Hands-up if you are the type of person that will turn the car around, and go back home, if you have forgotten your smartphone? Our smartphones have become an extension of our lives, keeping us connected to loved ones, the information we need, and tools we can’t live without. Now more than ever, individuals are using their personal smartphones to promote healthy habits, and help organize positive wellness choices on a daily basis. Can a health application on your smartphone (or a few of them) really help you create lasting changes that will have a measurable impact on your health? If you are going to be carrying your smartphone with you everywhere, why not use it to help you reach your health goals, and stay on track? We asked some of our staff to share their personal favorite health apps for Thrive!
MyPlate (Livestrong) iOS
With millions of users worldwide, the “MyPlate” app provides practical tools to track food consumption and exercise easily. Set goals for yourself inside the app, and track your progress. It provides a macronutrient break down of your daily food choices to help educate on quality nutritional options. If you are trying to quit smoking, check out another Livestrong app called “MyQuit Coach”. The mobile smoking cessation app is a physician reviewed and approved plan to help people quit smoking. It is interactive, allows users to set goals and adjust to smoking a little less every day, until the need is tapered off, allowing you to quit smoking for good.
REI Trail Run Projects
If you are a runner or a walker, sometimes the open road can get a little boring, particularly if you are engaging in long-distance routes two or three times per week. The “REI Trail Run Projects” app helps you find trails that are geo-mapped close to where you are, recommending quality trails and walking paths in every U.S. state, as well as internationally, in countries like Canada, South and Central America, and Europe. The app provides images of each trail and details about terrain and elevation, allowing runners to choose between lower impact and softer surfaces, or high-impact cross-training. And if your run happens to take you beyond cellular service, the app also works offline.
The Old-School Coach
Finding time and money to work with a personal trainer can be challenging, so why not download one to your smartphone? On “The Old-School Coach” app, you get interactive tips, commands and coaching from an app that was ranked #5 on the list of best new fitness apps of 2017, by SELF Magazine. You get the Old-School Coach ‘tip of the day’, with the animated delivery of funny, but effective messages from Coach Steven Holden. If his personality and candor won’t get you off the couch and moving, nothing will (but we promise it’s a lot of fun too).
Sometimes you just feel like attending a yoga, cross-fit or boot camp class, without having to sign up for a package deal. Maybe you just want to check out some different local fitness classes, to explore and find one you love? The Zenrez app saves both time and money, as it recommends classes that have space still available, at a discount rate. Perfect for last-minute fitness opportunities, and to explore groups of likeminded wellness folks in your local city or town. No membership, no fees; how is that for flexible for the on-the-go type of person?
Working out with a friend or an accountability partner, is one of the best ways to make sure that healthy exercise happens, on a daily and weekly basis. The problem is… you may not have someone to workout with, and convincing one of your friends to go for a run, or join you at a class, may be harder than simply going yourself. If you’re looking for a workout buddy, the “Bvddy” has been hailed as “the Tinder for fitness”. The app recommends other subscribers, and their preferred sport or fitness method, or class. Parkour? Outdoor basketball or beach volleyball? Perhaps hot yoga? Swipe-right and instant message to coordinate with your new workout buddy. (Remember to use caution and safety when meeting new workout buddies through any app, or online service).
If you have a favorite fitness or wellness app, leave us your recommendation by commenting below. We’re all about nutrition and wellness and we’d love to hear your suggestions. We have compiled a list of instagram accounts for nutritional tips.