"The UKs wellness industry is to surpass 22.8 billion in 2020"
It comes as no surprise that the UK’s wellness industry is to surpass £22.8 billion in 2020 — with an increase in the amount of people joining gyms, purchases of sport equipment, health supplements, and alternative medicine, companies are jumping on the bandwagon and are releasing smartphone apps to help people achieve their fitness and health goals. Ranging from the NHS introducing a calorie tracker to an app to help kick the habit of smoking, these apps are a step in the right direction, especially with 50 per cent of Brits giving up on their health goals. Take a look at the top health apps for 2020:
Couch to 5k
Almost everyone aiming to improve their health knows of Couch to 5k. It’s ideal for those who don’t particularly have the fitness levels to take on marathons but want to increase their physical ability. Presented by Public Health England, it builds you up gradually with a mix of running and walking so that within nine weeks you should be able to run 5 kilometres (3.1 miles). There’s also a choice of five virtual trainers to help you on your fitness journey and keep you motivated.
We’ll admit, many might not class this as a ‘fitness app’ per se, but you can’t argue against the influx of people getting active because of this app. The popular game works by individuals needing to be active in the community to progress in the game. According to Sport England, one in three kids in England take part in less than 30 minutes of physical activity each day. This was described by Sports Minister Mims Davies as ‘simply unacceptable’. With games like Pokémon Master, this is a great way to get kids active and taking part in an activity they’d enjoy. It was even found that the original Pokémon Go was also helping to bring families together as parents and children were competing with one another as to who could catch the rare monsters.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Think Pokémon Go, but Harry Potter. For those who aren’t particularly a fan of the Pokémon franchise, this take based on JK Rowling’s creation could be just the thing. It works by users having to complete a certain number of steps in order to open up treasure chests for more loot. Also, as magical creatures and characters spawn on the map in-game, you need to physically travel to move your character across the map. However, unlike the Pokémon take, this game will be able to track your activity without even running the app. Therefore, you’ll be able to track your steps without being synced to the game, and those who like to wear a Fitbit will more than likely agree that this can become a game in itself!
If you need a workout environment amongst other fitness fanatics to get motivated but aren’t keen on the idea of a year membership, Esquared is for you. This app works in the same way as Uber in the sense that it allows you to find gym sessions and one-off classes in your area. The benefit of this app is that it’s non-committal and there are no subscription fees. Currently, it’s only available in London and Sydney, but keep an eye out in case it expands into an area near you!
Babylon: GP at Hand
This NHS healthcare app is perfect for those who don’t have time to make a doctor’s appointment. Make a video call with an NHS GP on your smartphone! Usually, you’ll be seen within two hours once you make your request, meaning that you no longer have to wait weeks for an appointment or attend a walk-in surgery. It allows the doctor to discuss your symptoms and, where necessary, you can show them your issues on camera.
Don’t neglect the health of your mind — it’s not just our bodies we need to focus on. Mental health has, rightly so, become a major topic of interest. Campaigns such as ‘It’s Okay Not to Be Okay’ are bringing our mental well-being into the forefront of the attention via the media. However, in the UK, approximately one in four of us will experience a mental health problem each year. Depression and anxiety are two of the most common issues. This American-based app helps anyone who feels isolated discuss their concerns and issues thanks to it connecting you instantaneously to one of its 160,000 trained volunteer listeners and licensed therapists. It’s anonymous, free, and confidential. It also allows you to participate in guides chats through group support discussion rooms.
So, go on, stop texting and turn your smartphone into a personal healthcare assistant and revolutionise your life!