There are literally thousands of apps out there that want to help benefit our health, whether that’s physical, mental, or our general well-being.
Of course, not all of the fitness apps in the Apple or Android app stores are as good as they promise, but most of them have a common goal: to get you off that sofa, away from the desk and turn any negative, unhealthy habits on their head.
With that, it’s still hard to choose the essential downloads for your phone. So I’ve compiled a list of what I deem the best health and fitness apps of this year to help you achieve your goals, whether that’s access to new types of cardio, better resistance training routines, or managing stress levels and sleeping problems.
Esquared is an easy-to-use fitness-on-demand app. Working a little similar to Uber (it’s based on the same API), the app allows you to find gym sessions and one-off classes in your area, in real-time. Unlike irritating apps like ClassPass what try to catch you out with free trials that tie you in and threaten to charge you if you cancel (Classpass won’t be featuring in this article for this very reason), there are no commitments or subscription fees with Esquared.
The app was founded by Eleni Plakitsi, a former city accountant in London and IFBB & WBFF Figure Pro athlete and winner of the Fame and WBFF Fitness Model Awards. Its main goal is to help people sign up to classes/gym passes around London and encourage more movement rather than the endless excuses; the attraction being that there are no commitments.
I’ve really enjoyed using the app over the past few weeks, and there are some really amazing premium clubs thrown in there. It’s great in that it gives you the flexibility to experience a variety of classes and studios instead of the same gym and a feeling tied down to a membership.
As the model stands, gyms dream of signing customers up to their premises on the hopes that they’ll never use them. And statistically, that’s the trend. Customers buy expensive gym memberships, visit a few times, lose motivation and never return.
But MoveGB looks to change all that. With over 250,000 users and more than 5,500 providers, MoveGB believes that individuals who visit multiple venues to exercise are “four times more likely to be active six months after joining than those who visit single venues”. Hence why it’s a great alternative to gym memberships.
Once you’re logged in, you can search for activities on your page and narrow it down by day or time. You can also browse a whole list or search for specific things. It’s a really nice, intuitive app to use and if you sign up now, membership trials are just £1.
With the likes of Richard Branson to Gwyneth Paltrow being just a few of this app’s 10 million+ users worldwide, Headspace certainly has some backing. But don’t just take the A-listers’ word for it. It’s actually a great meditation app for beginners.
Why so? The app starts you off with a free Take10 program, which introduces you to the practice of meditation for 10 minutes a day in 10 days, while a subscription unlocks access to a deeper range of mindfulness exercises from just a couple minutes to one hour.
Better yet, you can tailor it to focus on what matters to you most, then follow the straightforward guidance on breathing and visualization to reap the benefits every day.
The Edo app allows food shoppers to find out exactly what’s in supermarket products with the simple click of a button. Giving users the lowdown on food items, the app is scanning food labels and uses an algorithm to analyze ingredients based on scientific studies and nutritional values to ‘rate’ products – with 10 being the healthiest and zero being the least healthy.
Edo is all about helping you to understand what’s on food labels so you can know exactly what’s inside your food and choose consciously. The app can also indicate if a food item is Gluten-free or Lactose-free as well as offering healthier alternatives for you.
Calling itself “the Uber of personal training”, TruBe is a free app that allows users to purchase PT sessions at the drop of a hat, from over 300 highly-qualified trainers in London, from kickboxing heavyweight champions to professional ballet dancers.
Whether it’s for a one-off session or an ongoing training program you’re after, the lets you browse all available PTs in the local area, with reviews, pictures, and book in an instant. You can also decide where to have the session, from the comfort of your own home, office or hotel or at a selection of the London gyms, including boxing gym Fight Zone, dance studio Danceworks, and luxury health club Dolphin Square Fitness.
Available for iOS, TruBe’s Pay as you go sessions are priced at £50. Multi-session programs start at £140. You can also save the pennies, and buddy up and train with two friends to share the cost of a session.
Available for both iOS and Android, RiseToday is a subscription-free app that lets users find not just classes but other fitness services and sessions in their area quickly and easily.
Promising to overhaul the landscape of existing fitness apps that demand unaffordable fees or put an exasperating cap on their user’s classes, RiseToday caters to the increasingly adventurous and freedom-seeking smartphone user who wants to stay fit and well with no obligations.