It’s here. 2020 has landed, and with it a fresh outlook on life. New year, new you, right? And if you’re one of the thousands (millions, even) determined to take your first steps on a fitness journey, then it’s only natural to want to look for shortcuts and hacks to make things easier. And as if by magic, technology is here to lend a helping hand in our quest to get healthy. So, we’ve teamed up with Pharma Nord, who stock a huge range of natural health products including joint supplements, to bring you these; our 5 IDEAL health apps to download in 2020.
BABYLON: GP AT HAND
The NHS is consistently looking at ways to make the internet and technology more accessible to everyone, with the aim of inclusivity and improved public health driving several great initiatives. The Babylon NHS app gives you the option to chat with an NHS GP 24/7 via a video appointment, granting peace of mind to users and easing the work burden on health professionals in the process.
Usually, you’ll be seen within two hours of making your request, meaning that you no longer have to wait weeks for an appointment or attend a walk-in surgery. It allows the doctor to discuss your symptoms and, where necessary, you can show them your issues on camera. A great innovation.
If being in the gym gives you discipline and motivation to get your exercise fix, but you don’t want to commit to a 12-month contract that often comes along with gym memberships, then download Esquared. This app works in the same way as Uber in the sense that it allows you to find gym sessions and one-off classes in your area, all done by location and all saving you coin, too. The benefit of this app is that it’s non-committal and there are no subscription fees. Currently, it’s only available in London and Sydney, but keep an eye out for an expansion push soon.
COUCH TO 5K
This app could probably be classed as old school by now, but that doesn’t mean its popularity and effectiveness have dwindled. Nearly everyone who has wanted to improve health and fitness has at least heard of the couch to 5k challenge. More than likely, they’ve given it a try.
This app and programme is ideal for those who don’t particularly have the fitness levels to take on marathons but want to increase their physical ability nonetheless. Presented by Public Health England, it builds you up gradually with a mix of running and walking so that within nine weeks you should be able to run 5 kilometres (3.1 miles). There’s also a choice of five virtual trainers to help you on your fitness journey and keep you motivated. Since the mince pies and turkey leftovers seem to have only just been finished, this incrementgoal-orientatedated approach is perfectly suited to that post-Christmas slump.
Of course, it’s not just our physical well-being we should be focusing on. Mental health has become a major topic of interest in recent years and app developers have responded accordingly.
In the UK, approximately one in four of us will experience a mental health problem each year, with depression and anxiety two of the most common issues. 7 Cups, an American-based app, helps those who feel isolated discuss their concerns and issues, helping to connect users instantaneously to one of its 160,000 trained volunteer listeners and licensed therapists. It’s anonymous, free, and confidential, and also allows users to participate in larger chats through group support discussion rooms. A problem shared is a problem halved, hey?
Prevention is better than cure, as they say, and staying with the mental health theme, guided meditation app Calm is here to help you take a moment, breathe and relax. In doing so, studies have suggested you’ll be better equipped to keep low mood at bay.
With Calm’s ‘7 Days of Calm’ feature, you’ll be led through the basics of mindfulness and meditation. This guided course is made of seven sessions, ranging from three to twelve minutes – ideal for taking a quick break or relaxing at night. The app has a variety of breathing exercises, meditations, soothing sounds and even sleep stories to choose from; making it a good all-rounder if you’re not sure where to start. An incredibly healthy habit to begin as part of your New Year’s resolutions, don’t you think?