5 Free Smartphone Apps To Help You Reach Your Wellness Goals

5 Free Smartphone Apps To Help You Reach Your Wellness Goals

We’re all looking for the secret to self-improvement, a more balanced life and all around health. There is no real secret to achieving goals. Either do it or don’t, but use one of these five FREE apps to help you get there.

From exercising daily to giving more compliments to un-plugging from our phones/tablets/computers—ironically, there’s an app for all of these.

 

 

 

Lift
Lift is a simplistic tool to begin setting goals. The app promotes building a habit or changing behavior by reinforcing the good through social and automated rewards. One of the best things about Lift is that complete strangers can give you “props” for completing a goal. Who doesn’t love random people giving you virtual high-fives? The Lift community is supportive and you can engage your friends on the app, too. It’s important to note that if you’re a detail or number-oriented person, Lift might not be for you. The app works for broad generic goals, like “run” or “talk to someone new.”There’s no feature to set a number of miles or what type of people you might want to talk to.

All-around: Simple, habit-forming, encouraging
Fun fact: The app was based on Seinfeld’s productivity method, “Don’t Break the Chain.”
Note: Available for iOS only as of October 2013.

 

 

 


Fig
Fig gets into the nitty gritty of not just what you want to accomplish, but how often and who you’ll share your goals with. Customization and specifics are encouraged with this user-friendly app. Users can make unique goals. So if your self-improvement plan involves a more obscure hobby like badminton or a recently popularized but complicated dance move (we’re looking at you, Miley), there’s a place for that goal there. Users can specify frequency per day/week and to whom the activity is visible, so nobody but you has to know that you’re perfecting that twerk move.

All-around: Customizable, Easy-to-use,
Fun Fact: Why the name Fig? Figs are a symbol of wellness in addition to being a sweet, small fruit. The app provides a way to improve your well-being in bite-size portions.
Note: Available for both Android and iOS


Couch 2 5k - Free
This app, targeted at those just beginning a running regimen, is so easy you won’t even have to think about it—which makes it a great intro or re-introduction to running. C25K provides a prescribed workout users are encouraged to complete 3 times per week. Each routine lasts no more than 40 minutes and comes complete with a timer and an audio prompt that indicates when it’s time to transition from one exercise intensity to the next. The workout plan structures a walk/jog/run combination three days a week for 8 weeks. Though this may vary based on *which version of C25K is downloaded, the version tested in this review was relatively ad-heavy, even for a free app— with two full-screen pop-ups and a banner across the bottom of the app at login.


*There are a number of versions of this app that all share some variation of the C25K name. The particular app used in this review was created by Zen Labs LLC and downloaded on an iPhone 5S running iOS 7.0.3.

All-around: Specific to 5K, Beginner-level, Easy-to-follow plan
Fun Fact: The app’s creators teamed up with The Breast Cancer Research Foundation in the fight against cancer.
Note: Available for both Android and iOS

 


My Fitness Pal
Tracking daily food intake and managing fitness program isn’t for the quasi-motivated. If you’re ready to get serious about losing weight and leading a healthier life, My Fitness Pal is for you. With that said, the creators of this app made it incredibly simple to track all of this information. The intro page collects all the data the app needs to calculate how many lbs monthly you should lose to safely reach your goal weight. An online supportive community works to help keep up motivation. This is great for people who have been advised by a physician or professional to keep close track of food intake, but could be overkill for someone just looking to form basic, healthy habits like “Drink water.”

All-around: Powerful health tracker
Fun Fact: If you prefer an online platform, the blog community activity on there is always buzzing, even with international folks!
Note: Available for both Android and iOS


GymPact
Put your money where your mouth is and take a gamble on your fitness commitment. It’s simple: Set how many days a week you want to workout. Set the price you’re willing to pay if you skip out. Set up your credit card account and get going! Full disclosure: I did not personally link my credit card account. Reviews showed that the app was great (at first) for motivation, as most negative reinforcement is. But, once users tried to get their payout for workout goals met (the avg. was under $1 per workout) they ran into issues with little help from customer service. Once your goals are set, you can change them each week or choose to “take a vacation.”

All-around: For dedicated, risk-takers and those with a secure financial situation ($5 is the minimum amount users can bet.)
Fun Fact: You may want to steer clear of this app if you have a strong affinity for gambling.
Note: Available for both Android and iOS. iOS version allows you to workout anywhere, while Android requires the workout occur at the gym.

 

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