There’s an app for everything these days – we can order food, clothes and cleaners at the tap of that smart screen – but the ones below are designed to get you out of the house. Whether the intention is to lose weight, tone up or complete your first 5k, we’ve rounded up the best apps to get you moving.
The team behind this free-to-download app are based in Bangalore, India, and pride themselves on having the largest database of Indian foods to keep track of calories – with a total of more than 55,000 foods. It’s been downloaded by more than five million people and scooped three successive “Best App of Year” nods from Google Play. You can input your daily intake, receive real-time insights on your food choices and instructions on 1,500 different exercises from coaches. While scoffing on curry and naans isn’t going to help you lose weight anytime soon, HealthifyMe will go a long way to making sure you’re at least cutting back on the bad stuff. Goodbye creamy kormas, hello pumpkin bhaji.
Free (premium option available). Available on App Store and Google Play, www.healthifyme.com.
MyFitnessPal will help you track your daily nutrition – and probably lead to the realisation that you such a good secret eater that even you had no idea. The aim is to track everything you eat and set targets for calorie intake, weight loss, or nutrition goals – so no more head in the fridge shovelling wedges of brie into your mouth. There’s a handy scanner device to pick up information from barcodes if you can’t face painstakingly entering every last crouton from your Caesar salad, or you can add ingredients more precisely if you’re making a home cooked meal. Even if you’re not intending on losing weight or bulking up, it’s good to see what you’re putting in your body – 540 calories in a Big Mac? Who’d have thought it?
Free. Available on App Store and Google Play, www.myfitnesspal.com.
You know what they say, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” Well, one Silicon Valley juggernaut has dragged that old idiom into the 21st Century thanks to its Health app. Apple automatically installs the digital doctor onto every device, which then syncs to all your devices. It’s a combination of stealthy, healthy tracking and manual input – it will automatically measure your step count, stair count, distance covered and even hours slept on your iPhone or Apple Watch, before you’re able to input additional information. This includes meals eaten, exercises completed and even medical test results. You can also create a Medical ID, which will provide information about yourself, such as allergies, to emergency services. It can be accessed without unlocking your phone.
Free (automatically installed on all devices). Available on App Store, www.apple.com/ae/ios/health/.
Couch to 5k
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. C25K has been designed to get even the most reluctant runner off their armchair and up on their feet, running five kilometres (or 30 minutes solidly) in just nine weeks. There’s a load of good advice for people who have never ran before, and some tips to get back into it if you’re a bit rusty. There’s also a “pooch to 5k” option that we are keen to get on board with, to get both you and your hound as fit as a butcher’s dog. All we need now is a canine – preferably a husky that can drag us along (or an ankle biter to have us running like the clappers).
Free, Available on App Store, Google Play and the NHS App Library, www.c25k.com.
More into Android than Apple? Then this is for you. Google worked with the World Health Organisation and the American Heart Association to create the app. It focuses on two light activity goals called Move Minutes and Heart Points. Move Minutes rack up when your device registers your activity – initially set at 100 minutes per day. This can be altered. While one Heart Point is earned for each minute of moderate exercise such as brisk walking, or double points for more intense activities like running. You can set goals, get expert tips and sync it with wearing sports tech from Nike+ and others to track your all
of your good progress.
Free. Available on Google Play, www.google.com/fit.
Nike Training Club
The Nike Training Club app is way more than just a running tracker, and if you can stick to this you need never spend another dirham on the gym. There are over 100 workouts to try, with professional Nike trainers and athletes showing you how it’s done through a series of video clips. Best of all, there are 15-minute options, meaning you can still feel like you’ve achieved something on the days when you can’t really be bothered to slog it out. The app is also pretty clever, and will create a personal training plan based on your needs, then continually adapt it as you go, meaning if you hit a peak, the workouts will adapt to push you further or get you back on track.
Free. Available on App Store and Google Play www.nike.com.
You’re going to need some energy to power all of these workouts, and that starts with a good night’s sleep. The Sleep Cycle app analyses your sleep and wakes you up at the perfect time so you feel rested and energised for the day ahead. It works by tracking your sleeping patterns and waking you up during light sleep by monitoring signals from your body to wake you up softly at your desired time when you are in the lightest possible sleep stage.
Free. Available on App Store and Google Play, www.sleepcycle.com.