It’s estimated that the fitness/wellness industry in the UK could amount to as much as £22.8 billion by 2020. This figure is made up of a variety of different products e.g. gym memberships, supplements that boost health, and sports equipment.
In addition, smartphone health apps are also playing their part in getting, and keeping, people healthy. For example, the NHS calorie checker can help you keep your calorie intake under control, apps such as Smokefree can help you stop smoking. However, with data revealing that in 2018 around 29% of the British population decided to lose weight — and more than half giving up in the first four weeks— what apps can help us stick to our 2020 health goals?
Couch to 5k
This app is clearly old but gold! Nearly everyone who has wanted to improve their health and fitness has heard of the couch to 5k challenge. It’s ideal for those who don’t particularly have the fitness levels to take on marathons but want to increase their physical ability. 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.
This app has the potential to get people moving, similarly to the Pokémon Go app mentioned above. For those who aren’t particularly a fan of the Pokémon franchise, this take based on JK Rowling’s creation could be just the thing. It works by users having to complete a certain number of steps in order to open up treasure chests for more loot. Also, as magical creatures and characters spawn on the map in-game, you need to physically travel to move your character across the map. However, unlike the Pokémon take, this game will be able to track your activity without even running the app. Therefore, you’ll be able to track your steps without being synced to the game, and those who like to wear a Fitbit will more than likely agree that this can become a game in itself!
For those who enjoy the advantages of a physical gym, but not the commitments of fixed term contracts and memberships, Esquared is the best alternative. 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. 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 in case it expands into an area near you!
Pokémon is not just the ‘game’. But this app is also useful for getting people active. The popular game works by individuals needing to be active in the community to progress in the game. According to Sport England, one in three kids in England take part in less than 30 minutes of physical activity each day. This was described by Sports Minister Mims Davies as ‘simply unacceptable’. With games like Pokémon Master, this is a great way to get kids active and taking part in an activity they’d enjoy. It was even found that the original Pokémon Go was also helping to bring families together as parents and children were competing with one another as to who could catch the rare monsters.
Babylon: Your GP at Hand
Babylon is an NHS app that offers video appointments with an NHS GP 24/7. Usually, you’ll be seen within two hours once you make 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.
Undoubtedly, our physical well-being isn’t the only reason behind the desire for a good health. Mental health has, rightly so, become a major topic of interest. Campaigns such as ‘It’s Okay Not to Be Okay’ are bringing our mental well-being into the forefront of the attention via the media. However, in the UK, approximately one in four of us will experience a mental health problem each year. Depression and anxiety are two of the most common issues. This American-based app helps anyone who feels isolated discuss their concerns and issues thanks to it connecting you instantaneously to one of its 160,000 trained volunteer listeners and licensed therapists. It’s anonymous, free, and confidential. It also allows you to participate in guides chats through group support discussion rooms.
So, this 2020 make the most out of your smartphone with these health apps. They hold so much more value to everyday life, and with these six apps — as well as the many more available via app stores — you can make steps to reaching your goals and improving your quality of life.
Published by Dawn Richard