January is usually the time when we set ourselves goals for the year ahead aimed at leading a healthier lifestyle – from going to the gym more often to eating more fruits and vegetables – following the over indulgences of the festive period.
Thanks to the age of digitisation, mobile apps have changed every aspect of our lives from monitoring our heart rates and tracking nutrients in our diets, to calculating our steps per day and even monitoring our sleep.
Tracking all these things can be challenging, but luckily there are a lot of apps available today that can help you live healthily without much hustle. Many of these apps could also be linked to wearable devices that can track your vitals, meaning that incorporating exercise and nutritious food in your daily routine has never been easier!
We’ve put together a list of five apps that could help you stay fit and healthy in 2020.
If you don’t fancy having a gym membership or you’re always on the go, there’s an app that creates customisable exercise programs and meal plans according to your circumstances and preferences. 8fit allows users to personalize their workouts to their strengths and weaknesses – essentially, an online personal trainer that you can tailor to your own needs.
MyFitnessPal is a comprehensive app that lets you track food, log all of your steps and exercise, and get support and motivation from the app community. It allows you to calculate your calorie intake by simply popping in the meals you’ve eaten throughout the day. The app works out the calories against your daily target that is calculated from your weight goal and tells you how much you have left. It’s great in helping you manage your weight in the long run as it provides a sense of which foods you regularly eat have high-calorie content and what low calorie foods you can substitute them with.
What we put in our bodies requires more thought than we probably realise. Doing all the planning ourselves could be overwhelming but the good news is that there is an app that can do it for us. ShopWell allows you to create a profile with your dietary goals, allergies, health concerns, and dislikes. Additionally, when you scan products in the grocery store, the app provides a personalized nutrition scores for you. Based on the information you’ve provided, the app incorporates specific goals – to lower your cholesterol, for example – while helping you avoid allergens such as gluten, lactose or nuts if need be. The app is available for both Android and Apple devices.
Being able to clear your head is as important for your health as what you eat and how often you go to the gym. Meditation could help you reduce stress and improve your overall happiness, so combining meditation with good food and exercise will really help you reach your health goals. If you haven’t practised meditation before, the HeadSpace app is a good starting point as it starts you off on a free Take10 program, which gives you the chance to meditate for just 10 minutes a day over 10 days. It offers a variety of mini guided meditation sessions, including those aimed to help you sleep, relieve anxiety and manage stress.
Good sleep is another essential element of having a strong body and mind. If you don’t get enough sleep every night, your body will have a hard time balancing your hormones, maintaining your blood sugar levels and repairing heart and blood vessels, among other issues. It is also often associated with obesity. SleepCycle tracks the quality of your sleep, based on movement and sound analysis, and provides you with a detailed statistic about your sleep patterns. The app has the unique feature to wake you up during your lightest sleep phase in the morning, ensuring that you feel well-rested throughout the day.
Would you recommend any other health and fitness app that help you stay in-shape (physically and mentally) all year round? Let us know in the comments below. In the meantime, here are a few other health-related posts that might be of interest: