7 Health & Wellness Apps to Consider
We use our smart phones to work, shop, read and every now and then we call a loved one! With technology so available at our finger tips, it makes sense that our smart phones are the first place we visit when it comes to getting fitter, losing weight, eating better, sleeping better and finding sports activities we can join in.
But with so many options out there, which apps are going to help get us to our goals? The votes are in for 2018’s top health, fitness and wellness apps and the below are 5 we think you need to try:
1. Couch to 5k
Couch to 5k is still up there in the top apps for 2018. If you’ve ever wanted to run but have no idea where to start, you will love this one. Couch to 5k has helped thousands of beginner runner to cross the finish line and all you need is 30 minutes, 3 days a week for nine weeks.
The program is downloadable and within the app you can see how you’re tracking from day one, connect to a supportive running community and select your interactive, motivating coach.
2. Fit Radio
If you find motivation in music, FIT Radio is a must-have music-streaming app for your workouts. It specializes in DJ created mixes that maintain a consistent beat and is categorized by genre or workout type (from walking to crossfit, lifting, kickboxing, yoga and more).
You can also pick your music based on BPM making it perfect for cycling, running, dancing and others exercises of pace. New playlists and mixes are added daily for a new beat and variety to your workout. You can sign up for free or opt for a premium subscription for around the $5 mark.
3. Meditation Studio
Meditation studio is for anyone who has toyed with the idea of meditation, knowing it will bring them less stress, ease anxiety, improve sleep and boost confidence, but actually going to a meditation class is too big a jump!
Meditation studio has over 250 guided meditations, courses on happiness and changing habits and it is suitable for children and adults too. It’s collections, Be Healthy, Be Awesome, Be Kind, Be Curious, Just For are designed to make meditation simple.
An introduction to the app is free, with dozens of courses to pick from, or you can pay $49.99 for an annual subscription to unlock 250+ meditations.
4. Health app (iphone) or equivalent
If you prefer the look of a traditional watch over a Fit Bit – not to worry! You can use the health apps already available on your smartphone to accurately track your activity. For example, the iphone Health app can track the distance you have covered in kilometers, how many steps you have taken, and how many flights of stairs you've climbed. There are other measures you can opt to track, for example, cycling distance and sleep analysis. Studies have shown that smartphone activity trackers have the same level of accuracy as wearable pedometers – as long as you carry them with you! (1).
You can track your nutrition using these apps, however, for accuracy, we suggest using Easy Diet Diary.
5. Smiling Mind
Did you know – 1 in 5 Australians currently suffer from mental illness, and nearly 1 in 2 Australians will experience mental illness at one point in their lifetime? Smiling Mind is a free app developed by psychologists in Australia, hoping to tackle the above statistics. It includes short mindfulness and meditation tracks, with options for children, adolescents, adults and pregnant women.
Even if you're feeling well within yourself, daily mindfulness has many well-known benefits. These include reduced stress, improved sleep quality, greater immunity against disease, enhanced productivity, and an overall sense of wellbeing (2).
6. Easy Diet Diary (only available for iPhone)
Easy Diet Diary is a user-friendly app that teaches you how to balance your food intake to meet your personal nutritional needs. Specifically, it allows you to; a) calculate calorie targets to achieve your desired body weight, b) track your food and exercise against your calorie targets, and c) track your intake of other nutrients, including total fats, saturated fats, total carbohydrates, sugars, protein, fibre, salt and calcium.
Unlike other food diary apps, Easy Diet Diary is Australian - it contains a wide variety of Australian food products and restaurant meals. This will improve the accuracy of your recording.
If you’re a details person who likes to feel ‘in control’, this app will give you clear guidelines and reassurance that you are on the right track.
Extra features include: Adding your favourite recipes and calculating the nutrition-per-serve, sending your food diary to your dietitian directly from the app.
7. Monash University Low FODMAP
The Monash University Low FODMAP is written by the Monash gastroenterology department and updated on a regular basis, this is the ‘godfather’ of all Low FODMAP apps. At $13, it is one of the most expensive app on our list, however, if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), we reckon it’s a must-have.
This app has an excellent ‘About’ page, which takes you through the in-and-outs of IBS, and the low FODMAP diet. The ‘Guide’ page contains a huge database of foods, organized by food category, and uses a traffic light system to show you which foods are low, moderate or high in FODMAPs, and in what portions.
The app is far more comprehensive and dynamic, compared with a print-out list. You can take it with you shopping, and use it to help you order meals at restaurants. It also has recipe pages, and a food symptom diary.