Do you need some motivation to stay fit, healthy and active? It’s not enough to just think about cutting calories, increasing exercise or improving sleep patterns. Here are five mobile apps designed to help encourage and remind you to lead a healthy and active life. From counting calories and steps to monitoring your sleep patterns and menstrual cycles, INSPIRELLE’s top five picks are simple and fun to use!
MyFitnessPal is a free application that is super easy to use. It works as a diet plan organizer and helps count calories in a healthy way. It has a database of over 5 million foods that makes it easy to upload and add foods to your diet plan. A barcode scanning function, which is awesome for recording foods quickly and easily. The database recognizes almost every food – be it US or French brands (i.e. food you buy at Monoprix, Carrefour, E.Leclerc, etc.) You can also copy and paste from one day to the next, or scroll through your own personal database of recent and/or frequent foods.
Recording your steps gives “extra” calorie count to your day, depending on your weight loss or gain plan. And a blog offers interesting and helpful articles, including workout and recipe ideas. Other functions include: the ability to track and graph your nutritional intake (i.e. sugar and salt intake, other vitamins and minerals) and forums for moral support and questions.
For city dwellers, walking is one of the best ways to get around town and stay fit. This app, MapMyWalk, from the same lifestyle group as MyFitnessPal, allows you to map your route, track activity, log foods, and share with friends! The latter allows you to receive encouragement or maybe start a friendly competition. With the route mapping, you can simply share your most frequent routes to see if any family, friends, or colleagues take the same path to team up for the fitness fight. Walking groups can be found by geolocation and events are set up around the world to get the walking community the recognition they deserve.
The sleeping app! After logging your foods and walking all day, the creative Muji to Sleep app allows you to “support your sleep whenever and wherever you are”. Simply put on headphones and/or turn on the volume of your smartphone, select your song or sound, and add a sleeping timer or alarm. There is a special feature of six nature sounds recorded in Japan that are sure to lull you to sleep. To step up your sleeping, you can also purchase the Muji Sleep pillow designed for “hard-to-sleep places (i.e. when traveling)”. The neck cushion is in a long, log form that attaches with a clasp. You can use it to support facedown sleeping, as an arm rest, beneath the hip points, or around the neck. (“Muji’s neck cushion was chosen by the users as the number one favorite brand on Trip Advisor’s neck pillow category “Travelers’ Choice -Travelers Favorites- 2014.” -Muji to Sleep Website)
For those who always dreamed of being a sponsored athlete, here’s your chance! With Charity Miles, a free application, you can exercise and help change the world. After downloading the application, choose a charity, and press start! Exercise will be tracked through distance and money can be earned. Both bikers and walker/runners are invited to use the app. (Bikers earn up to 10¢ per mile; walkers and runners earn up to 25¢ per mile) These donations are courtesy of corporate sponsors. At the end of your workout, the application will ask you to accept your sponsorship and take a few seconds to share your accomplishment. Here, you can thank your sponsor, share your donation, and increase awareness for this cause.
The Clue app is aimed for women and designed to make tracking your monthly cycle fast and accurate. By entering data about your period, pain, mood, fluid, sexual activity and personal notes, you and the application can get to know your body better. The more you use the app, the more accurate the information will become. Features include: educational material about the menstrual cycle, including FAQs such as “Is my cycle normal?”, “When can I get pregnant?”, and “What is PMS?” and helps you plan your activities in case your periods affects your performance. Plus, it’s free and has great ratings regarding accuracy!