One You: Couch to 5K app
If you want to start running but don’t know where to begin, this app offers step-by-step instructions for getting off the sofa to clocking up the kilometres in nine weeks. With celebrity trainers and progress trackers, it also includes tips, advice and case studies of success stories. (Remember to check with your GP before you start if you haven’t exercised for a while.)
Change4Life Sugar Smart
With this app you can scan barcodes while out shopping to find out how much sugar each item of food and drink contains. The app aims to help people make healthy swaps to reduce sugar intake — and hence cut down on empty calories.
Change4Life Smart Recipes
Also focused on healthy eating, this app suggests easy-to-cook, calorie-counted ideas for breakfast, lunch or your evening meal. Plan ahead by clicking on recipes and you can create well-organised shopping lists as you go.
This pedometer and movement tracker calculates the steps or distance that you walk, run or cycle — as well as calories burned, if you wish. Simple to use, Moves keeps a weekly and monthly record of your movements (including where you’ve been), helping you to challenge yourself to increase your daily exercise.
This multi-focus app has an extensive database of food and drink so you can track your intake, and monitor your exercise. Some users are evangelical about its benefits for weight-loss support although the free version means putting up with lots of adverts.
One You: Drinks Tracker
Does what it says on the tin, helping you record how much alcohol you’re drinking (as long as you remember to tally as you go). If you’re honest about glass size and quantity, it can add up how much you’re spending, provide tips and advice, and can let you know how large or risky your intake is.
Although only 19 per cent of UK adults are now smokers — down from 46 per cent in 1974 — in 2014/5 there were around 475,000 admissions to hospital for smoking-related illnesses. The NHS Smokefree app is a great support to giving up. Backed by a website, it gives motivational tips, distractions and meditations to alleviate cravings, plus a progress tracker.
All apps are available via the Apple app store and Google Play.
To find out more about Benenden health care, services and the health assessments visit http://www.benenden.co.uk.