Track your period, manage your sleep cycle, ease stress and find delicious health-boosting recipes with our edit of the best wellness apps on your phone’s store right now – after all, if we can order takeaways and taxis at a tap of a button, why not try some meditation, too?
Of the millions of apps available, health apps are some of the most popular. In fact, October-December 2015 research in JMIR mHealth and uHealth found that as many as 58% of people who owned a mobile device had at least one health app.
Whether you want to feel fitter, healthier, have more energy or adopt a positive outlook on life, you first need to start with an internal decision to change your habits – and your motivation to keep going needs to come from within too. If you want to make some lifestyle changes but feel overwhelmed about how to begin, there are some handy transformation tools out there to give you support.
No matter the category you’re seeking, there’s an app for you. Here are some of the best health apps:
These days, the benefits of meditation are well known: besides reducing negative emotions like anxiety, a regular meditation practice can decrease stress, improve concentration and help with a good night’s sleep.
But if you’ve never meditated before, it can be hard to get your mind to be still for even a few minutes, let alone do it every day.
That’s where the Headspace meditation app comes in: perfect for beginners, it offers a huge library of guided meditations by a former Buddhist monk that are both general (for example, creating a calm space in the middle of your day) and solution-driven (for example, increasing patience, helping with healing or dealing with grief). Because it’s on your phone you can also access it at any time wherever you are – so there are no excuses.
Sleep is a crucial ingredient to health. Without it, our bodies don’t function properly and any efforts to eat properly, exercise or practise mindfulness won’t be nearly as effective. Although we rest in several sleep cycles a night that each consist of different sleep stages, these cycles differ widely between individuals.
Sleep Cycle is an app that helps you track your sleep cycles by listening to the sounds you make as you sleep, and then analysing them using a set of algorithms. The app then presents the data to you, helping you understand the quality of sleep you’re getting and the adjustments you can make if you’re not sleeping well – whether it’s addressing snoring, the time you go to bed or the best time for you to wake up.
Simply turn the app on before bedtime – either on your phone or smart watch – and it will record your sleep patterns through the night.
Healthy eating is a huge part of preventing illness, having energy and being positive overall, but it can be a hard task to stick to a regime once you’ve started it. The best way around this is to have a meal plan, where you plan in advance what you’re going to eat each day – so that you have healthy foods on hand rather than reaching for the sweets and biscuits when you feel hungry.
Tony Ferguson is a South African healthy lifestyle brand that lets you create a customised meal plan based on things like your current weight, age, daily physical activity level and lifestyle goals.
Being healthy involves a multifaceted approach, because a healthy body depends on a healthy mind and emotions too. By tackling a range of areas, such as your eating, exercise and sleeping, you can increase your energy and boost your immune system – something we can all benefit from in 2022.