Five Apps To Keep You Healthy and Motivated in 2018

Image courtesy Runkeeper The first month of 2018 is already ending, and ending with it are so many failed New Year’s resolutions. Whether it's tools to help you track calories, apps that make exercise fun, or even ways to help you eat healthier, 3CR has you covered. Instead of giving up on your dreams of a healthier year, check out these apps to help you stay resolute as you work on those fitness goals. Image courtesy Noom Noom helps you get a personalized weight loss plan in order. It tries to be an all-in-one solution, with daily motivators, calorie tracking, and exercise coaching. Noom uses what it calls a “psychology-based approach” to set up long-term healthy habits. With Noom, it’s not just about losing weight, but about creating healthy habits that will stick with you for years to come. Noom aims to trick your body and mind into being healthy by avoiding triggers which would lead to unhealthy behavior. Noom was also the first to be officially recognized by the CDC for its diabetes prevention program. If you want an all-in-one solution to weight loss and calorie counting, Noom might be what you’re looking for – though with plan prices at about $60 a month if you pay month-to-month, it’s a bit pricey to jump into. But with health insurance companies and the CDC giving Noom rep, it’s hard not to be tempted.   Image courtesy Lifesum Lifesum, like Noom, manages most aspects of healthy living: exercise, calorie intake, etc. Lifesum takes a food-based approach to building healthier habits by tracking vegetable, water, and fruit consumption therefore encouraging healthier choices. Lifesum’s social network also helps you connect with others wanting to improve their health.With the premium service, Lifesum connects with many other fitness apps and devices so you can integrate what you may already be using – like  FitBit, Endomondoo and Runkeeper to name a few. Its premium service is much more manageably priced starting at 3.99/month and provides healthy recipes to help you stay on track, create detailed health and habit statistics, diet plans and more.         Runkeeper rises above the gamut of running apps by providing a sleek experience with the ability to help meet your running goals as well as track walking, hiking, cycling, swimming, and even mostly stationary workouts like Zumba, Barre, etc. so it can do more than just help you reach your running goals. Want to run a 10k this year? Runkeeper has a training regimen to help get you there. Runkeeper provides weekly prescribed workouts and has a goal setting with the Goal Coach to help motivate you. If your runs start getting stagnant there are challenges to take on. With the ability to share/compare progress with friends and even Spotify/iTunes integration, this app is chock full of features.         Image courtesy Zombies,Run!   Zombies, Run! - If you're not a runner or you can't seem to find motivation to keep running...try being chased. Zombies,Run!  turns a daily walk, jog or run into your worst nightmare, by placing you dead center in the zombie apocalypse. You can still listen to your own music and podcasts while you use it, but if you aren't quick enough, the zombie hordes will catch up to you. There will soon be four seasons in the Zombies, Run! Story and apparently, the narrative is quite compelling. There's over 200 missions, and you'll be able to build a base, connect with a player base of over 1 million other runners, and sync your runs online. There's interval training and the option to unlock even more content when you sign up for a subscription, which comes at a pretty reasonable price: $2.99 a month or $19.99 a year. This app is available on both iOS and Android phones, and we can't think of a better way to stay motivated than running for your life.       Image courtesy SuperBetter SuperBetter is an app developed right here in Chicago that aims to help you achieve all sorts of goals. They can be goals for your physical health or mental health, or both. The idea behind SuperBetter is simple- make achieving your goals progressive and turn them into a game. Along the way, you'll take on quests (daily tasks), meet allies who help you win, get power ups that give you strength and energy and even meet your 'bad guys' - the obstacles you face in achieving your goals. You can take on big challenges right away or start small, but the gamification of the things you're wanting to achieve can actually really help you reach your goals, and you might even find yourself looking forward to logging in and taking on the daily quests to get an 'epic win' with your physical, mental, emotional or social health goals. It might sound silly at first, but turning your real-life challenges into a game and having that little extra bit of feedback can really make a difference in keeping you on the road to success. SuperBetter is free and can be found on both iOS and Android phones.
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Antal Bokor

Antal is video game advocate, retro game collector, and video game historian. He is also a small streamer, occasional podcast guest, and writer.