A year from now you may wish you had started today.Karen Lamb, American Illustrator
Weeks in 2022, it’s time to ask: “How many of us have stuck to our New Year’s fitness resolutions thus far?” (I haven’t been able to keep up with mine!) And I don’t know about you, but this tends to happen to me year after year.
So I decided to test out a few apps to help me stick to my fitness and mental health goals. So far, I’m loving the five picks below, and I’m hoping that you’ll find some benefit from at least one of them too. Whether you’re looking to maintain consistency with meditation, your yoga practice, or an exercise routine, tap into the power of your smartphone to cultivate a happier and healthier you. (And let me know your favorite app in the comments below.)
Mindfulness, which can be achieved through the practice of meditation, is a powerful state of awareness that can reduce anxiety, stress, depression, and other mental health ailments. Many users argue that Headspace is one of the best meditation apps out there, as it features a plethora of courses that can help you sleep better, worry less, and breath more mindfully. The app can be broken down into four parts: meditate, sleep, move, focus, which are summarized below.
- Meditate: A huge library of courses that can help with grieving, financial stress, patience, self-esteem, and so much more. There are also short meditation exercises called ‘Singles,’ as well as SOS support, group meditations, and technique support tracks.
- Sleep: Breathing exercises, audio books (called ‘Sleepcasts’), soothing music, and courses to help you get a good night’s rest.
- Move: Workout videos, rest day meditations, and motivational advice from trainers. Bonus points if you can find comedian Kevin Hart’s audio tracks for your runs!
- Focus: Music, soundscapes, and course on how to cultivate a greater sense of concentration.
Price: The app is free to use, but many courses and soundscapes are locked and only available through a paid membership. Users can opt for one of the following:
- Monthly: 7 days for free; $12.99 per month thereafter
- Yearly: 14 days for free; then $69.99 per year
- NOTE: You can always try either of these are free trials and then cancel the day before your debit/credit card gets charged.
Yoga is all the rate right now, and for good reason! Continuous yoga has been shown to improve sleep, heart health, strength, flexibility, stress and arthritis symptoms, according to John Hopkins Medicine. And if you’re a complete beginner, you’ll find a number of yoga lessons and videos with the Glo app.
From Vinyasa and Hatha to Yin and Restorative, explore 4,000 yoga videos across twelve different styles. Learn from the world’s best yoga teachers, at home or on the go. There are online yoga classes for ever level, with enough variety to ensure you stay inspired.
If you’re looking for a fitness app that will challenge every one of your muscle groups, you will love the variety the Seven app offers. You’ll find a huge library of workouts that target your upper body, core, lower body, and full body. And for those who are looking for specific types of workouts, the Seven app includes:
- Glute activation
- Power pilates
- HIIT strength
- Mindful movements
- Low impact movements
- Martial arts
- Office chair exercises
- Pregnancy workouts
- Fat burners
You can also unlock new instructors, participate in workout leagues, or surprise yourself with daily freestyle exercises that will generate a random set of workouts. Overall, the Seven app shines in workout variety that goes beyond simply walking or running your way to improved health.
There is a reason why MyFitnessPal has an impressive 4.7 rating on the app store: it’s easy to use and contains a huge database of food and exercise routines. Simply log your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options in the diary section of the app to track your food and beverage intake for the day, which will then be measured against your daily calorie goal. It’s a great way to view nutritional facts of almost any food item, as well as count calories to track your overall progress for the week, month, and beyond. And if that’s not enough, MyFitnessPal also offers plenty of articles on healthy eating habits, macro counting, and nutritional plans.
Mental Health: Bloom
Bloom is known for being a top-rated self-therapy app, which includes a number of sessions that will help deal with anxiety, motivation, sadness, sleep, stress, frustration and a whole lot more. You can journal your daily intentions, participate in mindful activities, and repeat daily mantra, such as: “I radiate love, empathy and kindness.” And if that’s not enough, Bloom offers a video series on specific types of stress and trauma, such as coping with grief, exploring gender identity and dealing with erectile dysfunction. It’s an app that’s perfect for those who want to improve their menthal health through gratitude, journaling and self-therapy.