Aug22

Need a Friday Pick-me-up?

Posted by Jessica Furseth

Busy business owners don’t always have time to treat their bodies like temples. Luckily, there are apps that can do it for them…

Maybe mobile phones should be renamed digital assistants – after all, they never leave our side, and we can customise them to help out with all sorts of tasks. Increasingly, this includes keeping us healthy, as a nudge from the assistant in the pocket is a great way to get a new habit on the go.

In the future, probably quite soon, wearable technology and the Internet of Things may well converge to keep us healthy, telling us when it’s time for a snack because the blood sugar is approaching cranky levels, or when it’s time to see a doctor. But until then, here are some great health apps (all available for both iOS and Android) that will remind you to stick to your good intentions…

WaterIn

This is a very simple app: it reminds you to drink water. Slight dehydration can make you both tired and headachy, so if you want to make sure you drink those two litres a day, just tell this app the amount you want, and when you want the first and last reminder. The app will then remind you at regular intervals through the day. At first, drinking eight-or-so glasses of water per day seems like a crazy amount, but after a week or so you’ll adjust and it will seem about right.

Sleep Cycle

This is a handy app to combat insomnia, or the morning grogginess known as sleep inertia. Sleep Cycle monitors sleep patterns and, within a set half-hour window, wakes you up when you are in a light stage – this is the best time to wake up to suffer minimal grogginess through the day. You put your phone under your pillow, and the app registers where you’re at in the sleep cycle depending on how you move around. Another useful function of this app is that it tells you how long you were asleep, which for insomniacs is usually longer than they think. This is useful information for anyone who spends half the night tossing and turning, thinking sleep won’t come – at least you’ll know that’s probably not true.

Get Running

If you’re an experienced runner you’ll probably already be using RunKeeper, Nike+, or some other running app to keep track of how far and fast you’re running. So Get Running is for those who want to start the running habit, but are at the rock-bottom level that’s also known as the “out of breath when running for the bus”-level. Get Running will build you up slowly, guiding you through when to run and when to walk in intervals, until you’re able to catch up to that departing bus with your dignity intact.

Headspace

This app has managed to take something that can feel unapproachable – meditation – and made it easy for anyone to try. The meditation sessions, guided by a Buddhist monk, build up gradually in length and complexity. Once past the initial training, users can even choose programmes with specific aims, such as relieving stress or reaching goals. Users can download sessions to use off-line too, meaning meditation can happen anywhere: at home, on the way to work, or on an airplane.

 

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