The 14 Best Health Tracking Apps of 2014
There are so many weight loss tips and tricks out there it’s almost impossible to keep up with the best ways to lose weight. But it’s the night before Xmas, we’re all eating and drinking more than we should normally do, so instead of waiting until the new year, we could start righting the wrongs now…or soon.
I recently got an iPhone 6 and have spent the past few weeks testing out a lot of the health tracking apps, so here are my favourites.
I have used calorie counting apps before, but being someone who does love food, my main tip for you would be, if you’re going to use a calorie counting app, don’t include the exercise you do in the app…or estimate the number of calories burned as half of what it gives you. I actually put on weight when counting calories, as some of the apps don’t give you realistic number of calories burned for the exercise you’re doing. So I ate more than I should have thinking “I burned so much, yay I’ll treat myself to a cake”.
But what I love about these apps is that they get you into the habit of wanting to add health data, and get competitive with yourself.
I’ve included links to the app store on each title, so if you see something you like (most of them are free so you can try them out), just click on the links.
Health Tracking Apps
1. Healthmate by Withings
Healthmate is a free step tracker and lifecoacth app. The best tip they have is to give you a goal of taking 10,000 steps a day. Since downloading the app last week, I haven’t reached the 10,000 steps once, but you have to have your phone on you for it to track everything you do. It tracked my wild off road run in the frost yesterday. I took 45 minutes to go 3.8km, which was disappointing. But it was hilly, through frosty and muddy fields, and I did stop to chat to an Irish Terrier and her owner…
Withings also links through to a number of hardware products you can use to keep on top of your health and fitness such as the Withings Smart Body Analyser which has super precise weight and body fat measurement, ongoing air quality tracking, automatic uploads of your measurements to Health Mate to visualise trends and heart rate measurement just by stepping on the scale.
If you’re interested in checking out the other physical health tracking products they have, you can find a list of them on Amazon here.
Argus tracks your motion (be it walking, running or cycling), what you eat, what you drink, how much you sleep. It is an excellent free health tracking app and it doesn’t use up too much battery. It can also track data from other apps to show a complete picture of your health
The Health app comes as standard on your iPhone, but it enables data to be shared across all your third party apps, so looking at the Health Dashboard is a good way of checking your progress overall. It also has a really handy Medical ID feature which allows your emergency contact details to be shared, allergies, age and donor information. It’s accessible from your iPhone locked screen so first responders will be able to call your emergency contacts.
MyFitnessPal had a whole upgrade when iOS 8 came into effect and now syncs with most of your other health tracking apps so you can build a more complete picture of your health, activities and calories. It includes a bar scanner for scanning food bar codes so you know your exact nutritional and calorie details. Oh and it’s free.
5. Patient IO
This free app is fully integrated with Health-kit, and automatically sends information to your Patient IO-registered doctor or health service provider. It sends automatic reminders and keeps you on top of your health tasks.
7 Minute Workouts
Even for the most busy person, 7 minutes is achievable. And boy do you work hard! There are various 7 minute workouts available, but this is a pretty good free option. You will be walking with tight muscles the next day. Worth committing to doing 7 minutes a day!
This programme is actually hilarious. It’s a humorously abusive 7 minute workout. It’s got a nice silly vibe to it with the names of workout moves having been changed. If you haven’t done any workouts in a while it’s on your back, which cheered me up and made me do more ‘7 minutes of hell’. It isn’t free, but for only £1.99 it’s worth every penny!
It’s fun to switch between 7 minute workouts every few days, so you don’t get too bored. This workout app from Johnson and Johnson. Designed by Chris Jordan of the Human Performance Institute, the app has video demonstrations to make sure you always know what you should be doing. There are plenty of options to mix up your workout too which keeps you on your toes.
I get bored if I do the same type of exercise all the time. I don’t want to do only running, or only cycling, or only a 7-minute workout every day (even though it does seem to tone you up in a magical way), so I’m including some training apps that I like to try as well.
This app has loads of workouts pre-planned (15, 30 and 45 minute workouts) with video demo’s and audio step by step guides. You can choose workouts that will make you lose weight, gain strength and tone up. It tracks the calories you’ve burned and links up with Health. And it’s free!
You can access over 200 workout videos with this free app. You can sign up to get a personal trainer who will help you achieve your fitness goals too if you want to splash out.
Fitstar is backed by Google Ventures, and is an excellent workout app. It starts off with a video intro, and then goes straight into a fitness test, so you can really personalise your experience. You can choose to stick with the free version for a set number of training programmes per week, or you can opt in to pay monthly ($4.99 per month) or sign up to an annual plan ($49.99) for access to the Daily Dose, Get Lean, Get Moving and Get Strong programmes.
Sleep Tracking Apps
Sleep is a very important part of your overall health picture, so why not grab one of these sleep tracking apps to keep on top of your sleep patterns.
Sleepio is more than a free sleep tracking app, it actively helps you overcome long-term sleeping difficulties. It is a CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) which has been clinically proven to help you sleep well. Check out this video to give you a bigger picture of what Sleepio can do for you:
If you or your partner sleep talks, this app is actually hilarious! It is set up to automatically record any noise above a certain decibel range after the 5-minute fall-asleep period. What you’re left with in the morning is a number of sound bytes from what you said during the night, or proof whether or not you snore. It’s not really about health tracking, but it is tracking what you get up to while you’re asleep. It’s not free but it’s only 0.69p and for me the hilarity factor is worth every penny.
14. Sleep Cycle
This app tracks your sleep and decides on the best time to wake you up in the morning…that is, when you’re in the lightest part of your sleep cycle, so you wake up less groggy. It gives you graphs of your sleep patterns and lets you keen track of any patterns that may improve your sleep. It’s not free, but it’s only 0.69p.
Happy health tracking!