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Best health apps of 2013

06 October, 2014

Health and fitness apps are all the rage in our modern, technology-driven world. Whether it is calorie counting, weight loss tracking, heart rate monitoring or clocking the number of kilometres you run, there are some great apps out there that can reduce some of the complexities of a healthy lifestyle. So here is the guide to some of the best health apps that 2013 brought us.

RunKeeper

RunKeeper’s appeal is threefold. It combines activity tracking, motivation and health graphs. The GPS function allows you to track your runs, hikes, or even just the amount of kilometres you punch out on the stationary bike. It keeps tabs and offers comparisons on your different workout sessions as well as short term and long term fitness goals, not to mention the voice coaching. It’s generally as close to a personal trainer as an app can get, and those who like sharing their workout results will enjoy its connectivity to FitBit, Gympact and WeightTraining.com, among others. If you’re still not convinced, Mark Zuckerberg named RunKeeper one of a limited list of apps that caught his attention last year.

Swap It Don’t Stop It

Part of the Australian government’s health initiative, this app provides great information on healthy and delicious alternatives for some of the more unhealthy food choices. It also has tips on how to fit more activity into your day, smart shopping and local fitness classes. Like most health apps, it allows to track the progress you’re making – which is great for motivation – and even set yourself an alert for making a swap. The appeal of this app is that it makes a healthy lifestyle something that can be achieved quite easily by gradually making small changes.

Lift

No, it’s not about pumping iron – unless you want it to be. Lift is designed to help people achieve their goals, whatever they may be - from increasing productivity, being more grateful or losing weight. The way it works is by allowing you to break down what may seem like a challenging, long-term goal into small habits that you can adopt gradually. Users can create and join habits, and record when they have met their goal for the day. What’s more, activity is public, so users can offer support and camaraderie to one another.

Fooditive

This app will help the parents of children with food allergies sleep a whole lot easier. Using this app in the supermarket will allow you to check information on a host of food additives, including their impact on dietary sensitivities or restrictions, such as gluten intolerance, vegan and halal. It also has an extensive glossary on some of the most common additives.

Beeminder

This app definitely takes a ‘tough love’ approach to keeping you on track with your goals. When you don’t complete a day’s predetermined goal, the app charges you a fee, starting at $5, and then increasing each time you go off track. The idea is that an actual, monetary loss – that immediately impacts you in a way you can measure – will be the kick-start you need to stay on track with your goals.

Alcohol Aware

Keeping yourself accountable for the amount of alcohol you consume is never a bad idea. This app tracks the amount, quantity, and alcoholic units of each adult beverage you consume, and also provides information on the extra calories you’re consuming. Actually seeing the amount of drinks you’ve had in a form other than an empty wine bottle will no doubt make it that little bit hard to justify having ‘just one more’.

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