Having become more settled into my routine at uni, I’m super happy to be getting back into the habit of looking after my health properly. I didn’t realise how much I missed going to the gym and setting fitness goals until I got back into the flow. In this week’s post I’m going to discuss my favourite health and fitness apps, explaining how to use them and why I find them so helpful.
- Lifesum – free or paid for extra features. This one is definitely my favourite! I know a lot of people swear by MyFitnessPal for tracking their food and exercise, but to be honest I find it a bit messy and not very user friendly. It was actually a promotion by Tammy Hembrow which encouraged me to try out Lifesum, and I’ve never looked back since. When food tracking is part of my goal it’s an absolute lifesaver. Lifesum is nicely laid out and very user-friendly. Even with the free version you can still do loads; track your meals, weight, water intake and a few body measurements. What I especially love about Lifesum is that it takes into account your weight, height, goal, and other preferences and automatically sets you daily calorie and macro targets. You can even take a quiz to find out what diet plan is right for you (however, mine does always say Keto which is absolutely positively never going to happen). I love this app so much that I recently invested in the premium version, which lets you access its whole range of features. With premium, you can create an unlimited number of ‘meals’ which I’ve found really helpful; instead of manually logging each ingredient of my favourite meals every time I eat them, I can just log the whole pre-saved meal, which saves a lot of time. With premium you’re also given a ‘day rating’ on how well you’ve stuck to you goals, and can track a lot more body measurements as well as your body fat percentage.
- DreamMoods – free. Although this isn’t an obvious health app, I’m a strong believer that our dreams have a lot of power in decoding our subconscious feelings. I tend to dream every night and can usually remember them, at least for a while, so this app is really fascinating to me. DreamMoods (also a website) is basically a database full of ‘dream symbols’, so you can simply search for things that appeared in your dreams and figure out what they usually mean. Of course analysing your dreams is something to take with a pinch of salt as it’s very open to interpretation, but I find it really interesting and it’s even helped me confront my struggles and emotions in the past. After interpreting your dreams for a while you will soon realise that it comes quite naturally, you will often be able to analyse your own dreams without even having to look at the app. The best thing about DreamMoods is that you will be incredibly surprised as to how much information it contains, even about the strangest of dream symbols. If you’ve dreamt it, they’ve probably got it!
- Workout Planner – free. Ever since I joined the gym 2 years ago this app has been an absolute Godsend for me. It’s totally free and allows you to create your own workouts, which you can then click through at the gym. It allows you to give each workout a name, and add whatever exercises you like along with details such as reps, sets, weights, time, and each one contains a note section if there’s anything else to add. You can set your workout for whatever time you like, whether that be every 3 days or on a specific day each week. The only downside to this app is that it crashes quite regularly when you’re creating new workouts or adding a lot of things at once, so be sure to keep saving as you go along.
- 10k runner – free for a week and then paid. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before how cardio is just not my thing, but this app is really making life easier for me. Next year I want to do either a 10k or a half marathon, depending on how my training goes. I’ve tried to get into running before but have been let down by shin splints, which I think was partly down to my over-pronation but mostly down to doing too much too fast. This app is great as it allows you to progress steadily, with the satisfaction of being able to tick off when you’ve done each run. I’m still at the point where I’m only running about 3k, but I’m really enjoying slowly building up my ability, and if all goes well I should be at the 10k mark in around 12 weeks.
- Steps – free or paid for extra features. Since I’ve started uni I’ve been doing a lot of walking, especially to and from my lectures. This inspired me to start counting my steps and to aim for 10,000 a day. This app seems to be pretty accurate, and shows the number of steps you take, as well as the distance and duration of your walking for the day. This is great because I can then simply transfer this data into Lifesum at the end of each day and it will give me a personalised estimate of how many calories I’ve burnt.
If you have any other apps you love that I haven’t mentioned today, please let me know as I’d love to try them. Similarly if you decided to give any of these a go, let me know what you think – I’m sure you’ll love them as much as I do!