10 Essential Apps to Help You Shape Up

Get off your coach and on your phone — we've got the lowdown on the ways to sleep, exercise and work out better.

Perhaps the ultimate in motivation, CharityMiles benefits you and your favorite cause. Pulling from $1 million in sponsorship, CharityMiles pays the charity of your choice 25 cents for each mile you walk or run and 10 cents for every mile you bike. (For iOS and Android; free)

The best way to control our diets is to make our own food — but some days, that’s just not going to happen. In those moments, HealthyOut sorts through restaurant options for you. Sort by diets such as vegan, low-carb or heart-healthy, and see appropriate meals nearby. (For iOS & Android; free)

Designed by neuroscientists looking to train the mind, Lumosity poses a series of bizarrely challenging puzzles that exercise your brain for qualities you’d like to strengthen — everything from flexibility to avoiding errors to faster reaction times. (For iOS; limited version free, full version $14.99/month)

With a comprehensive nutritional breakdown of the packaged and homemade foods that you eat throughout the day, it’s easy to tailor this app to a variety of nutritional goals and diets. It also considers daily exercise, allowing you to work off that extra serving of mac and cheese. (For iOS and Android; free)

Yoga Studio
Not only does this informative app offer a variety of virtual studio classes, but it also allows for infinite permutations by giving users the option of building their own sequences of poses, saving them and then scheduling them in the integrated class calendar. (For iOS; $2.99)

With 10 meditations to begin with, the free version already provides more than most full meditation apps. That’s because it’s designed as a full course in meditation techniques to create long-term change in thought patterns and behaviors. (For iOS and Android; limited version free, full version $14.95/month)

The beauty of this app is its thoroughness: It’s everything you need to learn what might be wrong with you, find a doctor to fix what’s wrong with you and understand what the doctor will do. But please: It’s definitely not for hypochondriacs. (For iOS and Android; free)

Zombies, Run!
Oh, sure, you could do a regular 5K trainer . . . or you could participate in a zombie apocalypse. Plug in your headphones, press play and the story begins. You’ll need to race around the city to gather supplies and outrun the zombies. (For iOS and Android; 5K Training $1.99, Zombies, Run! 2 $3.99)

If escaping zombies isn’t motivation enough, Pact charges you in cash for missing your goals to visit the gym, log your meals or eat more fruits and veggies. When you meet your weekly goals you’ll be paid — but not as much as you’ll lose for each goal you miss. (For iOS and Android; free)

It’s easy to slouch off at the end of a healthy day, but what’s going on while you sleep? This app is much more than an alarm — put it on the mattress, and it measures movement and sound through the night, finds optimal times to wake you and records how long you slept. (For iOS and Android; free)

Categories: Medicine and Health Features