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An App for That

Fitness Technology

Written by
Lauren Hunsberger

There are hundreds of apps claiming to give your health a boost, and more hit the market every day. Between nutritional guidance, sleep tracking, exercise programming and mental health support, the promise of feeling your best seems like just a tap away. However, it’s no surprise that in practice some fall short. Don’t feel like sifting through all the options? We tested dozens of the top-rated wellness apps and came up with this distilled list of must-haves. The best feature is they are all free. 


1. Sleep Cycle

Using the microphone device on your phone, this app tracks your sleep patterns, differentiating between awake, asleep and deep sleep. It then stores the information so you can compare night to night, week to week and perfect your sleep routine. The icing on the cake is you can tell it the approximate time you want to wake up, and an alarm will sound when it’s the optimal time in your cycle to wake refreshed.


2. Nike Training Club

There’s nothing like having a live coach, but for those days when you just can’t make it to see a trainer this app can fill the holes. With hundreds of programs created by elite trainers—broken down into categories like cardio, strength or mobility—you can customize a plan for whatever you feel like doing—or not doing—whenever you feel like it.


3. Zombies, Run!

Like the name suggests, this is a running app, and using it might just be the most fun you ever have on a run. Turn it on and you’ll get a complete zombie apocalypse story narrated right in your ear buds. Collect medical supplies and run from zombies to rack up points. A nice bonus, it uses playlists from your own music between story points to keep you motivated and moving.


4. Headspace

This meditation app has been featured in Wired, The New York Times, Esquire and many other leading publications for a good reason. With a clean, simple design and dozens of options for all levels and experience, it is designed to make the daunting practice of meditating easy and approachable for everyone.


5. ShopWell

Don’t want to spend your spare time at the grocery store trying to decipher which foods fit your specific diet, allergy or nutrition goals? We don’t either. ShopWell is great in that you just simply scan a food item and it will give you the green or red light. There are also some great recipes and helpful tips.  

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