By Diane Small
Thanks in no small part to having a small army of specialists to train them, feed them and guide their every move, celebs who put the effort in, like Madonna, Jessica Alba and Kim Kardashian, always look amazing. But if you’re not fortunate enough to have your own personal trainer, nutritionist and psychologist on staff, there’s still hope: you can get pretty sound health, nutrition and fitness advice from a simple app.
All of these apps below have been created with the direct consultation of some of the best psychologists, nutritionists, doctors and health care specialists around. Take advantage of their know-how and turn your health around with these handy apps–all of which are absolutely free!
1. Focus@Will Free with paid for features on iTunes and Google Play
Best for: those who think they may have a bit of ADHD (attention deficit disorder) or who just cannot find their focus
The focus: This app claims to boost your attention span by a whopping 400% by using neuroscience-based music. Apparently, research shows this does indeed work—but for about 65% of the population.
2. Optimism: Free on iTunes
Best for: those who tend to get the blues
The focus: Initially aimed at those suffering from depression, the app is now widely used by anyone trying to improve their mental health. The app is easy to use, and helps you to create charts that show your overall moods and mental health.
3. Headspace: Free on Amazon Appstore, iTunes and Google Play
Best for: those seeking a ‘Zen’ space, or highly strung people
The focus: relax and unwind with this app, created by monk and meditation expert Andy Puddicombe. You’ll find hundreds of guided and non-guided meditations here. Perfect for stressful situations, or better yet, set aside 20 minutes a day for this one to reach true inner bliss.
Best for: those who are seeing things a bit fuzzy
The focus: this simple app is useful if you think your sight may be going downhill. Many eye conditions are slowly degenerative, and this app could help you know when it’s time to visit the optometrist for a check up.
5. Petralex: Free on iTunes and Google Play
Best for: those who find themselves saying ‘pardon?’ a lot
The focus: this is a hearing sensitivity test that can be used with headphones, and is brilliant for letting you know if it’s time to see a doctor about your hearing. It also acts as a hearing aid.
6. Fertility Friend Free on iTunes
Best for: those who really want—or really don’t want—to have a baby
The focus: this tracks your ovulation and period dates to give you an idea of when you’re at your most fertile. It also helps you know when your period is coming, so you can plan around that if need be.
7. First Aid by British Red Cross: Free on iTunes and Google Play
Best for: those who want to be prepared for anything
The focus: this includes up-to-the-minute information on life-saving techniques, including video tutorials that could save someone from a heart attack, choking and other disasters.
8. Sleepio: Free with an in-app purchase on iTunes
Best for: those with mild insomnia
The focus: Created by sleep expert Professor Colin Espie, this app delivers personalized cognitive behavioural therapy techniques to help you relax and drift off to slumber.
9. Find me Gluten Free: Free on iTunes and Google Play
Best for: anyone who is intolerant of gluten
The focus: the app tracks down the nearest shops stocked with gluten-free treats, no matter where you are.
10. Move your App! Free on iTunes
Best for: those stuck at a desk all day
The focus: to help reduce the weight gain, cardiovascular disease and circulation problems associated with sitting at a desk for long periods of time, this app buzzes to remind you when to move around a bit.
11. Visual Diet Diary: Free on iTunes
Best for: those on a weight loss journey
The focus: track your weight loss visually with pics, time-lapse movies and fitness paths, showing you just how far you’ve come and spurring you on to lose more. Better than the scales!
12. My Meal Mate: Free on iTunes and Google Play
Best for: anyone trying to lose some weight
The focus: your food intake and exercise are monitored to help you drop some flab. In trials, users lost an average of 5kg over six months. This also helps you notice how your mood affects your eating.