Must-Have Apps for Your Health

by Sharon Liao

It’s like having a fitness instructor, nutritionist or meditation coach in your pocket. And research shows that they might actually work: One review found that people who used a fitness app moved more than those who didn’t. But since sorting through them all can get overwhelming, we did the work for you. Consider downloading these tried-and-true apps to make your life easier—and healthier!

Want to boost your well-being with the tap of a button? There’s an app for that! It’s like having a fitness instructor, nutritionist or meditation coach in your pocket. And research shows that they might actually work: One review found that people who used a fitness app moved more than those who didn’t. But since sorting through them all can get overwhelming, we did the work for you. Consider downloading these tried-and-true apps to make your life easier—and healthier!

For aerobic exercise: Nike + Training Club

(free; nike.com)

With more than 100 different workouts, this app has something for everyone. You can choose a routine based on your goal, such as strength or endurance, or type of exercise, such as high-intensity interval training. The instructors are master trainers and sometimes athletes or celebrities, like Serena Williams.

For grocery shopping: Fooducate

(free; fooducate.com)

Between scanning ingredient lists and checking for added sugars, grocery shopping can be tiring. This app takes the guesswork out of finding healthy items. Use it to scan the barcode of an item, and you’ll get a dietary letter grade, ranging A for good-for-you and F for nutritionally void. You can also personalize your profile depending on your needs, such as gluten-free.

For a Pilates workout: Pilatesology

(free to download with $19 monthly subscription; pilatesology.com) and Pilates Anytime (free to download with $18 monthly subscription; pilatesanytime.com)

Get access to these popular sites right from your phone or tablet. For classically minded classes only, choose Pilatesology, with more than 1,160 sessions on the apparatus and mat. There’s even an option to get a customized regimen sent to your inbox. If you prefer a mix of moves, Pilates Anytime gives you access to upwards of 2,800 classes from top instructors. There’s also a section that breaks down each move, so you can double-check your form.

For meditation: Headspace

(free to download; headspace.com)

This popular app is friendly for newbies: It includes guided meditations that take less than three minutes and cute animations. You can access a handful of meditations for free. Most of the content, including breathing exercises and meditations for sleep and children, are only available for members ($12.99 per month).

For a food journal: MyFitnessPal

(free; myfitnesspal.com)

Writing down what you eat can put you on the fast-track to weight loss: One study found that people who kept a food journal shed twice as much weight as those who didn’t. Instead of lugging a notebook around, use this app. Log in your meals and snacks from a database of more than 5 million foods.

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