Home Mental Health & Well-Being Smartphone Health Monitoring: 3 Ways to Use Your Phone to Track Your Well-being

Smartphone Health Monitoring: 3 Ways to Use Your Phone to Track Your Well-being

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Well-being is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy”. However, each person wants and needs different things to achieve this state of mind. 

Whether you need help improving and monitoring your mental or physical health, smartphone apps can help you track your well-being in many ways. This could include journaling, meditating, or for those looking to get fit, monitoring their daily calories or taking part in the NHS’ popular Couch to 5K challenge.

So, here are just three ways, and many smartphone apps, you can use to track your well-being. 

Fitness trackers

To get the most out of these fitness-tracking apps, you have to be willing to put in the effort and do the exercise. These apps – which can be linked with your fitness watch or Apple Watch are great for monitoring physical health, and keeping fit is proven to improve your mental health.

Nike Training Club gives users of any ability access to over 200 free workouts (including yoga classes and body weight sessions) and training programmes. Ranging from five to 50 minutes, these workouts can be done at home, at the gym or outdoors – and many require very little equipment.

Strava tracks any runs, hikes or cycles that a user does. You can see how many calories you burnt, how fast you completed your journey and the route’s elevation. You can also view your fitness history to see how far you’ve come and share routes and times with friends and family via the app.

NHS Couch to 5K, in partnership with the BBC, helps absolute beginners comfortably run 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) in just nine weeks. Users are given a training plan which includes three runs a week – short, long and sprints – with a day of rest in between. A different schedule is given every nine weeks so new runners won’t get bored.

Diet and meal planning apps

Being comfortable, healthy and happy within your body can sometimes depend on your weight or food. These apps can track your calorie intake or help you think of an exciting new meal.

MyFitnessPal is a health and fitness tracking app. You can scan food barcodes, input meal items and add any exercise done that day so the app can track the calories coming in and out against the goals you have set yourself. The app is also linked with many fast food and restaurant chains, so it is as easy as adding ‘Mcdonald’s Big Mac’ to your tracker. 

Lose It! and FatSecret work similarly to MyFitnessPal, and can be great for losing weight or building muscle.

PlateJoy is not designed to help you lose weight but can guide users to eating healthier and can help save time in their everyday life. The app helps users to create custom meal plans, recipes and grocery lists.

Many diet and meal planning apps offer a free trial before requiring paid subscriptions.

Self-care apps 

Your phone’s app store has many self-care apps encouraging wellness, growth and healthy lifestyles.

Long walks: The Friendship App is a journaling app that prompts you to answer reflective questions about yourself daily. Although a world away from speaking to friends on social media, you can use the app to connect with like-minded strangers and share your thoughts, feelings and stories.

Pinterest is an image-sharing and social media service; however, it has a different effect to the likes of Instagram. Users can gather images, animated GIFs and videos to create a pinboard which represents, for example, their dream home or perfect birthday party. This helps users visualise their dreams and think about the future rather than comparing themselves to what others are doing on social media.

Headspace allows you to add quick mindfulness activities into your day-to-day life. This could include guided meditations on managing stress, dealing with anxiety or facing challenging times and emotions.

Cove is perfect for those who express their emotions more artistically. The app helps you identify your feelings by creating music. Users can add chords, melody or percussion to express emotions instead of bottling them up.

Aloe Bud sends encouraging notifications to your future self. You can opt for the app to remind you to breathe, hydrate, refresh, refuel or move – but you can also choose not to have these reminders if you don’t feel like moving that day.

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