With the prediction of exceeding £22.8 billion by 2020, the UK’s health and fitness industry are growing. With alternative medicine, sports equipment and gym memberships engrossing the market in recent years, there has been an influx of apps for smartphones to help you achieve your goal. The NHS has the calorie checker to ensure you keep your calorie intake under control, while there are also apps such as Smokefree to help you kick your tobacco addiction. However, with data showing that approximately 29% of the British population in 2018 made a commitment to lose weight – and over half giving up in just a month – what health apps are available to help us stick to our guns in 2020?
1. From The Couch To 5k
For those wanting to improve their health and fitness, the couch to 5k fitness challenge is a popular one for many. It’s ideal for those who don’t particularly have the fitness levels to take on marathons but want to increase their physical ability. Presented by Public Health England, it builds you up gradually with a mix of running and walking so that within nine weeks you should be able to run 5 kilometers (3.1 miles). There’s also a choice of five virtual trainers to help you on your fitness journey and keep you motivated.
2. Not Just A Game: Pokémon Go
Yes, Pokémon Go is, in theory, just a ‘game’. But, this app is also useful for getting people active. The popular game works by individuals needing to be active in the community to progress in the game. According to Sport England, one in three kids in England takes part in less than 30 minutes of physical activity each day. This was described by Sports Minister Mims Davies as ‘simply unacceptable’. With games like Pokémon Master, this is a great way to get kids active and taking part in an activity they’d enjoy. It was even found that the original Pokémon Go was also helping to bring families together as parents and children were competing with one another as to who could catch the rare monsters.
3. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Similarly, the positive health benefits the Pokémon Go game had on the nation’s health, the Harry Potter version can also do the trick. For those who aren’t particularly a fan of the Pokémon franchise, this takes based on JK Rowling’s creation could be just the thing. It works by users having to complete a certain number of steps in order to open up treasure chests for more loot. Also, as magical creatures and characters spawn on the map in-game, you need to physically travel to move your character across the map. However, unlike the Pokémon take, this game will be able to track your activity without even running the app. Therefore, you’ll be able to track your steps without being synced to the game, and those who like to wear a Fitbit will more than likely agree that this can become a game in itself!
4. Uber For Your Health: Esquared
The 12-month gym membership that is typically associated with joining a gym is not for everyone, therefore Esquared can help you tackle this problem. This app works in the same way as Uber in the sense that it allows you to find gym sessions and one-off classes in your area. The benefit of this app is that it’s non-committal and there are no subscription fees. Currently, it’s only available in London and Sydney, but keep an eye out in case it expands into an area near you!
5. Babylon: GP At Hand
This app that is available 24/7, allows you to chat with an NHS GP via a video appointment. Usually, you’ll be seen within two hours once you make your request, meaning that you no longer have to wait weeks for an appointment or attend a walk-in surgery. It allows the doctor to discuss your
symptoms and, where necessary, you can show them your issues on camera, or even ask for advice on the many supplements there are available.
6. 7 Cups
Let’s not focus too much on just our physical well-being however and ignore other aspects of ourselves that need taking care of. Mental health has, rightly so, become a major topic of interest. Campaigns such as ‘It’s Okay Not to Be Okay’ are bringing our mental well-being to the forefront of the attention via the media. However, in the UK, approximately one in four of us will experience a mental health problem each year. Depression and anxiety are two of the most common issues. This American-based app helps anyone who feels isolated discuss their concerns and issues thanks to it connecting you instantaneously to one of its 160,000 trained volunteer listeners and licensed therapists. It’s anonymous, free, and confidential. It also allows you to participate in guides chats through group support discussion rooms.
Take a break for using your smartphone for just scrolling, texting and talking, instead use it for your health in 2020. They hold so much more value to everyday life, and with these six apps — as well as the many more available via app stores — you can take steps to reach your goals and improving your quality of life.