If you don’t know your sat-fats from your superfoods, it can be hard to know where to start. Many people weren’t lucky enough to be raised by health-conscious parents, and the world of health and exercise can seem like a mystery when you are just starting to learn.
The easiest way to take the pain out of planning a healthy change – or stay on track once you are on the way – is to get one of the hundreds of health and fitness apps out there to do the hard work for you.
Whether you want to track your exercise routine, manage your sleep cycles or measure your macronutrients, there will be something in this list for you.
This is a health enthusiast’s dream. You can scan the barcode of any item in the supermarket and it tells you how healthy the item is. It’s much better than most fitness apps because it looks at the quality of the calories and what nutrients it will give you, not just how many calories it contains. Unless you are Gwyneth Paltrow, this is probably the closest you will get to having a nutritionist with you at the shop.
Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock
If you struggle to get out of bed in the morning, this could be the solution you have been dreaming about.
We all sleep in cycles which last around 90 minutes, starting in light sleep, and slowly drifting into deep sleep and REM sleep (which is when we dream). When we wake up naturally it is during light sleep, so an alarm clock ripping your away from your nightly REM date with Ryan Gosling is bound leave you feeling unrested, no matter how much sleep you have had.
This app tracks your sleep cycle using either your microphone or your accelerometer, then wakes you up when you are in the lightest phase of sleep so that you actually feel rested.
If you don’t have a lot of time in your schedule, whether it’s from work, school or family, it can be tricky to fit in a workout. That’s where Fitnet comes in. It has a huge amount of five and seven-minute workouts so you can squeeze fitness into your lunch break (or the TV ad break!)
If you are not too sure how to do some exercises, you can use your phone’s camera to monitor how closely you are following the moves. That makes it perfect if you are just beginning to live more healthily.
If you love the great outdoors, this is the app for you. You can enter your location and get recommendations for all the outdoor activities you can do nearby, such as hiking, kayaking, biking and even skiing. This is a great way to get more active while having fun.
Yoga Wake Up
Your morning routine is very important. If you feel good in the morning, you are sure to have a great day. That’s why it’s important to get good nutrition when you wake up, such as with the Low-Carb High-Protein Breakfast in A Jar.
It’s also great if you can exercise first thing in the morning. Yoga Wake Up makes it easy to get your body moving when you wake up, as it gives you 10 minutes of poses and meditation at your desired wake-up time. Much more interesting than your standard alarm clock!
Changing your lifestyle is all about making small, sustainable changes. It can be tempting to decide once and for all that you’re going to be healthy and never eat junk food again, but when you try to overhaul your entire life in one go, it’s never going to work! You will be making things too hard for yourself. Slow and steady really does win the race.
LifeSum keeps you on track with your small changes: you pick a healthy goal and it sends you reminders, feedback on how well you’re doing, and graphics so you can visualise your progress.
Whether you are a heath fanatic or just starting out on your health and fitness journey, getting a little help with your lifestyle is bound to keep you motivated and on track.
What are your favourite apps for staying fit and healthy? Have you used any of the ones listed here?
ICS Learn is an online learning provider whose mission is to make learning flexible, affordable and accessible to all. They help over 10,000 students a year achieve their ambitions with courses in a range of subjects including personal training and fitness, HR, and accounting.