Nicky is former editor of Life & Style online.

Nicky Park: Five apps for good health

There are oodles of health and wellbeing apps available all designed to enhance your life. Here are five of my faves, plus share your own and win a brand new Smartphone!

There are plenty of apps to improve your health. Photo / Thinkstock
There are plenty of apps to improve your health. Photo / Thinkstock

7 Minute Workout Challenge ($2.59)

7 minute workout app.
Photo / iTunes
7 minute workout app. Photo / iTunes

The 7 Minute Workout was made popular by a New York Times article backing the simple but effective programme. Researchers have selected 12 bodyweight exercises (think squats, planks, pushups) performed for 30 seconds with 10 second breaks. This high-intensity training with short rests is bloody hard, but that's the point, right? Research suggests this kind of short, intense, sweaty training can boost metabolism and aid in weight loss. It's suggested you repeat the programme two or three times to reap maximum rewards.

Moves (free)

Moves app.
Photo / iTunes
Moves app. Photo / iTunes

This app runs in the background of your iPhone and tracks every move you make. Moves remembers the routes you walked, drove, ran or biked and provides you with a 'storyline' at the end of the day.

The developers say their goal was to get people to think more about their exercise habits by reviewing everyday behaviours. It can be pretty addictive trying to beat the steps you clocked the previous day, but this is a great way to up your consequential exercise points. The downer, it sucks the life out of your battery, fast. This is a massive hindrance if you're a heavy Smartphone user. Moves website encourages users to power up overnight.

Smiling Mind (free)

Smiling mind app.
Photo / iTunes
Smiling mind app. Photo / iTunes

This wholesome app is a meditation tool specifically set up for young people. Smiling Mind - a not-for-profit web and app programme - was developed by a team of psychologists specialising in in youth and teen therapy. It introduces techniques that are easy to learn and extended meditation updates are added regularly. This app is backed by universities around the world as a way to help deal with stress, depression and mental illness.

All in Yoga ($6.49)

All-in Yoga app.
Photo / iTunes
All-in Yoga app. Photo / iTunes

All-In Yoga boasts the largest database of yoga poses in all of iTunes. This user-friendly app - suitable for gentle exercisers all the way up to downward dog pros - features 300 poses and breathing exercises, all shown in awesome HD video. Users can search for poses by skill level, fitness goal or type and create custom programs. Or, pick one of the 45 pre-installed programs and witness your flexibility grow. Each session finishes with 10 to 13 minutes of breath and meditation - so good for the soul.

The Whole Pantry ($4.19)

The whole pantry app.
Photo / iTunes
The whole pantry app. Photo / iTunes

What makes The Whole Pantry special is its combination of healthy recipes and lifestyle support. For people trying to embrace the clean living buzz this app is a great place to start. The recipes are free of sugar, grain, and gluten, and while the list is limited, the pictures will make your belly rumble. Users are presented with a recipe of the day and other bits and pieces of motivational wellbeing information like body scrub concoctions and tools for de-stressing.

* All these apps are available from the App Store.

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