If you’re not raised in a super-healthy lifestyle, the world of sat-fats, superfoods, sleep cycles and smoothies can seem like a mystery. How do you stay fit when you don’t know a dumbbell from a deadlift? And how do you eat healthily without spending all your time tracking macros? What even is a macro?
Luckily, you’re not the only one to have faced these problems, so there are a host of apps out there to make healthy living as simple as ordering a pizza. Or a McDonalds drive-thru. Or getting a takeaway… If only there was an app that could change our train of thought.
1. Carrot Fit
Do you dream of being coached by an AI version of Malcolm Tucker? This is the app for you. Sarcastic trainer Carrot doesn’t pretend that exercise is fun, instead giving you workouts such as 7 Minutes in Hell and Celebrity Face Punches to ‘prepare you for when the robo-apocalypse begins’.
2. Charity Miles
Helping you get fit and donating to charity? Charity Miles couldn’t be more wholesome. The app’s corporate sponsors donate money to charity for every mile you run, walk or cycle, in exchange for you seeing one of their adverts in the background of the app. Pretty good deal, huh?
They say that money talks, and in this case it tells you to go to the freaking gym already. With Pact, you can win money for every week you complete your workout, log your foods in MyFitnessPal, or eat more fruit and veg. Just don’t spend it all on Dairy Milk.
4. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock
If you’re a bedhead who struggles to clamber out of their cave in the morning, this could be the solution you’ve been waiting for. We all sleep in 90 minutes cycles, and waking up during the deepest part of a cycle is often what gives us that groggy morning feeling. This app tracks your cycles using your microphone or accelerometer so that you wake up during the lightest part of sleep.
Improving your heath and fitness is all about small changes that build into big things. LifeSum helps you make small healthy goals and track them, even including handy graphics to help you visualise your progress.
Not knowing how to exercise is no longer an excuse. Sworkit has a huge library of videos covering areas as varied as cardio, yoga and strength. The premium version even lets you get help from a real live personal trainer.
The seven-minute workout is a lifesaver for people with busy schedules. You can customise it to suit your goals, whether it’s weight-loss, health or athleticism, and the 7 month challenge will encourage you to stay on track.
Calm is a big personal favourite. The 10-minute Daily Calm is perfect for quick de-stressing, while longer programmes such as Deep Concentration, Returning to Now and Calming Anxiety will help you find your inner zen. Definitely cheaper than a wilderness retreat.
9. Fit Radio
This nifty app features DJ-created workout mixes that maintain a steady beat, perfect for matching your music to your pace.
We covered the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) here. Convinced? Good. HIIT-focused app Keelo gives you walk-throughs of every conceivable exercise, with or without equipment, along with calories burned. It even has pre-set workout plans to take care of the mental heavy lifting while you get to the physical stuff.
When you’re a beginner, figuring out the best running route takes a lot of trial and error. MapMyRun lets you pinch the best ideas from other runners in your area. It’s also great for staying on track while travelling, as you can instantly find the safest and most scenic routes in a new place.
It’s an old one but it stays on our list for a reason: it’s simply the easiest way to track your calories. Save entire recipes, scan barcodes, and see a detailed breakdown of the nutritional information in everything you eat. It truly can’t be beaten.
However you choose to stay fit and healthy, remember that it’s a slow and steady process. Don’t get disheartened if you don’t feel results right away – with a little help from your app-friends, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier, happier life.
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