There’s a lot going on in the App Store lately, with a plethora of wellness-themed apps to choose from. Whilst we encourage you to seek out what works best for you and your lifestyle (an app may be the last thing you want dictating your routines!), we’ve curated our top five apps for nurturing mind, body and soul, just for you.
NIKE TRAINING CLUB // Released in 2009, this app has only gotten better with age. Designed for women (but equally worthwhile for men to use), it breaks workouts into four categories: Get Toned, Get Strong, Get Lean, and Get Focused (15 minute short and sharp workouts).
This app was a personal savior for me whilst travelling through Europe. Joining a casual class felt a little daunting where English wasn’t the first language, so I used Leah Kim’s yoga workouts to keep me strong, stretched and totally chilled out at each new location.
Highlights: so great for 15 to 60-minute do-anywhere quality workouts with some of the worlds top athletes. Each move is accompanied with a 10-second demo video so you’re guided each step of the way.
Lowlights: each workout needs to be downloaded individually (you only need do this once), and will take some time to load. We recommend a good wifi connection, so plan ahead before your travels and have a few favourites ready to go.
CALM // For instant calm, just add this app to your phone. Within seconds you are instantly transported to the sights and sounds of a serene woodland lake; the stillness of late afternoon by a peaceful ocean; or the drips of evening rain on lush green leaves. There are also options to add a guided meditation in blocks of 5, 10 or even 30 minutes – meaning you can take five and refresh your headspace anywhere, anytime.
Highlights: we love the beautiful, crystal clear scenes that bring your screen to life instantly. One of the most engaging meditation apps we’ve experienced.
Lowlights: it’s hard to fault…! You’ll need to purchase further meditation packs as you continue with your practice, but you’ll naturally be wanting more.
YUMMLY // This app will change the way you think about your weeknight dinners. The powerful search engine pulls up some of the best recipes from the interwebs, with the capacity to filter the endless results by prep time, dietary preferences, cuisines, courses and even tastes (salty, savoury, sweet).
It also prompts you with meal suggestions based on your preferences, which you can tag ‘Yum’ and file into your own personal recipe collection. With a built-in shopping list, there’s no reason why you can’t eat well on Wednesday night anymore.
Highlights: all recipes come with a detailed nutritional breakdown, which can even be sent to your Apple Health app. What’s more, there’s no need for manual writing of shopping lists – one click adds all ingredients for your meal to the recipe list.
Lowlights: if only we could add our own recipes! That would truly make this the best app ever.
MOVES // The pedometer for your phone, Moves is a great little app that tracks your daily steps, run or cycle (and can even keep track of your gym visits or time on the mat). The neat timeline interface makes it incredibly easy to understand and monitor, with steps updating in real time as you walk, and distance, time and calories also tracked.
Highlights: we love the simple timeline overview of your day, tracking your travel, workouts and more. You can edit locations so that Moves will automatically recognise your home, work and gym – if you usually hit the treadmill at the gym, for instance, you can even flag your regular routine at the gym so that your caloric burn is recorded.
Lowlights: given the nature of the data they collect to track your daily moves, you might feel a bit squeamish regarding privacy issues, especially since the app was last year acquired by Facebook.
That said, Facebook have issued a statement confirming that they are not sharing the data collected for any purpose other than improving the app, but if this is something that bothers you we’d recommend sticking with an old-school pedometer – with daily use, the results are the same!
PEAK // this brain training app is the bomb – we gave it 5 minutes each day over two weeks, and could actually track an immediate lift in our results and performance, despite playing new challenging games each day. It’s fun, interactive and brain-bending – a no-brainer (so to speak) for killing time on the train to work.
Highlights: you can track your progress daily, which provides a breakdown of your brainmap (based on your Peak Brain Score tallied from the games you play each day), a 30-day progress tracker, as well as a comparison of you vs. your age group.
Lowlights: the hardest thing for me was realising that I couldn’t play my favourite game on demand – you’re given a selection of games each day to play, but with the Pro edition you’ll have access to each and every game, any time.
We’d love your thoughts – what are your favourite apps for helping you with your everyday wellbeing?