Putting your health first and foremost can be hard – the demands of both your professional and personal life can often accumulate and cause burnout. However, maintaining your health is paramount, and as we’re now a full month into the new year, it’s not too late to make 2020 the healthiest year of your life. DocWire News has assembled a helpful list of apps you can download to reach and safeguard an optimal level of physical and mental health. All are highly rated by users and designed to be easy and fun to follow. Prices vary, but many of these are free to download, and worth the money to keep.
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Combining cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI), smart connected health services, and expert coaching, Lark is the best choice for those trying to drop weight, get fit, prevent diabetes, or manage chronic conditions. Lark provides you with a personal coach who tracks your sleep, medication, diet, and weight, and texts advice and words of encouragement. The Lark Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) comprises tailored education sessions, plus a customized diet and exercise plan designed attenuate your risk of diabetes. Lark also includes Hypertension Care – which includes real-time blood pressure monitoring, hypertension-specific nutritional caching, as well as reminders on when to take your medication.
My Possible Self
Centered around mental health, this app comprises different interactive learning modules based on proven psychological methods such as cognitive behavioral therapy and positive psychology. It comes equipped with a mental health assistant (named “Bloopy”) who will guide you through a self-assessment survey, and subsequently, recommend the right module for you. The app also includes a mood tracker that highlights activities, places and people that influence your mood, allowing focus on the things that make you feel happy and at peace. It also includes a new mood history feature which allows you to look back at how you’ve been feeling over time.
Designed by a health blogger, Deliciously Ella has morphed into an app and top resource for people looking to find tasty, vegan options. The app offers over 400 healthy, plant-recipes, meal planners, instructional videos, shopping lists and step-by-step images to make healthy cooking a breeze. Deliciously Ella is also great for yoga users and provides over 40 yoga videos that range from 10-40 minutes depending on your experience level.
The popular mind stimulating app, Luminosity, prides itself on transforming science into brain-friendly games. To achieve optimal game performance, a team of scientists diligently to ensure each game maintains its core mechanics while designers and developers add exciting game features and themes while making sure each game is accessible, easy-to-use, engaging, and challenging to people of all ages.
Do you frequently have health questions you need answers to? HealthTap puts the answers to those questions at your fingertips. By downloading this app, you receive free answers and instant help from a network of over 140,000 licensed physicians. HealthTap enables you to search content from over well over 2 million doctor-answered questions and over 700,000 topics and articles that cover close to 900 conditions. You can also assess the symptoms you’re having using the state-of-the-art Dr. AI, an AI-powered symptom checker. Using HealthTap, you can also receive a real-time consult with a physician – either via phone, voice, or chat, and get a treatment plan that includes reminders, referrals, and follow-ups.
“Your journey to a healthier you starts here,” touts the designers of ShopWell, perhaps one of the better scan-and-see health apps. ShopWell let’s you build a food profile based on your personal needs, goals, and lifestyle, then scan products to see if they correspond to that profile. Once you scan, ShopWell gives you a score from 1 to 100 based on your gender, age, and dietary preferences. Using ShopWell you can also trade up to foods that better fit your goals, so whether you’re looking for turkey bacon or vegan meatballs, this app finds the best match for your health.
For people who have difficulty sleeping, this app might serve as a solution. Sleep Cycle works by tracking your sleep patterns, and then waking up during periods of light sleep, so that you wake up feeling refreshed and rested. The app uses sound analysis by way of a built-in microphone to discern sleep states and tracks your movements in bed. It then initiates a wake-up phase that ends at your desired wake up time.
Are you a smoker who’s decided that 2020 is the year you quit? Consider trying Smoke Free. Backed by clinical evidence, this app will track how much money you’ve saved by quitting, how long you’ve remained smoke free, and how many cigarettes you’ve passed up. Moreover, Smoke Free enables you to view how your blood pressure, oxygen and carbon monoxide levels have dropped, allowing you a first-hand look at how your taste, smelling, energy levels, breathing, and circulation have returned to normal.
Stressed out? Meditation has been shown to reduce stress, improve focus, and even help people get a better night’s sleep. Headspace is a mediation app made simple, and includes a Basics pack, which is a 10-day beginner’s course that will steer you through the essentials of meditation and provide you with potentially life-changing mindfulness skills in just a few minutes per day. Headspace can serve as an aid to help you meditate for sleep, weight loss, focus, sports, anxiety, relaxation, or anger, and can be used either on-the-go or when you’re offline.
