Lifestyle apps and gadgets

10 of the best

MOST POPULAR

Tried and tested:
Fitbit Flex, £79.99
The Fitbit Flex wristband wirelessly links to your iPhone (when you download the app) and via a dongle to your laptop or computer, easily updating your progress online. It tracks your steps taken, calories burned (based on the stats you input when you start), hours slept, distance travelled, active minutes and quality of sleep making it pretty conclusive. Annoyingly you can’t see your daily progress on the band - you need to be on your computer or app - however lights on the band go from 1 through to 5 (5 lights means you have reached your target for the day). At £79.99 it’s good value.
Nike’s Fuelband tracks your steps taken and tells the time. It also gives you daily Fuel points. These points are gained the more activity you do. The points are universal so you can compare with your friends or partner regardless of your height or weight – good if you’re competitive. What’s handy is you can see your stats via an LED screen on the band so you don’t need to check the app to see your progress. Considering the Fuelband doesn’t track your sleep the battery life isn’t as long as other bands that do more, you need to charge this every three days or so.
Jawbone Up, £99.99
The wristband, endorsed by Gwyneth Paltrow, looks stylish and tracks a lot - steps, calories burned, active minutes, idle minutes, active calorie burn and resting calorie burn. It also tracks your sleep pattern. The clever Up can even wake you up with a vibration (within a window of time you set) when you’re at your lightest sleep. Additionally you can set an Idle Alert for your wristband to vibrate at intervals throughout the day to remind you to get up and walk around (great if you’re deskbound). Although, we’re not sure how accurate that alert is, since during a bout of sit-ups at the gym the wristband vibrated! You can also log your daily food intake on the app (if you can be bothered). The app, over time, helps you identify patterns in your life such as how sleep quality affects energy levels and offers regular reminders that relate to you. One downside: there is no screen or lights to show your progress at a glance.
If, after disembarking the treadmill, you struggle in the gym then this app is for you. It is pre-programmed with different workout programs for you to at the gym such as Complete Body Workout and Body Toning for Women – each exercise comes with images and/or videos to show you how to get it right whether it’s using free weights or gym equipment. There are also tons of exercises that you can wade through and the app allows you to build your own programs. Other features include weight and measurements trackers, calorie counter and the ability to share your workouts with friends. It’s like having a personal trainer in your phone but at a fraction of the price.
And the rest…
Tictrac, free
Tictrac is promoted as a single platform on which you can analyse every aspect of your life in order to work out what makes you tick – emotionally and physically. You can also use it to track another person. You should probably let them know if you’re going to do that though, otherwise it’s a bit weird…
Optimism, free
Get happy. This intuitive app charts your mood and helps you understand the things that affect your mental health. You can customise its functions and develop strategies for managing depression, bipolar or other mental health conditions.
This NHS app helps you monitor how much you’re drinking at different points in the week (and by extension tackle the psychology behind your habits). It also puts your units into perspective and offers feedback and tips on cutting back.
emWave 2, from £175
The emwWave 2 is a portable and convenient way to train your physiological response to stress. The idea is that tracking your emotions is the first step towards understanding and eventually controlling them. This feedback devise helps you discover how to transform feelings of anger, anxiety or frustration into happy thoughts.
If you want to count calories you need this app. It helps you set and store your weight loss goals and holds information about your daily intake and exercise to make sure you stay on track. Check out Digifit too, a complete health and fitness solution designed to be used with MyFitnessPal.
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, £0.69
Do you feel tired and groggy all the time? This app might just solve all your problems – or at least all those related to sleep. It analyses your sleep cycles and wakes you up when you are in the lightest phase. Getting out of bed should be much easier and in turn you are likely to feel more rested.
How much do you really know about your body? How much do you want to know?

Read ELLE’s piece on the gadget that logs your every move in the August issue of ELLE, on sale now.

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