Technology has given us the opportunity to do things that have never been done
before. There are now so many options in the market to help remind, encourage, and
track your exercise and physiological measures. Studies have shown that using
fitness technology has positive outcomes with weight loss and reducing health risks.
Even though technology has been a major contributor to increased sedentary
behaviour leading to a more overweight and obese society, it has also done the
opposite for many and has increased their physical activity.
With the emergence of smart watches, we can track our heart rate, steps, GPS our
walks, count calories and so much more. All these features help motivate us to be
active each day and monitor our health, with some of the best watches on the market
being Apple, Garmin, Fitbit, and Whoop. The health app in our smart phones gives
us free access to our health data that has been automatically calculated through the
technology embedded within our phone. There are even smart fabrics, rings and
other wearable devices in the market that monitor physiological responses during
sleep and exercise, so who knows what we will see in years to come. Below are
some popular apps you can have on your phone to help you live a healthy lifestyle
1. HeartWatch: Heart Rate Monitor
This app is in partnership with the heart foundation to monitor your pulse, provide
heart rate alerts, update you on health news and track sleep. It helps in Improving
prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart conditions. HeartWatch does cost
money to download however it is very beneficial for those who suffer from heart
disease and gives you guidance in changing your lifestyle to be heart healthy.
This is an app aimed at helping manage and educate individuals who suffer with
chronic pain. It’s an app that takes into consideration your symptoms and
preferences to create an individualised program to help with the psychology around
pain. It is a science backed app with involvement from leading physicians,
specialists, and psychologists, who empower the user through tools to help them
understand and gain control over their symptoms. Through the guidance of a virtual
coach, you will be lead through one of the four exercises they offer: brain training,
education, meditation, and writing, with the aim of improving your quality of life. This
app does include in app purchases with an annual subscription required.
3. Qantas Wellbeing
Get more out of exercise than just the physical health benefits. This app rewards you
with frequent flyer points for reaching your daily step count, fitness goals and doing
simple health assessments. By syncing the app to your smart watch and fitness apps
you can invite friends and family and create fitness challenges to make exercise a
competition with those around you. The only catch with this app is that after a 1-
month free trial you must purchase a Qantas insurance product to earn up to 20,000
points per year, whereas the free membership only allows 2,000 points per year.
4. Activity Tracking Apps
Strava is one of the most popular fitness apps, it allows you to track your activities,
such as a run or ride through GPS and then provides you with performance data.
The app connects you to a huge community to motivate you, it provides maps,
routes, and challenges so you can compare your stats with others on the app.
Another great app is MapMyWalk by Under Armour which tracks your activity
progress, gives you encouraging feedback and helps you set up a training plan. Both
these apps include in app purchases to have full access.
5. Meditation Apps
We know that our psychology mental wellbeing plays a massive role into our
physical health, which is why there is a huge variety of meditation and sleep apps in
the market. Some of the best available that can be downloaded through the app
store is Calm, Headspace and Smiling Mind. These apps guide you through
meditation, breathing patterns and techniques for reducing stress and anxiety and
helping you sleep better. Smiling Mind is a great option to try first as it is free and
provides a variety of choices to suit your needs. Calm and Headspace are
subscription based, but have a huge library of guided meditation, stories, and other
resources to help. You can set up reminders in these apps for a certain time of day
so that you don’t forget to practice.
6. Food Tracking Apps
Tracking our meals, micro, and macronutrients can help you stay accountable when
trying to reach health goals or lose weight. Easy Diet Diary is one of many apps
available that helps you record each item of food you eat and the breakdown of
energy sources you are consuming. MyFitnessPal is another popular app that helps
you count the number of calories you consume. Both these apps are free, easy to
use and give you the option to sync your exercise apps/watch to compare the
amount of energy you consume to the amount you expend during the day.