Now that almost everyone has a smart phone, it’s so easy to download and utilise amazing apps, but I really enjoy the ones that have a positive impact on my health and wellbeing as well. So here’s my top 5 health apps of 2015 for you to check out.
5. Heart Rate (Free)
By placing your finger over the external camera viewer on your phone, the app uses the flash of your phone and detects the minor changes in colour in your finger pad as your heart pumps blood to it. It’s fun to check your heart rate at random times, like when sitting around doing nothing, versus after something strenuous like a workout. This can also be useful to figure out if you’re exercising at your optimal heart rate. Your maximal heart rate can be worked out as follows: 207 – (0.7 x age) = ____
4. C25K (Free)
C25K stands for couch to 5km. It’s an app I have used in the past to help improve my cardiovascular fitness. I confess I wimped out in the second week, but I still recommend it and may come back to it one day if I’m ever keen to be able to run 5km. The app helps you go from being totally unfit to being able to run 5km solidly. It does this through interval training, for example prompting you to run for 60 seconds and then walk for 90 seconds. This allows you to recover a bit while also building fitness as you go. The intervals between running and walking get harder each week, but your fitness is improving each week as well, so it doesn’t necessarily feel harder. One of my favourite features is that you can play your own music and still be able to hear the running/walking prompts from the app.
3. Period Diary (Free)
As a fertility acupuncturist, I think it’s really important for women to track their cycles and be able to get a really good understanding of their menstrual health. With Period Diary, you can mark in your bleeding days, intercourse, and other symptoms to get a clear picture of any patterns in your cycle, and it can also help you work out in hindsight when you ovulated the month before (as a general guide, counting back 14 days from the end of the cycle is how you do this).
2. Chemeleon (Paid)
I actually know the developers of this app, but I also genuinely think it’s awesome and I have it on my phone. Chemeleon allows you to search food additive numbers to find out what they actually are. For example, I once wanted to buy some sweet chilli sauce (I know, not healthy, but we all have weaknesses!) and was trying to decide between two bottles. I whipped out my Chemeleon app which helped me realise one bottle had a really nasty additive that the other one didn’t. Decision made. I’ve also used this app to help patients realise why I don’t want them drinking soft drinks. Download the app and give it a try yourself, you’ll be shocked by some of the things they put in processed foods!
1. Yoga Studio (Paid)
I bought the Yoga Studio app a few years ago and keep it on both my phone and iPad. The Yoga Studio app allows you to download yoga classes of differing ability levels (I’m perpetually stuck in beginner to intermediate!) and also different times such as 15 minutes, 30 minutes and 60 minutes. My personal favourites are the 15 minute classes. It’s really hard to convince anyone that you don’t have a spare 15 minutes in your day to do a little yoga. I personally like to keep my iPad in my bedroom, and after brushing my teeth and getting into my PJ’s, I do 15 minutes of yoga then climb straight into bed for some seriously refreshing sleep. For just a couple of dollars, this app is well worth it, and that’s why it’s my number 1 health app of 2015.
Have you got any health related apps that you really love but aren’t on this list? I’d love to hear about them, just leave me a comment below so I can check them out.