Mobile apps are innovating many walks of life. The sheer volume of apps being created means there is one to complement most areas of work and recreation. Our health and fitness routines in particular have been enhanced by the various creative and quirky apps surfacing on smartphones and android devices.
Apps which measure heart rate, distance ran, and energy consumption are already staple parts of the modern fitness routine, as are exercise planners and personal training programs with personalised daily tips. But with so many available, it can be difficult to choose which apps are best suited to what area of your health you are looking to improve.
This list takes a look at some of the most useful, innovative and affordable (all under £5) apps currently available, which are helping people achieve a healthier lifestyle.
For the runners
Whether training for a marathon, hoping to shed some weight or relieving the mind of stress, running helps with many of life’s obstacles.
For beginner joggers and experienced runners alike, there is no better app to start with than the Endomando. After taking a fitness test upon first using the app, Endomando will accurately measure all types of movement from walking to water skiing.
Like Endomando, the Nike+ Running App will track statistics, provide comparative progress between each run along with the option to share your proud stats on social media. However the Nike + Running App also has some motivational extras, such as a crowd cheering audio effect and a collection of Power Songs to help conquer those extra few miles.
Nike have also released a timely system update for the launch of the Apple Watch, which will likely prove to be a more popular fitness companion due to its wearability during exercise.
Probably the most entertaining option for people who struggle to stay interested in running is Zombies Run! 3 – an app which immerses your running experience into an apocalyptic survival story. If you weren’t running fast enough before, then perhaps a flesh-eating zombie chasing will help you reach your fitness goals quicker.
Music is a great motivator for most people, or as scientists like to call it: music disassociation.
The Spring App features a huge collection of DJ curated playlists featuring a mix of popular and alternative music which all runs on similar beats per minute. All you have to do is keep up with the beat and your workout will benefit naturally.
For those struggling to even get off the couch, C25K could be the app to take you out of your slump. With an audio coach taking the user through a variety of 30min walking and running exercises, this app makes the transition to regular exercise as seamless and hassle-free as possible.
Sometimes though, it takes a bit of tough love to reach those exercise goals. Carrot Fit provides a healthy mix of harsh motivational words and outrageously funny commentary to make a workout more entertaining and constructive.
Pursuing a healthy lifestyle usually takes a lot of willpower too, particularly when it comes to big lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking. You sure have heard about those e-cigs and portable vaping devices which are mainstream now. These are very good way on kicking out the habit of smoking.
LiveStrong’s MyQuitCoach offers a physician-approved way of quitting complete with a cravings tracker, personalised resolution maker and a nicotine consumption analysis.
Apps such as this can serve as an alternative or companion to the task of quitting smoking with the increasingly popular e-cigarette option. They may also be introducing a fresh competitive element into established industries – meaning we will probably see more of them.
As Noobpreneur reported in an article on how e-cig companies are trying to become recognised, major e-cigarette companies like TABlites are building a diverse selection of e-liquids in the hope that vaping will continue to play an important role in helping smokers quit tobacco. But with apps from potential smoking cessation competitors gaining praise and number, all vaping enterprises may be forced to compete with their own electronic cigarette apps.
The social aspect of fitness cannot be underestimated. It is often a great way of meeting new people, spending quality time with friends and being able to learn and improve from peers.
Pump Up is the Facebook-Instagram hybrid for gym goers and fitness fanatics: a place to shamelessly upload your mirror selfies and to share words of inspiration and motivation with fellow people in your network.
For more of a competition element which also allows you to meet new people, Map My Run remembers any route taken while running, suggests routes that other joggers nearby have taken and allows you to compete with those local joggers at running the same routes.
Diets are also imperative to a health plan, but eating healthily never needs to be boring, nor does it have to negatively impact where you choose to eat out with friends. HealthyOut provides a superb directory for local eating venues by also showing dietary specifications, menu ingredients, type of cuisine and even points out the healthiest options on the menu.
As well as the numerous health benefits associated with yoga, attending regular classes has a fun social element too. Downloading one of the leading yoga apps such as Yoga Studio or Daily Yoga, gives access to over 50 types of yoga and meditation classes, complete with HD video tutorials. These apps eliminate the cost of regular yoga classes and can allow you and a group of friends to take a selection of classes together at your own pace and level.