Today’s screened devices often get bad press for their tendency to keep users relatively inactive and this is largely for good reason. After all, too much screen time is widely accepted as a leading culprit in heavy TV watchers’ weight gain, regular video viewers’ long stretches of idleness and a collection of other unhealthy, technology-related habits. But such devices do not always have to be bad for one’s health and a long list of health-focused smartphone apps provide the proof. When looking for digital help maintaining a healthy lifestyle, health-conscious consumers can consider these six highly rated apps that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store and can help foster more exercise, a better diet, more healthful sleep habits and reduced stress:
- MyFitnessPal: Used by millions to keep track of and improve their eating and exercise habits, this is the world’s most popular health and fitness app. MyFitnessPal’s main draw is that it puts a virtual nutritionist in the user’s pocket with features like a calorie counter, a huge food database, a barcode scanner for easy food-intake logging, nutritional listings for menu items at popular restaurants and an array of other food- and nutrition-related insights. It also allows users to log their exercise activities, track their steps and perform other types of physical activity monitoring in an effort to improve their well-being.
- Yummly: A big part of one’s health starts in the kitchen. And this popular app, which serves as a smart and easy-to-access digital cooking sidekick, offers loads of help for those looking to improve their culinary skills. It provides access to more than 2 million step-by-step recipes plus a range of handy cooking tools such as timers, shopping-list assistance and helpful how-to videos. Yummly also integrates with the Apple Health App to help users keep track of what they eat and its nutritional value.
- Map My Walk: This GPS-based walking and workout tracker from Under Armour provides a robust collection of tracking and training tools to help users develop and maintain a walking and/or running routine or improve upon an already established one. Among the benefits it provides, Map My Walk helps users map and track their workouts, analyze their performance, plan new routes and share their favorites.
- Nike Run Club: This app from Nike serves as a digital running partner to help runners up their game. Its range of motivation- and workout-boosting features includes GPS run tracking, guided runs featuring audio from Nike coaches and athletes, distance challenges, goal-setting help and customized coaching plans. For added camaraderie, support and motivation, users can also connect with friends who are also using the app.
- Insight Timer: Named an App of the Year by Time Magazine and Women’s Health, this serenity-supporting app provides guided meditation to help users calm their minds, manage stress, sleep more deeply and increase their happiness. It also offers relaxation-focused talks led by top mindfulness experts, psychologists, neuroscientists and teachers, as well as a wealth of information on self-help topics like self-love and compassion, maintaining better relationships, dealing with anxiety and overcoming addictions.
- Sleep Score: This intuitive app was created to help users better track their sleep and ultimately to improve their deep and REM sleep so they can wake up feeling more refreshed. Sleep Score employs patented sonar sleep-tracking technology that, requiring no contact with the sleeping user, measures their sleep quality from their nightstand. It then goes on to deliver detailed tips for realizing better sleep. Other features packed in to support better sleep for the user include soothing sleep sounds, a smart alarm and sleep cycle analysis.
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