Smartphones are powerful tools for helping you improve your quality of life. For very little cost, you can have a trainer, a nutritionist, a business and life coach, an assistant, a meditation guru, and more in your pocket and on-the-go. Here are 6 of my current favorite life-enhancing apps:
- Fooducate While I mostly use and recommend Fitness Pal for food and exercise logging, I have been experimenting with Fooducate and love the way it helps you learn about food choices. According to the website, “Fooducate’s scientific algorithms grade each product and provide simple, concise explanations”. The grading system they use was developed by “scientists, dietitians and concerned parents.” So you learn as you log. You can also learn as you shop by using the bar code scanner when you’re in the grocery store. While My Fitness Pal is a bit more user-friendly and has a wider database of foods, I like the way Fooducate helps you gain awareness about the choices you are making.
- 12-Minute Athlete Of course, my top choice for workouts is Egan’s Fit Body Bootcamp, but if you are traveling, this app delivers 12 to 16 minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts in a simple and interactive presentation. You choose your equipment (or just “bodyweight” if you have none), shake your phone, and it gives you a workout. So easy, so fun! This would be great for traveling or on those days that you can’t make it to the gym. I’d recommend, warm-up for 5 minutes doing high-knees or jumping rope and finishing up after your HIIT workout with 5 minutes of abs and stretching.
- RunKeeper Most runners have heard of or use this app. Of all the choices out there for tracking your walks and runs, this is my favorite. You can sync it up with your heart rate monitor and you can sync it to My Fitness Pal too. You can take a photo and log notes each time you complete a workout, so it’s a great way to track your fitness journey. It’s also fun to friend people. I get alerts when my friends have completed runs which inspires me to get up and lace up!
- Sleep Cycle Sleep Cycle is “A bio-alarm clock that analyzes your sleep patterns and wakes you when you are in the lightest sleep phase”. There’s nothing worse than that shaky, icky feeling you get from waking up at the wrong part of your sleep cycle. Instead of a jarring alarm beep, this app wakes you up gently from the lightest part of your sleep cycle during a window of time that you select. Once you have tracked your sleep for 5 nights, it gives you feedback on which nights you had the best quality sleep. You do have to keep your phone plugged in and then place it face down on your mattress, so I usually like to put it on “Airplane Mode” to reduce exposure to EMFs (electromagnetic fields)…just to be on the safe side. And for naps, they have now created Power Nap.
- Omvana – I use this app daily! I absolutely love this amazing creation from Vishen Lakhiani and the geniuses at MindValley. Omvana is a collection of inspiring speeches, guided meditations, hypnosis tracks, and other transformational audio content. These audios are a simple and easy way to start your day on the right foot, recharge or reset during the day, or help you sleep and reprogram your subconscious at the end of the day. Some of my favorite tracks are Vishen’s 6-Phase Mediation, “How to Be Insanely Productive” hypnosis track, “Overcoming Overwhelm” meditation, and the very inspiring, “15 Things We Should Give Up to Be Happy” audio. MindValley also has the Dormio App, which is a collection of tracks dedicated specifically to helping you improve your sleep.
- SoundGecko – This is a fun little tool that can work in conjunction with your desktop internet browser. I come across so many interesting health and fitness articles that I want to learn from, but don’t always have time or want to give up the time to read them all. With one click using an internet browser add-on, I can send articles to Sound Gecko and listen to them in the car or on a run instead of having to sit at my computer and read them. It’s so cool!
What health and fitness apps do you use to improve your quality of life? Share in the comments below!