Tech, Now + Beyond

5 great apps for anyone trying to be a healthier person, but needs some help

Whether you're trying to lose weight, train for a 5k, or just track your sodium intake, there's an app for that.

I will admit that I have never been the healthiest person. I was the kid who was always last in the school cross-country sessions. Exercise has always been a form of torture in my mind.

As I grew older, I noticed that I had started putting on a lot of weight for no reason. The doctors diagnosed me with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). PCOS makes it more difficult for the body to use insulin and usually results in weight gain. I learnt that the more weight I gained, the higher the chances of me ending up with other health issues because of the PCOS.

So to avoid any health problems, I’ve had to make a very proactive change in my life, to become more active.

As an absolute newbie to fitness, I wasn’t sure where to start. After a lot of research and hit and misses, I ended up with 5 apps which that have been incredibly helpful, and have definitely helped me take care of my health.

1. My Fitness Pal is a great tool to get into fitness and health.

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This app helps you keep track of your calories by inputting all of your meals into a daily journal. You enter your weight and the weight you wish to get to. It will work out a daily calorie intake that is healthy to get you where you want to be. It is super useful because you can search the brand or food type, or even scan the bar-code and it will tell you how many calories is in that item.

You can also add any exercise done and it will keep a journal of fitness. It is a great way to just keep track of everything you eat and to make you aware of your calorie intake. I’ll be honest before this app, I never paid any attention to calories and what I was eating.

2. Couch to 5K helps you run a marathon in just a few weeks.

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When I decided to enter the unfamiliar territory of the jogging army, a friend recommended this app to me. This app is a godsend to anyone, who like me, doesn’t know where to start. Couch to 5K builds you up steadily so that you can run 5K by the end of nine weeks.

For the first time use, you walk for 5 minutes as a warm up.

You then follow the app and run for a minute and walk for a minute and a walk and then run again, you do this repeatedly.

The more you do it, the more it increases your running time until it eventually builds you up to be able to run without dying. I’m not able to say I’m a proper jogger yet, but with this app I’ve come so much further than I ever thought I could.

3. Pacer is a step counting app.

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What I love most about this app is it’s just SO easy to use.

You literally just sync it with the motion and fitness part of your phone and it counts your steps itself. You can checks the number of steps you’re taking every day, and the number of calories you’re losing by taking those steps . This app also allows you to create plans and set a goal for yourself, everyday.

Another thing I love about this app is that it works so well with my other apps. I am able to sync Pacer with My Fitness Pal. Therefore without me even doing anything, I’ll be able to check how many calories I have lost by walking on My Fitness Pal and will be able to add that to my daily intake.

4. Sworkit is like having a personal trainer in your phone.

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Going to the gym has always been slightly daunting for me, and I wanted to increase my stamina before I subjected my pain to others. With Sworkit, you can create an account where you enter all your details and then decide what you want to use this app for; you can be pretty specific such as specifying weight loss, toning etc.

You are able to select individual workout or you have the option of letting it create a plan for you. The plan will list workouts for you and tell how how many times to do it and for how long, it will then work you through guided workouts. I also enjoyed having a plan and knowing what I had to and when, it kept me motivated.

5. Headspace is a meditation and mindfulness app. 

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In addition to focusing on my physical health, I found it was equally important to look after my mental health too. I’ll be honest I always thought meditation was for pretentious people but boy was I wrong.

This app has a basic 10-day beginners course in meditation which guides you through short meditations. These mostly consist of breathing exercises and exercises that help in relaxing your mind.

I did these every morning and I can’t explain how much of a difference it made to my day and moods. Before this app, I had seriously underestimated the importance of taking some time to calm your mind.

In all honesty, I’m not a very motivated person, so I’m glad that these apps worked and motivated me to make some huge life changes.