Smart phones and wearables are great for staying active. While they will not do the work for you, there are tons of apps to help provide reminders, guides, and stats that make it easier to focus on your health and wellness.
We have covered dozens of different phone apps that do just that. Some are better than others wherever it is because of their design or just personal preference. The list below are the top apps that we continue to find value from week in and week out.
Tracking is one thing, but planning an activity is another entirely. For that we prefer AllTrails as a way to find near areas nearby to explore. With user generated updates Alltrails makes it easier to get intel on the actual conditions of popular hiking, trail running, and biking areas.
Staying active does not have to be complicated and there are dozens of short workouts that can be done just about anywhere. What so many of them have in common is following a simple routine. Seconds Timer App makes it easier to build a custom timed routine that can be started whenever and wherever you like.
If not using All Trails, Trails forks is our other go to app for researching new activities. The features are similar between both apps but the user base and activity varies depending on the location. Still, as a research tool it is easier to pop into both apps and triangulate what should be expected for the next hike, bike, or trail run.
The popular stationary bike gained popularity before the 2020 pandemic, and for those that got a device the monthly service continues to provide new daily classes. As an early Peloton adopter and someone who prefers to avoid the risks of road cycling in poor morning and evening light, the Peloton app is heavily used. Their classes offer more than just rides too and the stretching and meditation classes compliment the muscle development of things like power zone classes.
Every other app on this list will wind up costing you money, Evidation will put money back in your pocket. If you are open to sharing your data and being compensated fairly for it the Evidation app is the right choice. It connects with your wearable trackers and serves surveys regarding health and wellness in exchange for points which can be redeemed for cash. Once it is setup it’s easy to earn points in the background and collect a payment every few months for doing all the things you normally would.
Food tracking can be a pain, but MyFitnessPal makes it easier. We do not track every day, but instead find that resetting habits every few months is a better fit. To do so, the easiest way to check on habits is to go back to logging everything eaten on a daily basis. Doing that requires some help, or risk spending hours trying to find the needed calorie data. MyFitnessPal’s database simplifies that, even if it isn’t always 100% accurate.
Telemedicine is huge and electronic medical records come in a variety of app forms. We prefer Forward for its consolidated approach. It costs a few dollars per month but Forward serves as a built in second opinion for anything you hear from another doctor, while also being the primary outlet for needed tele-health consultations or guidance on specific plans.
For Android users the Google Fit app is the easiest consolidated look at all of your smart phone and smart watch collected data. Making a daily habit of collecting Fit Points is one of the more common beneficial behavior changes that wearable users can make. Still, the Fit app is not limited to just Android and having it on Apple makes it easier to engage with friends and family who prefer the Google version of things over Apple.
For connecting all the other devices, Withings is a reliable supplier monitors for Blood Pressure, Sleep, Temperature and more. As a leader in the market their smart scales are well reviewed and routinely show up in great sales. The app provides it’s own proprietary Health Score, which mirrors that of Google Fit or Apple Health, but also is the easiest place to dive into the individual data supplied by the Health Mate Devices.
For low cost wearable options the Amazon Halo bands are one option. The devices lack some of the accuracy of others, but the complete offering from a Halo subscription and app includes dozens of great workout routines as well as dietary ideas. Halo is striving to be more than just a tracker, and we tend to go back to them for the free classes and even their paid tier is significantly less expense than alternates (like Peloton or Apple Fitness). In addition the subscription itself is easy to start and stop, so signing up for a specific training period has proved useful.