Focusing on exercise, nutrition and your mental wellbeing is recommended for a happy, healthy life. A hectic shedule can make this difficult to manage, but luckily smartphone technology is here to help.
Stick to your routine, keep on track of your progress and receive encouragement when you need it the most with a little bit of help from your smartphone. Many of the world's largest smartphone manufacturers offer their own version of a 'Health app', either pre-installed and exclusive to a particular device or available to download on the Google Play Store and the App Store. Below, we've explored some of the most popular options to help make your fitness journey even easier.
You can download Samsung Health on any handset, including an iPhone. However, you'll need a device that runs on Android 5.0 or higher, or iOS 9.0 or higher, for this app to be compatible.
There's tons to do, and the app will track your activity and nutrition, as well as recording data on your sleeping habits, blood glucose levels and even your heart rate if you own a Samsung wearable device (such as the Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro).
Your activity, like steps and calories burnt, will be tracked automatically. You can set your own activity goals too, and after time you'll be able to view an in-depth analysis of your progress. To help meet your goals, Samsung Health provides insightful feedback based on how you're performing on a particular day - if you need encouragement to reach a target, it'll prompt you to keep on going.
Nutrition is just as important as exercise, so you'll have the option to manually input your food directly into the app. However, the real standout feature is Samsung Health's use of Bixby Vision. If your device offers the feature, you can point the camera at your food and it'll intelligently scan what you're eating and automatically input data into your food log for you.
Samsung Health also enables users to speak to a doctor via their smartphone. Powered by Babylon, you'll find this under the Experts tab. Ambitious, yet helping the Samsung Health app to stand out from the crowd, you'll be able to book a video appoint with a certified doctor any time of day, 7 days a week. Alongside medical advice you can also manage and order prescriptions.
Apple's Health app is an iPhone exclusive, pre-installed on any new iOS device. It debuted in 2014, receiving numerous updates since. As well as collecting its own data, iOS Health works seamlessly with plenty of other health apps to collate information on your sleeping habits, activity and food intake into one easy-to-access place.
Your Medical ID is also located inside the iOS Health app. Here you'll be able to enter important information such as your blood type, any medical conditions or allergies you may have and a preferred emergency contact. If you ever find yourself in need of help, you or another person can access your Medical ID without a password quickly - just tap the Home button, select the Emergency button on the left of the screen and press Medical ID.
iOS Health has a simple yet effective interface, and you can find the data you're interested in in seconds. Data is separated into four main sections: Activity, Sleep, Mindfulness and Nutrition. For Apple Watch users, you'll also be able to view information on your heart rate and resting rate, and there are plenty of other small features to take advantage of if you really want to keep on track of your health, like Body Measurements and Health Records.
Sony Lifelog shares many similarities with Samsung and Apple's apps, but with a different look and feel. Naturally, it works best with a Sony SmartWatch but you'll also be able use it as a standalone app.
You'll have to install Sony Lifelog to your phone, even if you own a Sony device, but you can do this easily through the Google Play Store. You'll be met with a colourful screen as soon as you open the app up, indicating your daily progress.
You can view all of your data at a glance too, and Lifelog tracks the following:
● Calories burned
● Steps taken
● Walking distance
● Hours slept
● Time spent running
● Time spent cycling
● Time spent travelling in a bus, car or train
● Use of communication apps
● Number of photos snapped
● Time spent reading, listening to music, watching videos, playing games and browsing the web
If you sync up with a Sony SmartWatch, you can also track your heart rate.
Working with the World Health Organisation, Google Fit focuses on two main activity goals: Move Minutes and Heart Points. Move Minutes encourage you to sit less, generally become more active and enjoy 100 minutes of light exercise daily. Heart points, meanwhile, monitor the moments when you're working harder, and you'll gain a point for every minute of moderate to intense activity you experience. For activities like running, you'll receive two points per minute. Ideally you should reach 20 heart points every single day.
Google Fit also encourages you to reach 10,000 steps a day, provides coaching and tips customised to your individual targets and records a selection of other health-related data. This data is collected directly from your Android handset or any device running Watch OS, as well as hundreds of fitness apps including MyFitnessPal, 8fit and Nike Run Club.
This particular app is an Android exclusive, so iPhone users unfortunately won't find Google Fit on the App Store.
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Our final health app is Huawei Health. If you own one of the affordable Huawei Fit devices, this app will be a really great choice. Syncing your devices is easy, and the sleek interface makes it a pleasure to use.
You'll find all the usual features on Huawei Health, including a step counter, an activity tracker and a sleep tracker. However, Huawei's sleep tracker is interesting, rather than showing you how many hours of rest you get every night, it informs you about the type of sleep you're having e.g. how much deep sleep, REM sleep and light sleep you get per night.
You'll also be able to set personal goals with Huawei Health, share data with friends and view where you have travelled if you're a keen runner or cycler - ideal if you've loved a route and want to do it again at a later date.
Huawei Health isn't just a Huawei exclusive app, you can find it on both the Google Play Store and Apple's App Store.
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