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Editor's Picks

The Five Best Health and Wellness Apps

The Fertility Tracker: Natural Cycles

At first glance, using an ovulation app as birth control might sound like a gimmick, risky, or even old news. After all, ovulation sticks have been around for years. But having recently been awarded medical device status by the EU, Natural Cycles is, in fact, a birth control pioneer.

By measuring your daily temperature, it is able to accurately predict ovulation and, in turn, the 6 days each month that it is physically possible to fall pregnant, so women can then use extra protection. Such is its level of accuracy, that it has a Pearl Rating (the measure used to gauge birth control efficacy) higher than both condoms and the pill, even when not used “perfectly”. More compellingly, for the millions of women popping manufactured hormones each day (either via the pill or IUD), it has zero side effects. Doesn’t sound like such a gimmick now, does it?

The Nutrition Bible: Fooducate

An absolute must for those looking to keep an eye on what they’re putting in their body. Scan an item’s barcode or enter its name and Fooducate will tell you exactly what’s in it (including alerting you to any nasties like trans fats, high fructose corn syrup and GMOs), grade it’s nutritional value, rate the quality of its calories and even offer healthier alternatives.

In doing so, you can keep track of your entire food intake, monitor exercise levels (it syncs with Apple’s Health App) and record sleep, mood and hunger levels. Sadly at present, it’s only available in the USA so if you don’t have access to it, try the hugely popular and next best thing: My Fitness Pal.

The Fitness Booster: Healthista Fit HIIT

How many times have you used a fitness app only to find the exercises boringly repetitive or that you’re missing a vital piece of workout equipment?

Enter Healthista’s HIIT app, which stands out in the crowded exercise app market thanks to two things: firstly, the seriously clever algorithm that means you’ll never have to do the same workout twice, and secondly, it doesn’t require any equipment. Instead, personal trainer Kelly du Buisson (famed for her fast-working, high-intensity workouts) gets users to do a series of dynamic moves based on your particular level of fitness.

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The Mindfulness Maximiser: Calm

Part-mediation app, part-soothing sounds app, Calm has an army of loyal fans thanks to its huge range of guided mediations that run from three minutes to 25. Each covers a particular topic that you can choose depending on what you’re going through or interested in (some of the most popular ones are on self-esteem and gratitude). For moments when you want to relax – long commutes, at your desk, during yoga or to fall asleep, there are also 30 soothing nature sounds to listen to.

The Product Checker: Think Dirty

While many of us are picky about what we put in our body, lots are also guilty of slathering on products without knowing what’s in them. Since skin is the biggest organ, it pays to know exactly what you’re putting on it, but navigating beauty ingredients can be a bamboozling process.

Think Dirty is an essential tool if you’re trying to avoid unnecessary nasties or if you suffer from an allergy. With over half a million products on file, you can scan the barcode or enter its name and up will come its Think Dirty rating (10 is the worst, 1 is the best), a full ingredients list (with a rating of each individual ingredient), possible skin impacts (e.g. not being suitable for eczema sufferers) and “cleaner” alternatives. Whilst it isn’t perfect due to the fact that in the US some companies disclose all ingredients, whilst others only disclose some, potentially swaying their rating; reading that your favourite cream contains a possible hormone disruptor or carcinogen might make you reach for something simpler.

Amy Wilson Wyles

A native Londoner, Amy discovered her love for health & beauty while working at Harper’s Bazaar in New York before returning home to work for Conde Nast, Shortlist Media and Net-a-Porter. Eight years later, the mission remains the same: to discover the products and treatments that really work.

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