Smartphone apps have the power to help us in a multitude of ways, including improving our overall health. There are numerous apps particularly developed to help us make important lifestyle changes, to increase our physical activity, to make the right nutritional choices, to find peace of mind and always keep tabs on certain health-related issues.
In this article we’ve created a list of 10 health apps which you can use to enjoy a healthier life every single day. Don’t expect any miracles though, you’re still the one who has to do all the effort in order to improve your well-being. What you can expect instead is a buddy that will provide all the data you need, will keep you accountable and will help you follow through with your health and fitness plans.
ActivityTracker is a free pedometer app for Android and iOS designed to track your daily physical activity. The app will record your movement throughout the day and will use colorful report graphs to show you all the relevant fitness data: the steps taken, the amount of calories burned, the distance covered and the total active time. In order to record your movement the app relies on the motion sensors in your device, and not on GPS, which means you can enjoy a longer battery life.
ActivityTracker places at your disposal the means to see your physical activity on a hourly, daily, weekly and monthly basis, which basically means you’ll always be up-to-date with the progress made. To motivate you to walk more, burn more calories and improve your overall health, the app enables you to set a weekly step target and provides a daily goal based on that target. Additionally the app gives you the possibility to transfer your fitness data to and from another device, as well as import historical data from Apple Health or Google Fit.
Google Fit, available for both Android and iOS devices, is designed to help you improve your health by moving more. The app comes with a different approach to fitness tracking and with two main activity goals: Move Minutes and Heart Points. Move Minutes will basically show you the time you spent physically active, while you’ll get Heart Points when you’ll engage in physical activities of higher intensity. Of course, the app will continue to display other stats, such as the step count and total calorie burn.
What’s great about Google Fit is the fact that it will track a large variety of workouts. The app will automatically detect and record stats for walking, running or cycling, but it also gives you the chance to select from a list other activities. Basically you can track anything, from basketball and dancing to calisthenics, golf, pilates and snowboarding. Pretty useful is the fact that you can set your own goals for Move Minutes and Heart Points and also the fact that you receive tips and coaching to properly adjust those goals.
Originally launched in 2014 along with iOS 8, Apple Health is available by default on all iPhone devices. You can use this app to discover a series of health and fitness data that range from the miles ran and total calorie burn to your heart rate, sleep patterns and glucose levels. In order to provide all these diverse stats, the app needs to be connected or paired with other health and fitness apps and fitness gadgets.
Apple Health is divided into four main categories: Today, Health Data, Sources and Medical ID. Today is the first category you’ll see when opening the app and this is where you can visualize your profile, as well as numerous metrics collected in time. Tapping on the Health Data tab will grant you access to a wide range of data regarding your activity, mindfulness, sleep and nutrition. The Sources tab is where you can see the third-party apps that are sharing info with Apple Health, while the last category gives you the option to configure your Medical ID with a profile picture, personal info and medical records.
- Cost: Free
Lose It! is an Android and iPhone food tracker designed to help you lose weight. The app works in a simple manner: all you have to do is enter your personal details such as your height, weight, sex and date of birth, insert the weight you wish to reach and the app will automatically calculate the amount of calories you have to consume each day in order to reach your goal.
Lose It! prides itself on providing users with the largest food database out there, with more than 27 million searchable food items available in the library. The app allows you to track not only calories, but also a series of nutrients like macros, proteins, carbs or sugars, as well as your water intake and sleep cycle. You can sync Lose It! with other fitness apps and devices like Fitbit and also take part in weight loss competitions with your friends for some extra motivation.
Sworkit is a great fitness app for those who wish to work out at home, in the comfort of their living room, instead of going to the gym or resorting to a personal trainer. In that sense the app places at your disposal an impressive array of body weight and small equipment exercises you can easily do at home. These exercises are created to serve different purposes, depending on your fitness level and preferences: lose weight, gain muscle, master yoga or perhaps improve your cardio and strength.
To make things really simple, Sworkit comes with guided videos for every workout session. The app also gives you the chance to customize the available preset workouts or create your own from scratch based on your individual needs. It’s worth mentioning the fact that Sworkit offers users a limited number of workouts free of charge. In order to benefit from the full training experience and enjoy all the premium features you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription fee.
We are all aware of the benefits of a good night’s rest. Sleep Cycle is a sleep tracker app developed to help you sleep better during the night and hence improve both your physical and mental health. In order to monitor your sleep you don’t have to place the app under your pillow, it’s enough to turn it on before going to bed and placing it on your nightstand or nearby on the floor.
Sleep Cycle will use two modes to detect your movements: the built-in microphone and the accelerometer available in your device. The app will then analyze your sleep during the night and will be able to wake you up in the next morning at the ideal moment: in your lightest sleep phase. This way you’ll wake up in a natural way, feeling rested and relaxed. Sleep Cycle will provide detailed data regarding your sleep patterns and give you the option to personally select the alarm songs according to your preferences.
Calm is an award-winning mindfulness app created to improve the overall quality of your life. The app focuses on three main categories: Sleep, Meditation and Relaxation, and places at your disposal programs for each category in order to have a positive impact on your overall health.
To help you fall asleep in a harmonious way at night, Calm comes with Sleep Stories, which are basically dreamy bedtime stories for both children and adults. The app also offers guided meditations, which range in length from 3 to 25 minutes, and also soothing nature sounds. In order to help you truly relax and let go of all worries and anxiety, Calm provides a series of breathing programs and special music created to relieve stress.
In order to enjoy a good physical health it’s important to keep your body well hydrated. It seems like a no-brainer to drink water, right? The problem is that, between our stressful full-time jobs and hectic schedule, it’s so easy to forget how much water we drank. This is where WaterMinder steps in.
As its name suggests it, WaterMinder is a water tracker app that lets you know if you are hydrated enough or not. Basically the app enables you to set a daily goal based on your individual body weight and reminds you periodically to keep drinking water until you reach that goal. WaterMinder lets you visualize your hydration progress along the way, customize your own cups, create your own reminders and share your achievements with others. It’s worth knowing that you can also log other drinks than water.
HealthTap is a free app designed to provide answers and solutions from top doctors directly on your mobile device. The app enables you to search for any condition you may have and find the correct answer, thanks to its impressive database of more than 2.6 million questions answered by doctors and 700,000 articles and topics available. In case you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can ask a question and a doctor will come back with a private reply within 24 hours.
With HealthTap you can go further and assess your symptoms, thanks to the AI-powered symptom checker. At the same time you can opt to see a doctor right away through video connection, audio or text chat, and receive a professional treatment plan. Additionally the app enables you to create your own health profile, by gathering in one place all your personal details, medical history, treatments and doctor prescriptions.
Instant Heart Rate
Instant Heart Rate by Azumio allows you to get your pulse without having to resort to a special gadget like a heart rate monitor. In order to measure your heart rate, all you have to do is position the tip of your index finger on your phone’s camera. Within the next 10 seconds, using an advanced algorithm, the app will calculate and display your pulse.
Instant Heart Rate places at your disposal a live chart that shows you each and every heartbeat and pulse waveform graphs. The app allows you to export your health data, share your results on social media and additionally sync it with Apple Health.