Lifesum is a digital self-care app that assists you in reaching your health and weight goals through helping you adopt a better diet. After choosing a diet that fits your lifestyle and food preferences, you follow a one- to three-week meal plan where you receive four pre-planned recipes each day. To better help you attain your health goals, Lifesum enables you to customize your fitness journey while adding your favorite meals, food recipes, and exercises at your leisure. One user wrote: “I love this app! It has so many features, and great advice. With the different meal plans and exact calorie counts, this app was perfect for me.”
For those of us who need a little nudge to take control of our health, Nudge does just that. This app allows you to connect with a group of coaches and friends, and seamlessly integrates with all your other health apps to generate an overall score for you based on your last month of activity. Nudge also stands as the optimal choice for health coaches, as it allows for secure messaging with clients, provides a group chat option, and creates an overall inspiring environment for people who thrive on social support to meet and maintain their health goals.
The creators of this app note that the average dieter attempts four times a year to stick to a healthy regimen and fails. Rise Nutritio differentiates itself by having the top registered dietitians in the country assisting you in losing weight and keeping it off. This app is unique in that it enables you to quickly snap and send photos of your meals and exercises to your assigned coach, each of whom has their own specialty, and they subsequently provide a nutritional analysis to let you know if you’re on the right track to achieving your fitness goal.
If you’re concerned about nutritional value of the foods you’re consuming, Fooducate is an app you should have on your device. It works by enabling you to scan the barcode of any food, and then gives that food a personalized nutrition grade (A,B, C, or D) as well as a synopsis about said food’s pros and cons, providing healthier alternatives for foods lacking in nutritional content. Users of Fooducate can track their food intake and exercise, add their own foods to track, pose questions, and receive feedback from a community of experts, and track the quality of calories, rather than the quantity.
Filled with an assortment of tasty and inspiring natural food ingredients, Green Kitchen is the ideal app choice for those looking to cook delicious vegetarian meals. The app includes a mix of main courses, snacks, and healthy beverages; over 100 handpicked recipes, estimated cooking times for each recipe, step-by-step cooking instructions that you can mark off as you go through, and comes as universally compatible with both your iPhone and iPad. Green Kitchen was developed by a husband and wife duo who also created the award-winning vegetarian blog, Green Kitchen Stories.
If you’re looking to find the best food options in your area based on your nutritional preferences, then HealthyOut is the answer. How does it work? First, the user enters their zip code and chooses whether they will be visiting a sit-down restaurant or getting carry-out. Next, the user selects one or more nutritional requirements such as “heart healthy”, “low fat”, or “low cal” or any combination of one or more requirements. Lastly, all restaurants in the nearby area will display meals that meet the nutritional requirements you specified.
Yoga is a proven therapy to treat a myriad of ailments, and if you’ve never performed it before, maybe it’s time to download the app Pocket Yoga. The app allows you to pick between different practices, time intervals, and levels of difficulty. Requiring you come equipped with nothing more than an exercise mat, Pocket Yoga was developed to recreate the experience of being in a real yoga studio, and includes a soothing voice that guides you through your routine while relaxing music plays in the background. Pocket Yoga also includes a comprehensive dictionary of poses categorized to be easily searchable. According to one user: “This app is phenomenal – I love that I can practice easy, moderate, or intense yoga when I need or want to! Great addition to classes and perfect for my runners’ body!”
As most know, drinking lot of water is paramount for healthy living. However, tracking how much water you’re drinking can often be challenging. The app Water Logged rectifies that challenge by allowing you to accurately track your water consumption by day, week, or year so that you can view at a glance how much H2O you’re taking in. The app also enables you to snap pictures of your glasses to expedite the logging process and sends you reminders when you need to drink those glasses, which in turn develops a good water drinking routine.
This app is terrific for drinkers who want to moderate the how alcohol they’re consuming. It not only tracks how much you’re drinking, but also calculates your alcohol spending over time. With the DrinkAware app, you get access to an extensive database of alcohol brands to accurately track both the units and calories in your drink, while being provided with factual information about the benefits of reducing your drinking. DrinkAware also identifies areas where need improvement, helps you set goals tailored to your drinking habits, and gives you a view into progress while helping you record and review your drinking over time.
Strava is ideal if you’re an avid runner/jogger/cycler, and provides comprehensive performance tracking, stats, and a subsequent deep-dive into all your activity data. Any activity you record gets transferred directly to your Strava feed and allows all your friends and followers to accompany you on your fitness journey. The app’s “Beacon” feature seamlessly turns on for you in case of an emergency so you can easily contact your parent, partner, coach, or friend. Strava also includes the world’s largest route and trail resource, meaning that for those looking for the right road or trail to trek – Strava supplies exactly what you need.
