As we gear up for another holiday season and setting goals for the New Year, health consciousness will be on the rise. Forty-one million Americans are members of a gym or health club – though how many of them actually go on a daily basis is debatable.
This is where apps and devices come in. Mobile fitness apps allow consumers to take personalized health and fitness programs into their own hands – literally. There are about 100,000 health apps available in major app stores (iOS, Google Play, etc.), and the top 10 generate up to 4 million free and 300,000 paid downloads every day.
If you are in the health and wellness app market, here are a few of the best to download.
Stretching is one of the easiest things you can do for your body. It helps increase flexibility, blood flow to your muscles, and extend the range of motion for your joints, decreasing the risk of activity-related injury. Muscle Pain Relief Stretches is one of the most straightforward, clear, and easy-to-follow apps to help you learn basic stretches at home. You can personalize your stretching routine based on goal (such as pain relief or mobility) and body part (such as calves or lower back). The app will even let you follow a schedule, so that you can track which stretches you should perform on certain days. ($2.99, iPhone/iPad)
If you’re having trouble sleeping, whether due to pain or stress, the Sleep Cycle app can help you learn your sleeping patterns so you can wake up feeling rested. A full sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes and repeats several times throughout the night. Sleep Cycle uses your phone’s accelerometer to identify sleep phases by tracking movements in bed. It then has an alarm that wakes you up during your lightest sleep phase, so that no matter how long you sleep, you only wake up at a moment that feels most natural for your body. ($1.99, iPhone/Android)
Perfect for beginners, and even for experts, Yoga Studio provides 65 ready-made yoga and meditation classes with high-definition videos. You can easily customize or create your own class sequence, and stay on track with scheduling. The library of over 280 poses with detailed advice and instructions is clear and easy to follow and even provides an explanation of benefits of each post, modifications if you’re injured, and cautions for beginners. ($3.99, iPhone/iPad/Apple TV; a comparable free yoga app is Simply Yoga)
Lose weight or maintain your weight with ease by using My Fitness Pal. The app helps you count calories, reach goals (nutritional, calorie, even hydration), by recording meals, snacks, and workouts. The app integrates with many different devices as well to help you stay connected in all parts of your journey to a healthy lifestyle. (free, iPhone/Android)
Cognitive training is just as important as physical training to maintain good health. Lumosity challenges you to interactive games that test and build your memory, attention, problem solving, and brain speed and flexibility for just 15 minutes each day. For instance, if you’re having trouble matching names to faces, Lumosity will improve those cognitive skills and build strength. (free to download, $11.99 monthly subscription, iPhone/Android)
What apps do you use to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle? Share with us on Facebook.