When it comes to living an active and healthy lifestyle, countless apps can help you reach your goals. Here are 6 of our community’s favorites, with tools that help you sleep better, eat healthier, hike further, and more.
Sleep is critical for good health, but waking up at the wrong time in your sleep cycle leads to grogginess and over-used snooze buttons. The Sleep Cycle alarm clock tracks your sleep patterns, then wakes you up at the perfect time.
Think of Fooducate as the app that tracks the quality of the calories you eat every day. It’s a tool that helps you make healthier food choices, and the food database makes it easy to find healthier foods with quality ingredients. This is how food is “graded” on Fooducate:
“Our grading algorithms have been developed by nutrition professionals and dietitians. They are based on the concept of nutrient density of foods. The more nutrient dense a food is, the better it is for you. We take into account the nutrition facts panel, the ingredients listed, and the product category.”
If you love to hike, you need an app like AllTrails. There are thousands of trail guides, complete with descriptions, maps, and more. Since there’s a big emphasis on the social part of AllTrails, users can also share reviews and upload photos.
The free version is helpful, but the paid Pro version has even more features that any hiker will appreciate. Download maps to your phone, share routes, and send status updates to loved ones, add weather overlays, and more. Currently, the annual fee is under $30 ($2.50 per month).
Meditation offers a variety of physical and mental health benefits, and Calm is an app that can help you get started with this wellness practice.
The app creators describe Calm as “meditation made easy,” and the tool lives up to that promise. Users can listen to guided meditations for specific areas (like anxiety, focus, or relationships), doze off to sleep stories, listen to soothing music tracks, and more.
Charity Miles combines the health benefits of volunteering with the health benefits of cardio. Choose a charity when you sign up, then let the app track your movement. You can log running, walking, dancing, biking, and other types of activity. The charity you’ve chosen earns money for every mile. For a list of current charities that the app supports, visit this page.
Runners and cyclists who are serious about tracking and improving performance should download Strava, a top app choice among athletes. Start the app before your next workout and use it to track the performance data most relevant to your training.
Strava also lets you compare your performance against peers. If you use the feature, don’t let a competitive streak tempt you to push beyond your body’s limits. Sticking to a realistic training schedule can help you stay injury-free all season long, so you’ll have more time to test these health and wellness apps.