Touted as a complete diet tracking solution, My Macros+ includes over five million food items to choose from, the ability to rapidly log your choice and weight on any device, detailed insight on how your diet impacts your fitness goals, and a full weekly break down for all foods, days and individual meals. “My Macros+ has been essential in giving me flexibility & accuracy to adhere to my macro nutrient targets, said a IFPA Figure Pro and Elite Powerlifter. “Prepping for figure competitions and power lifting meets have been made significantly easier as a result of this app.”
Endomondo was designed to ensure you get the most out of your various workouts. Using GPS, it enables you to closely analyze your stats, reach your goals, and join a global community of like-minded fitness enthusiasts. By downloading this app, you can track your running, walking, cycling, as well as 60+ other sports, log all your indoor workouts manually to keep a detailed training log, and get notified when you reach the new peak of your fitness goals. Endomondo also allows you to tap into your social network by sending and receiving real-time audio talks, viewings of your friend’s workouts, and the ability to share your workout via your preferred social media platform.
Comprised of a database of over 11 million food choices, MyFitnessPal is an all-encompassing app that allows you to track your food, log all of your steps and exercise, and receive health support and motivation from your peers. Choose a goal — or let the app create personalized goals based on your info — and the app will keep you on track to get there. One user endorsed the app by saying “I naturally fell into the concept of mindful eating…it takes 15-20 minutes for the food to hit your stomach, so I started eating slower.”
A comprehensive health and fitness app, Fit will give you access to a myriad of workouts, including Tabata, yoga, boxing, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and core. 8Fit also comes equipped with 800 nutritionist-approved recipes, and customized meal plans tailored to whichever diet you choose. One endorser of the app said: “I was active before using the app. But only by learning how to eat the right portions with 8fit, I managed to lose the weight. This was a year ago and I haven’t gained it back. Now I’m way more creative with my meals.”
Streaks is a to-do app designed to help you form and maintain good habits, including good health and fitness habits. As you can probably guess by its name, each day you complete a given task, and your streak is extended. Breaking that task resets you to zero days. Whether you’re looking to run a mile, walk 5,000 steps, record your blood pressure, or avoid junk food, Streaks has you covered. Streaks is described on its website as “the perfect complement with a range of complications that let you quickly see which tasks are still remaining for the day, what’s in progress and then mark a task as complete.”
For anyone who has ever found it challenging to squint your eyes and watch an instructor give you workout directions why you run on a treadmill, then this next app is an optimal choice to download. Aaptiv provides audio-only classes to propel you in completing your workouts. It lets you workout when you want, and how you want with access to over 2,500 trainer-led, music-driven workouts, a vast selection of your favorite music, a calorie tracker, and a significant library of classes to choose from.
If you have tough skin, and don’t mind working out to a snarky fitness instructor, then maybe allow “CARROT” to take you a hilarious fitness journey. “CARROT is a sadistic AI construct with one simple goal: to transform your flabby carcass into a Grade A specimen of the human race,” reads the device description. “She will do whatever it takes – including threatening, inspiring, ridiculing, and bribing you – to make this happen.” There is a bright side to CARROT, however, as she will track your progress, chart your weight loss, and set reminders so that you’ll never miss a workout. This app probably isn’t for everybody, but worth downloading for those able to handle sarcasm while getting in shape.
What could be better than creating social change through everyday physical activity? Charity Miles, a for-profit company, connects charities, individuals, and corporate sponsors while allowing you to earn money for charity anytime you perform human-centered activity such as walking, running, biking, or dancing. After choosing from one of 40 different charities, the app will measure the distance in your activity, and translate the miles into money – which comes from corporate sponsors who have decided to repurpose their advertising budgets. Some of Charity Miles’ corporate sponsors currently include: Johnson & Johnson, Brooks Running, Del Monte Fresh, Blueprint for Athletes, JackRabbit, and Thrive Market.
RunBet is a game developed to help you run consistently, and it involves betting on yourself. To start, you’ll pick a game best suited for your fitness goals. Each game has its own set of specific rules that you have to agree to when signing up. Then, you bet on yourself by laying down money and commit to a running schedule over the duration of several weeks. RunBet doesn’t care where you run – either indoors or outdoors will suffice. If you complete all the game requirements, you not only stand to get your money back, but most likely you’ll make a profi (a profit funded by players who didn’t finish the game).
Have you ever wondered if you could survive a zombie epidemic? If you download this app, you’ll find out if you’re cut out to evade the undead. The app Zombies, Run is simple: you walk, jog, or run anywhere in the world given the choice of 200 different missions to complete (rebuilding a town that’s been ravaged by zombies, etc.). When these zombies are hot on your trail, the game notifies you, and you’ll increase your running speed. Many find this app a very fun way to get in shape, and use it daily.