A healthy dose of technology

Managing your health successfully can be as simple as finding the right app
By Tamlyn Vincent

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While technology doesn’t help with late-night feeds, cooking dinner or babysitting, it can help encourage you to lead a more healthy lifestyle. Monitoring what you eat, how often you exercise, and how much progress you’re making on your personal goals is just as simple as turning on your phone.
 
Here are five apps to get you on the path to healthy living:
 
Couch to 5K
Want to get off the couch and learn how to run? This is the app for you. Spend 30 minutes a day on this running programme, three times a week for nine weeks, and you’ll be able to run five kilometres. The app comes with a training programme and motivational coaches, plus you can track and compare your progress.
Available on iTunes for R49,99 and from the Play Store for R40,99.
 
Fitbit
Well-known for its wearable activity trackers for adults, and now children, Fitbit also has an app. Fitbit’s various devices and the app allow you to track your activity – your steps, distance, calories and even your sleep. The app can work without the devices as well, and lets you log your weight, food, hydration levels and more.
Available on iTunes and the Play Store for free.
 
My Fitness Pal
With this nutrition and calorie database, which includes information on more than five million food types, you can keep track of what you eat; the calories and the nutrients. You can also set your personal goals, log your exercise and sync with other fitness apps or devices.
Available for free on iTunes and the Play Store. Premium features are offered.
 
Strava
This app for runners and cyclists allows you to enter your activities, compare your performances and compete with others in your community. So not only can you track and analyse your own activity, you can also connect with and be motivated by others. The app pairs with devices like a GPS watch, heart rate monitor or activity trackers.
Free on iTunes and the Play Store. Premium is available.
 
Sworkit
Choose your workout, select the time, and get fit, strong and summer-ready or accomplish any of the many goals you can set for yourself on this app. The body-weight exercises, stretches and yoga routines are all demonstrated by real trainers, and the ability to select the length of your workout means you can fit exercise into your schedule.
Free on iTunes and the Play Store. Premium is available.
 
Incentivised Health
Stay motivated with the help of incentive health programmes:
  • Discovery Vitality Earn Vitality points for being active, taking a health screening or buying healthy foods. These points earn you rewards.
  • Momentum Multiply This programme rewards you for being active, healthy and safe and gives you discounts on Momentum products and those from their partners.
  • Sanlam Reality Members of this lifestyle and rewards programme get special offers and can save on their gym fees. The more points you earn, the more you benefit.

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