Technology platforms that support fitness, nutrition and overall well-being are a multi-billion-dollar industry – no exaggeration. Apps and software that help track behaviors or provide education have grown in sales and user base, but which ones are actually proven beneficial to consumers? We dug through reports to identify the top apps from the past year to help you decide which to use to support your health goals.
Tracking what we eat is one of the most effective ways to stick to a nutrition plan by increasing accountability and providing a visual of our behaviors around food. MyFitnessPal continues to top the charts as being one of the most used and highly rated food tracking apps.
Why we love it: The app comes with scanning capabilities with a huge database of foods, making searching and portioning easy. It can also save regular “meals” to avoid time re-entering all ingredients each time the same meal is prepared and consumed. Its premium membership allows users to track macros based on body weight goals for those invested in precision nutrition.
It’s one thing to track what we eat, it’s another to decide what TO eat. Fooducate helps you navigate the grocery store by providing food “grades” and recommendations. The app also lets you track what you consume against your calorie allotment per day.
Why we love it: The food industry is sneaky, sometimes prioritizing profit over consumer health which leads to unclear or even deceiving packaging and marketing techniques in grocery stores. Fooducate helps see through much the “noise” around food products to clarify what is merely portrayed as “healthy” to reveal an accurate account of nutrient density in foods. This allows customers to make informed decisions on what to buy and incorporate in their diet based on their health goals.
No offense, but you’ve been living under a rock if you haven’t heard of Peloton. Started as a virtual spin class, the brand recently expanded to include a digital membership to support at-home video and audio classes in the form of HIIT, boot camps, running, and even meditation sessions.
Why we love it: World-class trainers at your fingertips (or streamed on a wide-screen tv) for an affordable monthly fee of less than $15 – yes please. Its expansion beyond cycling means users can have more variety in their fitness routines, which helps avoid plateaus and build lean muscle to improve body composition over time.
For the anti-workout video types, Aaptiv provides audio-only guidance, offering instructions while at the gym or out on a run. It was easily one of the fastest growing fitness apps over the past few years and has over 2,500 music-driven classes to choose from.
Why we love it: Ever go to the gym and have no clue where to start? Aaptiv is basically a personal trainer in your ear. The app provides workouts spanning from quick 7-minute, body-specific sequences, to full blown training programs. It’s simple to use (literally pop in your ear buds and push GO), with great music and 30 new workouts added each week.
Mental health is a huge part of physical health. Although it is a concept that dates back thousands of years, mindfulness has exploded into the mainstream wellness scene. Headspace is a guided meditation app that leads beginning users and those familiar with meditation through 1-90 minute sessions.
Why we love it: Meditation itself can be intimidating. Headspace breaks down the practice into guided steps for beginning users and provides subject-based packages to help experienced users focus on areas of mental health needing more support (self-esteem, stress, productivity, etc.). The app recently released meditation resources for sleep, launching an entire sub-platform with guided meditations to help induce sleep and enhance quality of shut-eye time.
It’s no surprise in the tech age that software and apps have saturated the digital marketplace. With almost every app offering a different approach to an aspect of wellness, there is something for everybody – and every goal. While the apps themselves can lead to better health, creating a habit around using the technology is essential in seeing progress over time and reaching ultimate health and fitness goals.