Five of the best … health and fitness apps

Did you make a somewhat hasty New Year’s resolution to get fit and/or lose weight this month? Beat the begrudgers and don’t break that resolution with these handy apps to keep you on track.

Couch to 5K

An oldie but a goodie, the Couch to 5K app has been around for some time now but it’s still one of the best apps to get you started on the road from watching Netflix marathons to running actual marathons – we all have to start somewhere!
 
With audio notifications from your choice of ‘trainer’ – you can choose from ‘hard Corps’ Sergeant Block if you need to be shouted at, to Runicorn of you fancy some motivation from a mythical animal – GPS trackers, logs, lists of 5K events in your area so you have a target date to reach, Couch to 5K is suitable for every kind of runner and is significantly cheaper than an unused gym membership!

Available on Android (€3.28) and iOS (€2.99) devices.


Google Fit

Thinking of buying a fitness tracker to stay motivated? Don’t bother, simply download Google Fit for free on the Play Store instead.
 
Compatible with all Android devices – including Android Wear watches – as long as you have the device on you, Google Fit will track any, and all of your activity, whether you walk, run or cycle throughout the day. Set yourself daily goals and tasks – from calorie burning to steps taken and distance ran and record your progress on Google Fit’s easy to use interface. Google Fit can also aggregate information from other apps to ensure you’re setting the right goals for your fitness, so if you use apps like Nike+ or Sleep as Android you can collect all the information in one place – handy!


Instant Heart Rate

With all this exercise it might be a good idea to make sure you’re not putting your heart under too much strain. That’s where Instant Heart Rate comes in – seriously, who needs a dedicated heart rate monitor when your phone can do the work for it? Using this innovative app on your iOS or Android phone you can find out your heart rate in under 10 seconds, all you have to do is place your finger on the camera lens and hey presto! The best news? Available on the App Store (€2.99) and the Google Play Store.


Epicurious

As everyone – including your mother – knows, good heath starts with a healthy diet, so if you overindulged at Christmas, it’s time to get back into the habit of home cooking in January – plus your wallet will thank you in the long run. With this in mind get inspired with the Epicurious Recipe and shopping list app. With over 20,000 recipes to choose from – including some favourites from leading chefs and cookbooks – Epicurious also allows you to search by ingredient and nutritional information and update your shopping list accordingly so you don’t end up buying five bread rolls instead of five bananas the next time you’re in the supermarket. Free for iOS and Android devices.


Headspace

January isn’t just a good time of year to get your diet on track; it’s also a great time to give your mind a check-up. Headspace: Meditation techniques for mindfulness is a handy little app which teaches you how to cope with all manner of issues, including stress and depression, using mediation – all you need is 10 minutes a day to get started.

Free on both Android and iOS devices if you find the free Take10 content useful, you can upgrade to a subscription model which costs just under $13 a month.

Originally published at www.idmobile.ie on December 31, 2015.