January 22, 2020
You want to take care of your body and mind, maybe tone up your tummy or learn to meditate your way out of work rage. But it can be hard to carve out time, especially when the reality is racing from the office to bump elbows in a sweaty gym class or queueing up to use a machine, while paying out for that problematic privilege.    
The 8 Free Health Tracking Apps That Everyone Should Try
But when you download a free app, getting healthy fits more easily into your lifestyle. That daily bus journey becomes time to listen to a mindfulness or quit smoking app, your evening sofa slump becomes the perfect time for some wind-down yoga stretches, and your speed walk to work becomes a gentle tracked jog. And instead of filling your supermarket basket with the same-old-same-old, you can quickly use an app to check calorie, sugar and fat content and make some healthier eating swaps. 
Apps allow you to manage and improve your health in your own time but you also don’t have to feel lonely; you can share your goals, get inspirational advice and support, or celebrate personal bests.
Here’s our pick of the best health tracking apps for iPhone and Android, all of them free. Exercise Best for beginner runners: One You Couch to 5K
There are tons of apps designed to coach you from slothfulness to running 5K, but Public Health England’s one gets our vote for three reasons: it’s completely free, the plan and individual training sessions mixing running and walking are easy to follow and, as it’s in association with BBC Get Inspired, you have a choice of five ‘trainers’ to switch between, including Olympic sprinter and athletics pundit Michael Johnson and comedian Sarah Millican. Follow the app and you’ll be up off your couch and running 5K without stopping in just nine weeks. 
Download from App Store or Google Play.
Best for personalised workouts: Nike Training Club
Nike describes its app as the ‘Ultimate Personal Trainer’. The free app has over 185 workouts from strength and endurance to mobility and yoga. The more you use the app, the more it can be personalised with flexible training plans to suit your lifestyle consisting of 15-20 minute workouts concentrating on different muscle groups.
Like One You Couch to 5K, Nike Training Club has a host of celebrity trainers on board to help you keep up the pace, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Serena Williams and Ellie Goulding.
Download from App Store or Google Play.
Best for people too busy to work out: Sworkit
Free for the first 30 days, this app is the workout programme for people who are too busy to work out (about 25 million have downloaded it so far worldwide). Sound familiar? Choose the type of workout you want and how much time you have and Sworkit will deliver a workout for you to try, from a five-minute stretch in the office to 60 minutes in the gym. 
Download from App Store or Google Play. Healthy lifestyle  Best for informed eating: MyFitnessPal
The world’s most popular health and fitness tracking app allows you to log your meals and snacks, and track your eating habits and calorie intake with over 11 million different foods logged and a barcode scanner. This free nutrition coach on your phone can set weight goals and help you maintain healthy eating. 
Download from App Store or Google Play. 
Best for tracking and cutting down booze: One You Drink Free Days
This free app from Public Health England helps you check how much alcohol you’re really drinking and the number of calories you’re totting up too. The health recommendation is to have at least three drink-free days, and this app keeps you motivated to save money, lose weight and feel happier, healthier and in control. 
Download from App Store or Google Play. 
Best for quitting smoking: Smokefree
Another Public Health England one, this app is designed to help you quit smoking in four weeks, putting practical support, encouragement and tailored advice in the palm of your hand. The free app sends daily support messages to help to motivate you, plus there are tips to help with cravings, a savings calculator so you can see how much money you’re saving, and a motivational picture space to remind you why you’re giving up 
Download from App Store or Google Play.Relaxation  Best for meditation and mindfulness: Headspace 
Download this free meditation and mindfulness app, then just sit back, relax, and breathe. If you’ve never meditated before or find it difficult to get into a calm zone, the Headspace app is an easy entry guide to help you train and calm your mind. The app focuses on several different areas including stress, sleep and anxiety. 
Download from App Store or Google Play.
Best for beginner’s yoga: Simply Yoga
Choose from 20, 40 or 60-minute yoga routines that take you through each one of over 30 poses with video and audio tutorials. This is an embarrassment-free way to find out whether yoga is for you in the comfort of your own home, no need to sit in a draughty hall chanting ohmmmmmmm. 
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