The Apple and Android App Stores revealed over 600 combined health-related apps on the market; with well in excess of 200 million downloads for health apps alone. It certainly is a growing industry.
The problem recently with health & fitness apps in particular has been the bug fixes and updates which have plagued this still relatively infantile market. Constant updates and bug fixes still plague the market.
Also many apps and companies developing these apps are looking for a return and so the price of apps has slowly been increasing. With 15 free apps to every one paid app however free apps are still the ruling force. Normally a paid version of an app offers better or enhanced features and so is the case for health apps.
The categories of health apps on offer range from anything from nutritional food measure to the best vegan restaurants, from baby name suggestions to calorie counters! The list appears to be endless.
Here is a run-down of the best free apps on the market ranging from fitness to disease to treatments, medicines and self-help:
Runkeeper – Android and Apple.
A handy running app that is very popular – over 14m downloads worldwide. Primarily concerned with walking and running and detailed stats about your workout and how to sensibly push you further next time. Features include a heart-rate monitor, pace, times and a built in mp3 player to listen to your favourite tracks for the duration of your fitness workout!
Endomondo Sports Tracker – Android and Apple
With over 15 million users this app is certainly popular. With the ability to track and monitor your exercise regime on indoor and outdoor pursuits it is useful for outdoor runs, cycles and walking as well as gym treadmills, bikes and ski-machines. Audio feedback about your workout and ‘pep talks’ from social media friends add some nice motivational traits.
GluCoMo – Apple, Glucose Buddy – Android.
Glucomo for the Apple device and Glucose Buddy on Android is the ultimate app for diabetes sufferers. It comes packed with features, including; when to take insulin injections, recording your blood sugar levels, blood pressure measurement hints and tips for diabetes sufferers. This app is a great tool to have in the pocket; whether you are a diabetes sufferer or have a close family member or friend who is.
Calorie Counter by FatSecret – Android and Apple.
A great all round app for the weight and diet conscious. With an exercise diary, restaurant finder, recipes, weight tracker, it is the ultimate free tool to have in your pocket for effective wellbeing living. It also has a barcode scanner for foods and products that can be easily synced to your account and an exercise diary tells you how much daily exercise you still need to do before the day is out – perfect for burning those extra calories.
Daily Ab Workout – Android and Apple.
This app is a take on a daily planner designed to get you abs that a fitness guru would be proud of! By just following a daily routine you can see noticeable changes in only 3 months. The app also comes in ladies and men’s versions – just enter your details and the app will calculate the level of endurance to suit, as well as automatic upgrades as you go. You can purchase a relatively inexpensive paid version too which gives you videos and tutorials.
First Aid by British Red-Cross – Android and Apple.
This intuitive app is well and truly a life-saver, offering tips, advice and step-by-step instructions on dealing with cases such as asthma attacks, bleeding, breaks, choking, seizures, strokes and so on. Used primarily as an addition to your existing first aid knowledge; no one could doubt the power and potentially life-saving qualities of this app. This is really an app everyone should have in their pocket.
Sleep Pillow Sounds – Apple, Relax Timer – Android
This is my wildcard choice. Sleepless nights? Struggling to nod off at night? We all know how frustrating this can be and can disrupt your overall health if a recurring ailment. With Sleep Pillow Sounds for Apple and Relax Timer for Android (dubbed apps that help the world sleep!) you will get a good night’s sleep with the pre-mastered tranquil sounds and relaxing morning alarms. With a sleep timer and background operation you need to stress about your sleeping patterns again.
It is clear that as people coin on to the benefits of having health advice, tips and information at their fingertips apps will become more important in everyday life, and even potentiall save lives. With segmenting categories and niches we will see a further proliferation in services and functionality – meaning apps will be built around you and not vice versa. Apps are becoming more commonplace and their use continues to increase year-on-year, watch this space for major advances in health and fitness and its integration into an increasingly digital world.
Wellbeing & Living is a health-related website offering advice, tips and community engagement on everything from wellbeing, to supplements, to natural appetite suppressants.