You know what’s pretty hard to do? Making healthy lifestyle changes.
It begins with diet and exercise, but it doesn’t end there. So much goes into living our best lives, but it’s hard to get motivated and find the tools that will genuinely help us.
You know what’s not so hard to do? Use your smartphone. Who knows, you may even be reading this post on it right now. Fortunately, developing better habits is easier than ever with the help of technology.
From time management to relaxation and sleep to food and exercise, you can tap into some seriously positive changes with your fingertips. Here are 8 of my favorite iOS apps that help me live a healthy life every single day.
1. 30/30 Timer App
Who is it for? The task-oriented. People who work from home. Chronic procrastinators. People with ADHD. Workers with deadlines.
What does it do? 30/30 is an app that allows you to organize your day in 30 minute intervals. You can further customize time intervals, but its default time is a half an hour. Find your sweet spot and cater to it!
You can use it to incorporate ten minute breaks during work or “plan your procrastination.” I find this app useful because I work from home which means I often fall victim to distractions.
You can set up your tasks in list form and re-organize them throughout the day. It’s color-coded and categorized, so you have a clear outline of what’s on the agenda in one place.
I like the idea of intervals because I have breaks to look forward to and concrete productivity goals to reach. Above is an example of how I’m using it to plan my day today.
2. Headspace App
Who is it for? For people who can’t put down their phone. People who find it hard to take a breather. Meditators of all skill levels.
What does it do? Headspace makes it impossibly simple for anyone – even the busiest of people – to get a moment of peace and clarity everyday. Many people find the idea of meditation to be attractive, but simply have no idea just what it means or how to get started.
This app makes it so easy. During my second session, I completed a ten minute guided meditation. You are prompted on what to do with both your mind and body during this time.
Don’t underestimate the power of that seemingly short ten minutes, either. This short chunk of time can be a game changer in your day.
I like to place this in the middle of a work day to get centred and re-energized. It’s the perfect opportunity to reset, which is something people often overlook when developing healthy lifestyle changes. Give the mind a rest!
3. Pacifica App
Who is it for? Those who struggle with mood disorders. People with high anxiety. People who get easily caught up in a negative mindset. Individuals with high stress levels.
What does it do? Pacifica has a few tools to help you manage bad moods, anxiety, depression, and negative thought patterns. Even if you don’t have any diagnosed mood disorders, tracking how you feel throughout the day can help you cope healthily with stress, emotions and day-to-day life.
It can lead to a better understanding of behavior patterns and underlying habits that may be commandeering your day from how you sleep to what you eat, both of which Pacifica lets you record. Emotions can sabotage your efforts to eat mindfully and get good rest at night.
Lastly, you can record or write your thoughts. The app will help you to recognize and change negative thoughts. In many instances, positive thinking is the key component that’s missing while making an effort to live better.
4. Sleep Bot App
Who is it for? The insomniac. The data cruncher. People who have trouble staying asleep through the night.
What does it do? SleepBot is a free app that will help you keep track of your sleep habits. While making healthy lifestyle changes, diet and exercise are at the top of the list. Next up is often sleep.
I like using this app as I typically don’t have trouble falling asleep, but rather, I wake up around the same time every night. It’s helpful for me to have logs of what nights I woke up, at what time, and what nights I slept through without interruption.
I can then dial in on what helps me get better rest and what leads to bad sleep quality. As you can see above, you’re able to customize the hours of sleep you aim to get, motion/sound sensitivity, and alarm settings.
Bonus: it offers a “smart alarm” feature which will wake you up at an optimal time during your sleep cycle leading to less groggy mornings, even if you didn’t get quite enough sleep.
5. Human App
Who is it for? People without a FitBit or activity tracker. Those who need a push to get moving. People who want to see the calories they’re burning.
What does it do? Human allows you to track all movement from running to just walking around and moving. I personally don’t wear a FitBit or activity tracker all the time, so this is a super simple interface for me to track my activity throughout the day.
I have been a dedicated user for a long time, and I love having all the data in one place! It will compile how many calories you burn, motivate you to take a walk when you’ve been at rest for awhile, and you can even join clubs within the app to see what your friends are up to.
It ranks you in percentile groups for each specific activity so you can see where you stand amongst all app users. Overall, it’s a straightforward and fun interface to make getting in more movement easy and attainable.
You can set your personal goal to 30, 60, or 90 minutes per day and watch your streak climb.
6. Elevate App
Who is it for? Anyone who wants to sharpen their skills. People who are out of school, but still want to improve academically. Those who have trouble with fundamental reading, writing, comprehension, and math.
What does it do? Warning: addictive yet productive. I took the initial tests and completed my three daily challenges. The daily objectives take anywhere from 5-10 minutes a day which makes this brain training feasible for just about anyone.
Since I’m no longer in school, it can be hard to tap into those cognitive skills that don’t get worked when I’m not studying or reading critically. I’m also admittedly terrible at math, and pretty unmotivated to do it on my own time. Elevate makes doing these things fun and quick in the style of a game.
You can set your weekly goal at up to 7 sessions, but the recommended is 5. It’s personalized based on skill levels and what you struggle with the most, so you’ll see improvements right off the bat, and work your weaknesses.
7. Seven App
Who is it for? People without a gym membership. Fitness newbies. Busy individuals who have trouble fitting in exercise.
What does it do? With the touch of a button, your circuit begins. It includes twelve bodyweight, no-equipment-necessary exercises that you can do just about anywhere. No excuses!
Personally, I workout daily either in the gym, at home, or running/hiking outdoors. I still feel this workout every single time! It’s short and sweet. You’ll practice intervals of 30 seconds on and 10 seconds off, so breaks are included.
My workout told me I burned 100 calories in the end! With high-intensity intervals, you get the most bang for your buck. It’s also been said that you continue to burn calories more quickly even hours after your workout.
Take it to the max and reap the benefits with this effective program. All the work is done for you if you can make the time for it – but seriously, we’ve ALL got seven minutes to spare!
8. myPaleoPal App
Who is it for? Anyone who follows a paleo diet. Aspiring food photographers. Individuals seeking community and accountability. Happy Body Formula group members.
What does it do? myPaleoPal is a photo journal for your food. Logging your food intake is one of the simplest yet most effective ways of making long-lasting healthy lifestyle changes regarding what goes on your plate.
Most other apps focus on the numbers: calories, macronutrients, and weight. myPaleoPal allows you to record weight, but we place an emphasis on the quality of food. The community votes your meal compliant with your chosen plan (paleo, Whole30, AIP, etc.) so you always know if you’re on track.
You can ‘like’ and ‘favorite’ meals, earn badges for milestones, and soak in all the information our users have to offer. You’ll never run out of innovative meal ideas, community support, and accountability with myPaleoPal.
I use it everyday – I’m approaching two years plus, and I won’t be stopping there!
What apps keep you accountable, healthy and building good habits? Share your favourites with us!
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