Seven apps for healthier living

Losing weight, moving more or drinking less – whatever your fitness or health goal, there’s probably an app for it. Here are some suggestions:

Couch to 5K

If you want to start running but don’t know where to begin, this app offers step-by-step instructions for getting off the sofa to clocking up the kilometres in nine weeks. With celebrity trainers and progress trackers, it also includes tips, advice and case studies of success stories. (Remember to check with your GP before you start if you haven’t exercised for a while.)

Change4Life Sugar Smart

With this app you can scan barcodes while out shopping to find out how much sugar each item of food and drink contains. The app aims to help people make healthy swaps to reduce sugar intake – and hence cut down on empty calories.

Change4Life Smart Recipes

Also focused on healthy eating, this app suggests easy-to-cook, calorie-counted ideas for breakfast, lunch or your evening meal. Plan ahead by clicking on recipes and you can create well-organised shopping lists as you go. 
 
Moves

This pedometer and movement tracker calculates the steps or distance that you walk, run or cycle – as well as calories burned, if you wish. Simple to use, Moves keeps a weekly and monthly record of your movements (including where you’ve been), helping you to challenge yourself to increase your daily exercise.

MyFitnessPal

This multi-focus app has an extensive database of food and drink so you can track your intake, and monitor your exercise. Some users are evangelical about its benefits for weight-loss support although the free version means putting up with lots of adverts.

Drinks Tracker

Does what it says on the tin, helping you record how much alcohol you’re drinking (as long as you remember to tally as you go). If you’re honest about glass size and quantity, it can add up how much you’re spending, provide tips and advice, and can let you know how large or risky your intake is.

NHS Smokefree

Although only 19% of UK adults are now smokers (down from 46% in 1974) in 2014/5 there were around 475,000 admissions to hospital for smoking-related illnesses*. The NHS Smokefree app is a great support to giving up. Backed by an online site, it gives motivational tips, distractions and meditations to alleviate cravings, plus a progress tracker.

*Source: http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandlifeexpectancies/bulletins/adultsmokinghabitsingreatbritain/2014

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