The Smartphone Workout: Apps to be happier and healthier
Let your device do the hard work
Have you already given up on your New Year's resolution? Or sticking to it like a boss? Incorporating new challenges into your daily routine can be tough when time is a premium.
Fear not, your smartphone can do more than just take photos of cats and cake. Utilise these apps in the right way to help you improve your physical and mental health.
Best for keeping track
A daily activity tracker and heart rate monitor that will help you monitor progress and improve general fitness in the long-term, ideal if you do more than one activity.
A sports tracker designed for cyclists and runners. Interact with friends and see what others are riding.
Highly advanced Training Peaks is ideal for those who are racing and training. Choose workouts, pick goals, and interact with coaches all on the go. An ideal app if you train with power.
Best for nutrition
Advice on where to eat out and what to order if you suffer from allergies, food intolerances, or are on a lean-and-clean diet.
Whole Foods Market
With over 3,700 recipes, cooking tips and shopping lists, this is your ideal health-focused culinary companion.
My Fitness Pal
App-based calorie counter. Track your intake, upload recipes, scan food barcodes to import exactly what you're eating, plus the app syncs with Garmin to account for your daily exercise.
Water your body
Make sure you are fully hydrated, otherwise you can't ride at your best. This app will monitor your daily water intake to ensure you perform to the best of your ability.
Best for motivation
Define your fitness goals, connect to your speed, cadence, heart rate monitor or power meter, and choose from 27 structured workout videos that stream to your device. Store your turbo and static trainer workouts.
A music app designed specifically for training; build bespoke playlists for your hiking, running and cycling, based on BPM.
Best for brain training
Proven to increase memory, speed and attention, this app is packed with two minute puzzles, quizzes, and training programs that will exercise the most important part of the body: the brain.
Free (iOS only)
Billed as a cognitive science app, it offers users brain training games to exercise mental muscles. With over 70 million downloads worldwide, this is one of the most popular brain training apps.
Best for off-bike fitness
If you find the idea of going to an actual yoga class less than relaxing, then Pocket Yoga is the way to go. Using both audio and visual guidance, the app will guide you through any of 27 routines.
Nike Training Club
Want to work on your overall strength, flexibility and core, but don't want to go to the gym or know where to begin? The Nike Training Club app provides you with a range of workout routines based on your own fitness level and targeting specific areas of the body. Working out for set periods ranging from 15 to 45 minutes will unlock bonus regimes, recipes and fitness tips.
Best for sleep
Simple yet effective, this app promotes a healthy night’s sleep by removing the blue light from your phone in the evening. Blue light is proven to stimulate the brain and promote insomnia.
Free (Android only; Apple are to introduce a feature called Night Shift in iOS 9.3 with this functionality)
This app claims to help you wake up gradually and naturally, developing sounds over a 30 minute wake up period, rather than using the shock tactics of an alarm clock.
Rise Alarm Clock
Like Zen Awake, Rise helps you wake up with plenty of natural sounds. If you feel like snoozing, shake the phone. Set multiple alarms and let Rise send you off to sleep, too.