The Most Useful Health and Fitness Apps for 2021
Today we present some of our tried and tested, most useful fitness, running, workout and meditation apps of 2021.
When loaded with the right apps, your phone can be an incredibly useful tool when trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, (as long as you make the most of your notification, do-not-disturb and screen time settings). Whether you want to exercise more, make you diet healthier or start practising mindfulness, there are brilliant apps that can help - but there are some terrible ones too. So to save you the faff we have whittled down a few of our favourites for you to try.
Scientific studies show that daily 7 minute workouts are the short and quick way to get fit and healthy! Most people don't get enough exercise and this app is a simple and fun way to get started. Take it from us, this is one of those apps that once you start, you won't be able to stop!
There are A LOT of professionally designed workouts that are short and effective such as 7M Random, Power Hiit, 7M Abs, 7M Beginner and many more. One of our favourite features in this app is the ability to create and save your own custom workout. The personal trainer with voice and video instructions - as well as some great infographics - really help you to understand. The workouts are beginner-friendly but will definitely make you break a sweat. Integrated with Apple Health and Google Fit - these are workouts you can do anytime, anywhere. No equipment required.
Download here - Available for Free (offers in-app purchases)
With MyFitnessPal you'll get the tools you need to successfully take weight off - and keep it off. Best of all, it's totally FREE to sign up! There have been many studies that show the benefits of keeping track of the food you eat and the activity you do. Before MyFitnessPal this was actually quite a tricky thing to do, without the right tools tracking can be tedious at best, or simply impossible at worst.
MyFitnessPal focuses on making sure you can log your meals as quickly and easily as possible. They believe that the easier this is made for you, the more likely you are to stay on track, meaning the more likely you are to succeed in your weight loss goals - something we can definitely say has worked for us. As we mentioned before it’s totally free to sign up and start using, so why not see if this works for you too.
Have you always wanted to find your ultimate daily routine? If you answered yes, this is the app for you. Fabulous is: summing up tiny habits into profound long-term changes. Behavioural change is not about the final goal. It’s about dividing the big changes you seek into smaller behaviours and getting you to accomplish them one at a time.
The Fabulous app is a coach that uses insights from behavioural science to develop great habits that will help you make positive changes and improvements in your life. You’ll learn to create rituals for the morning, afternoon, and night that help you meet your set goals. You can also participate in challenges that will motivate you by adding the competitive element, by competing with other members and yourself.
Meditation can be a simple path to feelings of calm, balance, and peace. If you are having trouble sleeping or looking for a way to improve your mental wellbeing, Calm has you covered. 84% of Calm users who used the app 5x a week saw an improvement in their mental health. While meditation practices vary, there’s really no right or wrong way to meditate. The general idea is to practice mindfulness by finding awareness — something from which we can all benefit.
The sessions last about 10 minutes which is the perfect amount of time if you ask me. Calm makes it easy to create a daily practice and make it relevant to what you need on a given day. You can choose from the following options; Daily Calm, Quick and Easy, Mental Fitness, Sleep stories and the calm masterclass. Now the price point might not be realistic for everyone at £49.99/year, but you can try it out with the free 1-week trial.
Although we think that the price point is very reasonable for what the app offers if it’s not doable for you, read on below. We have a few other suggestions for you.
There are a lot of apps that will coach you through a training plan designed to get you running 5K without stopping – but Public Health England’s One You rules them all. It’s completely free to download, and the plan and individual training sessions are clearly and engagingly presented. With narrations by celebs like Sarah Millican, Michael Johnson to name a few, this app really gets you motivated to hit your 5K goal. Also the main coach Laura works wonders in keeping you interested.
I’ll be honest when I downloaded this app, I didn’t see myself completing the program, I had the mindset of completing the first week before heading back to one of my regular running app faves - but guess what I did, and it’s definitely improved my overall running experience and capabilities.
Now with the free version of this app, you only get a handful of missions to try, so if you do find yourself hooked this is one app where the premium version is very much worth the modest cost, at £5.49 a month, £31.99 a year.
Zombies, Run! plunges you into a world where the undead run amok and you are the key to humanity’s survival. It’s the ultimate game for runners and feels very immersive! Each run is one of over 400 missions, where you attempt to gather supplies for your base in a bid to rebuild civilization. So if you are looking for something that not just works your legs but also works your brain, this app is super fun and engaging, preparing you for that possible Zombie apocalypse whilst also giving you your daily/weekly exercise.
Meditation can be a useful tool to manage stress but, like almost everything, it takes a little guidance to do it effectively. Headspace promises to teach you meditation in just ten minutes a day. You can test those claims with its free Basics pack, which provides ten ten-minute sessions for beginners. The full app is costly but brings with it hundreds of hours of content to help you meditate. I tried their free trial of premium for a week and whilst it is definitely worth the money in my opinion, the freemium version is just as effective and is my go-to for daily mediation and sleep aid stories. I have never fallen asleep easier than when listening to one of the free sleep music or sleep cast story options.
C-Score, a new app developed by Chelsea Digital Ventures (CDV), and Diabetes UK have partnered together to mark Diabetes Week 2021 by raising awareness of the risks of the condition and providing a modern-day solution for people to prevent disease.
A free-to-use clinically validated tool that provides a holistic way for users to measure and monitor their general health, C-Score is a collaboration between global technology company Huma and CDV, a digital-first business spun out of Chelsea FC. C-Score, now available on iOS and on Android, can be used as a means of measuring, monitoring and improving a range of key healthcare indicators that play a key role in increasing the risk of developing diabetes.
Now we couldn’t review health technologies and not mention our own. MyBVI provides the measures you need to improve your health - just using your smartphone! By taking a scan of your body using your smartphone camera, ( and don’t worry, no pictures are taken or stored), myBVI tracks and monitors key health risk indicators, over and above BMI, such as total body fat %, visceral fat and waist to hip ratio.
Our mission is to replace BMI as an individual health measurement tool and offer the public a healthier way of monitoring and discussing their weight - and in turn individual health. BMI is just a number, BVI offers actual measurements and real personalised data.