Rightly or wrongly, the first thing most of us do each morning is reach for our phones. We check emails, scroll through social media and respond to our instant messages.
Generally, this is how it continues throughout the day, with us glued to our phones. However, with the right apps installed, your smartphone can also make a positive difference to your health and wellbeing.
Here are 8 essential and free apps every woman needs for a happy healthy life:
For women, our physical health involves our monthly cycle. Or rather, it should. However, some women take very little interest in their menstrual cycle unless they are trying to conceive.
A large number of women suffer from menstrual difficulties including endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and fibroids. Getting to know your cycle more intimately can help you to see patterns and better manage, or at least prepare each month.
Clue is an app that helps you to track your monthly cycle. Simply enter information about your period, symptoms and moods into the app. You can also use it to track your fertility.
Mindfulness and meditation have become popular over the past few years but a lot of people still haven’t adopted a practice, often due to lack of time.
There are enough scientifically proven benefits of meditation and mindfulness, such as improved focus and reduced risk of heart disease, to justify making it part of your life.
The Aura app is the perfect solution for those of you who want to meditate, but are too busy to fit it in. The app gives you three-minute guided meditations that you can do at your convenience.
Having a positive mind-set can make a huge difference to your life. However, it’s not always easy to remain optimistic. Daily affirmations and intentions are known to help you achieve positive outcomes in life and that’s where the Hey Universe app can help.
The app allows you to create custom affirmations/manifestations that are then sent to you at intervals that you specify.
Daily Water is a simple yet effective app that reminds you at regular intervals to drink water, ensuring you meet your recommended eight glasses a day.
When you initially set up the app, you enter your weight and it tells you how much water you need to drink each day. You can also set the reminders to your required frequency.
Additionally, the app comes with two widget options which means you can add it to your homepage so you’re reminded to hydrate every time you pick up your phone.
Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker
If you’re trying to lose or gain weight or simply want to become more mindful of what you are eating, the Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker is for you. You set your daily calorie goal and then record your food intake and exercise for the day.
Not only does it track your calorie intake, it also tells you the percentage of fat, carbohydrate and protein you have consumed.
After years of being told that fat was the deadly problem in our diet, the experts are now telling us that it is in fact sugar. Or at least, our sugar intake is something we should be just as conscious of. But sugar is a sneaky substance. It comes in many forms and often it is included in foods that we think of as healthy.
Luckily the NHS Sugar Smart app makes it easy for you to find out the sugar content of everyday foods by scanning barcodes. You can also use it find out how much saturated fat and salt is in the food and drink you consume.
Human tracks all your activity throughout the day by counting how many minutes you’re active. It runs in the background of your phone and picks up physical activities such as walking, running and cycling.
The app uses location services and motion sensors which both impact the battery life of your phone. Although the developers say: “Most of our users get easily through a normal day on a single charge with normal tracking”, it is still something to keep in mind.
They say variety is the spice of life, and for some people, it’s essential when it comes to working out.
The MINDBODY app helps you to find and book fitness, wellness and beauty services in your community, and around the world. The app allows you to search for introductory offers and promotions in your local area and is perfect if you’re away on holiday, traveling for work or simply want to try a new class or activity. It also connects to your Fitbit so you can track your progress.
Installing these apps will motivate you to exercise more frequently and eat healthier. You’ll be hydrated, clued up on your menstrual cycle and have a more positive outlook on life.
It’s true that smartphones can be a huge distraction but as you can see, when you have the right apps installed, they can also help you to live a happy healthy life.
All of the above listed apps are free and available on both android and iOS.