By Angela Underwood
In a day and age when “there’s an app for that,” there is no excuse not to be fit and healthy. That is why it is important to point out the five of the hottest health apps to start using. So if you used the excuse that there were too many apps, we’ll try to narrow it down for you.
It’s as simple as it sounds. It’s a fitness friend in the form of an app. Ranked as the No. 1 health and fitness app on iTunes, reports Men’s Health of the Under Armour-sponsored service. “This app pushes users to keep tabs on their diet programs through an easy-to-use database that offers nutrition information for over 5 million different foods,” according to Men’s Health magazine.
Available on Android and Apple, MyFitnessPal is like having your best friend nudge you to go to the gym or put down that candy bar when bikini season is right around the corner. “There are about 5 million foods in their database to choose from so you’re not just typing in ‘chicken’ — which means you can determine how many calories you’re actually taking in and burning off,” reports Marie Claire. The app costs $9.99 monthly or $49.99 for the year.
Calories, fat grams, carbohydrates and protein are key items to track when maintaining a healthy lifestyle but standing in the grocery store aisle adding and subtracting said numbers on the side of packages just doesn’t cut it anymore. That is where Fooducate comes in. Simply type in the product of your picking and moments later you will know what the best brand is to buy. “As the app’s name suggests, its goal is to teach you about the products you buy at the grocery store,” reports Men’s Health. And the advice is free, unless you want the ad-free version or allergy-related health advice. In that case, it will respectively cost $3.99 or 4.99 monthly.
Couch to 5K
Don’t let the app’s title intimidate you. No one says you have to run a 5K, but this app will set you up for success if you so choose. “It only requires sweating for 30 minutes per day, three days a week for nine weeks,” according to Marie Claire. Breaking down each day with a personal avatar trainer, users can track their time and distance during their warm up, jog and walk or cool down. The app is free at first, but after a couple of runs, it costs $4.99 to continue the service.
The app works like it reads. Sponsors like Johnson & Johnson, Chobani, and Humanity donate a few cents for every mile you move biking, running or even walking to charities, according to Marie Claire. Needless to say, when you are not in the mood to work out, this app helps the hungry, homeless, veterans or other nonprofits. So, if you don’t want to work out for yourself, do it for someone else at no cost a month. Now that’s charity.
Can’t sleep, stressed out or just out of the groove? Then Headspace will put you right back where you need to be. The initial free 10-day program promotes mindfulness, proven to ramp up work productivity. And be warned, it really works. “Look out for improved mental acuity, patience, productivity and sleep with daily use,” according to New Jersey-based physician Chirag Shah as quoted in Men’s Health. After the free 10-day trial, Headspace costs anywhere from $7.99 to $19.99 monthly depending on the level of meditation you choose to access.