Health and Wellness Apps
Most people now own a smartphone, but can you use this device for more than calls, messages and emails, in way that will have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing?
Walking is simple, free, and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier.Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking briskly can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier.
Most smartphones have sensors built into them that can detect each time you take a step, turning them into pedometers. With an app you can keep a track of how many steps you take in a day, a week or as long as you own a phone with these sensors in.
Google Fit is included on some new Android phones by default, if it isn’t it is available from the Play Store here:
It will work better on newer phones with the appropriate motion-tracking hardware, but it costs nothing to try on older phones and may still work. Once you have set it up and given it access to the sensors on your phone it will start to track your step count, you can see your progress simply by opening the app. This app also shows other fitness statistics, such as estimated calories burned. As it is linked to your Google account you can access the information from any device here:
The Apple version of this is called Apple Health and it comes as standard on any device running iOS 8 or later. To start it just click on the “Health” icon on your home screen.
The dashboard will show you the steps’ walked and flights climbed for stairs. You can tap the day, week, month and year icons to see stats over a longer period of time. This makes it easy to see how you activities have changed over time as well as your most and least active days.
Healthy Eating Apps
Calorie Counter by MyFitnessPal is an app for both Android and iOS that is designed to help people track what foods they eat. It can help you lose weight, tone up, get healthy or change your habits.
It includes a database of over 6 million foods and a barcode scanner that will recognise 4 million barcodes, simply scan the code to see the calorie content and add it to your days intake. It also allows you to import your own recipes, so you can easily see and add the intake from those.
The app is available for Android here:
And iOS here:
Relax Melodies is an Android and iOS app designed to allow the user to experience the benefit from deep, uninterrupted sleep every night. Combining over 100 relaxation sounds, melodies, binaural beats and white noise, Relax Melodies allows you to create your very own relaxing soundscapes. Play them all night or for a determined period of time, thanks to its built-in timer. Great for people with insomnia or tinnitus sufferers.
Android app here:
Apple app here:
The Sleep Cycle alarm clock uses your phones sensors to monitor your sleep patterns and wakes you up gentle during a period of light sleep close to your alarm time, to give a feeling of waking naturally, rather than a normal alarm waking you from the middle of your deepest sleep phase.
Android app here:
Local Fitness and Wellbeing
Using your phone alone for fitness and wellbeing can be a solitary experience, which can leave you without the motivation to exercise.
Mindbody is an Android and iOS app that lists exercise, yoga and other classes local to you. It uses the location detection on your phone to find sessions close to you. You can book directly from the app. Whilst all of the apps listed here are free there will be charges for the sessions you book.
And Finally a little Zombie fun
Zombies, Run! is an immersive running game. Players act as the character “Runner 5” through a series of missions, during which they run and listen to various audio narrations to uncover the story. It is designed to keep people running by mixing narration and music from your own library. There are 200 “Missions” or runs so it should keep you occupied on your runs for quite a while.
As with any device please be aware of your surroundings, especially if you are walking/running whilst wearing headphones.