The Best Health Apps We’re Using Right Now
From running to nutrition to meditation, our editors have got you covered.
Published Jul 19, 2017 8:00 PM
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Life in 2017 means everything you could possibly need is an app away: Hungry? Order dinner on Seamless, thanks. Stressed? Get into that Headspace app, stat! Working out? Scroll over to ClassPass to reserve that 7:15 yoga class!
But it’s all a bit overwhelming with all this variety and options. So we’ve assembled our editors’ very favorite health-based apps.
This is the best app to track your running—super easy to use. You can set a mileage goal, but it keeps tracking once you pass it. It tracks your average pace and current mile pace and tells you once you’ve hit it. It’s super intuitive to use and informative in real time and post, but not annoying. – Alyssa Clough, Associate Social Media Editor
Map My Run
I love Map My Run for fitness tracking. It has a very accurate GPS for tracking runs and bike rides, and it ranks your performance against your history, so you get little gold leaves around your time if it’s in your top 25 (or better) percent. After every workout, it tells you the calories burned, average pace per mile, and elevation gain, as well as time and total distance, measured to the 1/100th of a mile. I don’t use nearly all of the customizations available (gear, goals, challenges, routes, training plans, dozens of different exercises, etc.), so someone could potentially get a lot more out of it than me, but it’s great even if you’re looking for something bare bones. – Jessica Dailey, Digital Editorial Director
I love Strava! It’s so fun to see what routes your friends run and cycle. It’s also great for finding new inspirational routes of all distances. – Ariana Milligan, Digital Marketing Coordinator
My brother is a Division 1 college basketball player, and his team uses this app (proof it works!). Each workout is only eight minutes, so when I have no motivation, I’ll force myself to at least do this short workout. The best part is that it thoroughly walks you through each move with a timer, so you’re never lost. – Rachel Besser, Market Editor
Diet & Tracking
This is literally dope on a rope it makes it so easy for me to manage my nutrition and exercise, which is something I’ve never been able to do before. I just started seriously exercising so I could get my end of summer body in shape, so I got Lifesum so that I could track my progress and learn how to couple exercise with healthy eating. – Ben Jenkins, Revenue Intern
I used to use the Pact App, which seems amazing in theory because the app PAYS you to work out and eat healthy—but there’s a catch. Every week, you decide how many days you are going to go to the gym and how many fruits and veggies you are going to consume. The app syncs to your gym location (or tracks your movement if you don’t have one) and you are required to workout for at least 30 minutes to get credit.
To prove that you ate your fruits and veggies, you take a photo of your half-eaten food. However, if you don’t complete your weekly pact, you lose at least $5 (or more, if you need that kind of motivation) per activity skipped. The trick to this app is that it’s very easy to lose money if you overcommit to your pact. After losing a decent amount of money (a figure that I’m not proud to admit), I can’t say that I use this app anymore, but I highly recommend it if you need some serious motivation! – Marisa Petrarca, Digital Editorial Intern
My Fitness Pal
You can create your own goals based on whether or not you want to lose weight, and it tells you how many calories you should be eating. It has millions of foods in the database, so it makes it really easy. You can scan a barcode on a package and it will pull up the nutrition stats, plus it has tons of items from chain restaurants. You can also make your own miscellaneous recipes with nutritional information, and it saves everything. So if you eat the same yogurt and fruit everyday for breakfast, it’s easy to add it everyday. The app also syncs with Map My Run, so it automatically imports your calories burned against what you ate. I go through spurts where I obsessively track everything, but it really kind of sucks up your time, and sometimes I just want to enjoy my food, ya know? – Jessica Dailey, Digital Editorial Director
Meditation & Well Being
Kind of obsessed with my period app, I have literally told all of my female friends to use it. Super chic design and they use all the data we input to further women’s health research. It also pings you with insights on things you track the most, sends you a notification when you’re about to start PMSing, etc. Their newsletter is also amazing—usually a roundup of current events/legislation/findings related to women’s health. I’ve been using it for years now so it’s pretty spot on (pun intended). – Lahaina Alcantara, Photo Editor, Digital
I cannot listen to music, TV, or any type of sound when I fall asleep. This app is the anomaly. When I am feeling anxious or panicky when I’m trying to go to bed, the positive and motivational messages conk me out every single time without fail. – Rachel Besser, Market Editor
This app is brilliant, I can check the toxicity of almost every single beauty and skincare product on the market. It’s really great thorough because it breaks down exactly what is in the product and why it’s bad; it really empowers the user with knowledge. – Kristin Limoges, Beauty and Wellness
I try to use Headspace daily to meditate. The voice is so calming and it walks you through meditation, from beginners to expert level. – Meghan McNeer, Photo Editor