It’s all too easy to claim that smartphones and tablets have made us more antisocial and less healthy. To critics of the mobile generation, we’re a nation of people who are stuck in front of a screens all day – at work, commuting, and even when we go to bed. But to say that is to ignore the wealth of possibilities that fast, easily accessible information can give us.
For instance, take lifestyle apps, those handy programs that aim to start you on the road to self-improvement or make your everyday tasks easier. With little effort, you can now make small changes, keep track of goals, stay more organised and live more healthily; and do it all on one device that you can take wherever you go.
To celebrate that fact, here are our picks for the best lifestyle apps to help you stay fit and healthy in 2014:
My Diet Coach
There are plenty of all-in-one diet apps out there to track your calorie intake, your exercise regime, and any weight loss or gain. My Diet Coach doesn’t bother with all that but focuses on arguably the most difficult aspect of dieting: motivation. The app acts as your very own Mr. Motivator and aims to prevent you from succumbing to setbacks such as food temptation, emotional eating or exercise laziness. If you get a craving for junk food, you can even set a countdown timer, for 15 minutes say, to beat the craving.
This app by LIVESTRONG is a practical tool for the smoker who wants to quit or cut down. It’s approved by doctors and creates an interactive, personalised, and user-friendly experience to make reaching your goals that little bit easier. You can make a note of your cravings and when you give in or resist them, track how long you’ve gone without a cigarette or how much you’ve reduced your habit by, and receive motivational tips along the way. While many are turning to e-cigarettes to help them quit, such as those from TABlites, MyQuit Coach provides another alternative.
In the pursuit of fitness, don’t neglect your brain. Being able to run a marathon is all well and good, but if you’re IQ suffers you’ll be at a disadvantage. Keep your grey matter exercised by using an app like Lumosity, which uses games and quizzes to sharpen your cognitive skills. It’s designed by neuroscientists to improve neuroplasticity and has a proven track record for doing so in research studies. You can train your attention and, like many other apps, track your progress, including your BPI (Brain Performance Index).
Whole Foods Market Recipes
Read anything about the diets of the “beautiful” people and you’ll inevitably hear the phrases “eating clean” and “eating whole foods”. This often means cooking from scratch and avoiding processed and refined foods, meaning you’ll eat a nutritious and balanced diet. The Market Recipes app makes the whole job much easier by providing over 3000 delicious recipes, a one-click shopping list creator, and cooking tips. Unless you live in London or the States, actually visiting Whole Foods will be hard, but you can still get all the goodness from the recipes.