPS location function on your smartphone. Each mile you walk or run earns $0.25 toward the selected charity and every mile you bike earns $0.10. At the end of the “Challenge Year,” the company and its sponsors distribute donations based on the activity of all Charity Miles users.

The app allows you to make teams and post to social media platforms. Every mile matters – select your charity and your activity, and start changing the world and yourself, one mile at a time.

Sworkit is an app that fits around your schedule and your fitness goals. Sworkit stands for “simply work-it.” Available for free for your iPhone or Android, the app customizes and creates workouts for you based on the time you select and the body part you wish to workout.

The app requires no extra gear and provides helpful instruction in forms such as video tutorials.

Everyone knows about the Fitbit, but there’s so much more to the app and the device than just tracking your steps and mileage. Fitbit is compatible with so many other applications — it allows you to log food and nutrition (in sync with MyFitnessPal food log), set goals amongst other users and see the averages of all users worldwide. Fitbit features several products that target different aspects of health.

On the most basic level, there is a classic pedometer. On a more complex level, they have a product that tracks your heart rate.

Keeping track of your health is necessary for a healthy life. These apps compliment the desire to achieve a healthy lifestyle.

In this consumer industry, the applications are targeting what you as a consumer would want. And there are plenty of options. Despite the wide array of apps, they all promote step-by-step, long-term progress.

In today’s world, that seems to be taken for granted. But in reality, such advances set the stage for powerful and long-lasting results.