Most of our phones are brimming with apps...but how many of them actually work for you?
According to TechCrunch, we use an average of nine apps every day and 30 apps every month. In the U.S., we spend 2 hours and 15 minutes every day on apps. And we have upwards of 60 apps on our devices.
Instead of cluttering up your smartphone screen with apps to add cute filters and track celeb sightings (though we love those too!) why not put that app time to smarter use and start focusing on apps that help you live a healthier life?
Here’s our list of 11 apps (10 of them free!) for healthy living that will seriously change your life:
Meal and grocery planning: Mealime
The dreaded question for moms everywhere: “What’s for dinner?”
Mealime not only gives you delicious meal ideas, it also pulls together a custom grocery list, too!
Just plug in your eating preferences (including options for paleo, pescetarian, and dairy-free, among others), search through recipe photos, and choose the meals that tickle your fancy.
The best part? Mealime automatically creates a grocery list based on the recipes you select...giving you one less hassle to worry about in your busy day.
Mindfulness and mental health: Headspace
You know meditation is good for you, right? (Less stress, improved immune functioning, and lower levels of depression and anxiety are just a few of the benefits.) But if you’re like most women, you’re not actually doing it.
Headspace takes the intimidation out of meditating. The free 10-day Basics pack teaches the essentials of mindfulness and meditation and makes starting easy. In just 10 minutes a day, you can start a meditation practice that will have positive ripple effects throughout your life.
Emma Watson’s even a fan, saying, “It's an app that teaches you how to meditate. It's kind of genius.” If Emma’s on board, so are we!
HIIT workouts: Seconds
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the workout of choice for many busy moms who care about fitness but can’t spend all day in the gym. The Seconds app acts as your virtual trainer, alerting you when it’s time to change to a new exercise.
The app comes preloaded with common HIIT workout templates, or you can build your own with custom intervals. (If you want to save your custom workouts, you can purchase the Pro version of the app.)
Seconds speaks out your interval details and will cut in over music, so you’re covered even if you can’t look at your phone.
Green beauty: Think Dirty
Did you know we absorb over 60% of the ingredients we put on our skin? This isn’t just important for women who are pregnant, nursing, or trying to conceive, but for people who don’t want nasty chemicals floating around in their bloodstreams. (See also: EVERYONE.)
The Think Dirty app makes conscious shopping simple. Just type in a product or scan a barcode to see a custom ThinkDirty score for how dirty it is (the higher the score, the more harmful the product). Read through any potentially harmful ingredients and check out the detailed scores for carcinogenicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and allergies/immune system disruptors.
Feminine health: Kindara
Tracking your cycle not only helps you know when you’re ovulating — to increase (or decrease) your chances of getting pregnant. It also helps you better understand your body, connect the dots to see how hormones could be affecting you, and potentially recognize health concerns.
Kindara makes it easy to track your menstruation, basal body temperature, and cervical fluid and positioning. Not sure what those last few terms even mean? Kindara’s got a great knowledge base to teach you everything you need to know.
The ladies at Kindara also created their own basal thermometer that wirelessly syncs with the app, if you want to make it even easier.
Yoga workouts: Asana Rebel
Yoga isn’t just good for the body, it’s also shown to relieve stress, sharpen attention, and calm the nervous system.
Asana Rebel helps you squeeze in some namaste time, whether you have 30 minutes or just five. You can choose workouts based on the time you have available, or filter by your goal: cardio, strength, or flow.
This app is what happens when scientists and game designers come together.
Luminosity helps you improve your cognitive abilities by playing games. The app’s activities are modeled on classic cognitive exercises but delivered in fun, bite-sized games you’ll quickly become addicted to.
Instead of standing in the grocery store line chopping up watermelons with samurai swords, you can play games that keep your brain sharp and engaged.
Gratitude: 5-Minute Journal
The 5-Minute Journal app makes adding a daily gratitude practice realistic for even the busiest among us. A reminder goes off in the morning to set your intentions for the day and in the evening to record three things you’re grateful for
You also have the option to save a daily photo, which we love! It’s great for keeping visual reminders of what happened each day.
It’s the only app on our list that’s paid — but the beautiful, minimalistic design and ease of use make it worth every penny!
Better sleep: SleepCycle
When your head hits the pillow, you move through different states — light sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep, mixed with periods of waking up. SleepCycle takes advantage of this information to wake you up at the best possible moment.
You choose a time to wake up, allowing yourself a 30-minute window. The app uses sound analysis to track your sleep cycles and will play your alarm when you’re in the lightest possible sleep state so you’ll wake up feeling well-rested.
Healthy products: GoodGuide
Similar to the Think Dirty app, GoodGuide lets you search for and scan products to reveal whether products are safe, healthy, green, and socially responsible.
The app combines information about product ingredients to provide an overall score for each item. With a few taps, you’ll see simple, understandable guidelines so you can weigh up any potential health effects of different chemical ingredients.
GoodGuide is handy if you’re looking for green cleaning products for your home[[link to Month1 Blog1 when it’s live]], baby products, oral care products, and more.
Wind down from technology: Flux
Blue light from our gadgets at night keep us awake by suppressing melatonin levels. But there are some nights when a work deadline (or a particularly juicy blog post) causes us to keep the laptop screen open well into the evening hours.
That’s when Flux is your new BFF. Flux is a desktop app that adjusts your monitor’s light output depending on the time of day. If you’re prowling the interwebs after sunset, this clever app will reduce the amount of blue light on your screen to give the monitor a warm, amber glow — just like the natural light levels.
By saving your eyes (and brain) from energy-boosting blue light, your brain will be better able to wind down when it’s time for bed.
In a busy world, it’s not always easy to live a healthy lifestyle. These apps definitely help provide some much-needed shortcuts.
Try one (or all!) of these apps to live healthy...easier.
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