With a new year comes New Years’ resolutions.
Most New Years’ resolutions centre around a specific goal like losing 20lbs or drinking eight glasses of water a day. The challenge with New Year’s resolutions is the average person abandons their goal after about a month. People do this because something happens one day that throws them off their intended objective, and they become discouraged.
Last year I started listening to the Cortex Podcast from Relay FM. The hosts of Cortex practice “yearly themes” where instead of setting a specific goal, they assign themselves more of an overall guiding theme for the year. Examples of a yearly theme might be “the year of nutrition” or “the year of punctuality.”
Goals are pass-fail. If you don’t lose those 20lbs, you miss your goal. However, if you lost 18lbs, is that really a failure? No — of course not. Yearly themes encourage us to make better versions of ourselves without tying our success or failure to a single target.
Many yearly themes focus on health and wellness. Luckily, your Apple Watch is the perfect companion device to help you work towards creating a better you.
Here are 14 Apple Watch apps to help you live a healthier life:
Fitness Tracking Apps
We have Apple’s default fitness tracking app on the Apple Watch: Workout starting off this list. Apple’s Workout app allows you to track workouts from a vast pool of exercises that use Apple-designed algorithms to accurately track how many calories you’re burning. The Workout app then writes its data to the Apple Health and Apple Fitness apps on iPhone.
Exercises completed in the Workout app will count towards your activity rings found in the Activity app on your Apple Watch. The Fitness app on your iPhone will list your completed workouts and showcase exercise trends. The Workout app is free on any Apple Watch, and Apple has a support article you can read to learn more about the app.
Nike Training Club
Nike Training Club is a fun third-party workout app created and maintained by the athletic clothing company; Nike. Nike Training Club offers workouts from 5 minutes to 45 minutes in length. Workout types include endurance, mobility, strength, and yoga while providing beginner, intermediate, and advanced skill level offerings.
In addition, you can select workouts that target specific muscle groups and whether or not they require equipment. Nike Training Club is free to download for iPhone Apple Watch with no in-app purchases.
Seven: Home Workout & Exercise
Seven is a fitness app designed to give you short workouts that you can do anywhere at any time. Workouts are crafted to not require any equipment and to take only seven minutes so you can fit them in anywhere in your day. There are over 200 exercises to choose from, whether your goal is to lose weight or get stronger.
Seven offers an iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch app. Seven provides a 7-day free trial and costs $4.99 per month or $39.99 per year for an individual. If you’d like to share the subscription with your whole family, you can subscribe for $59.99 per year.
MyFitnessPal is perhaps the most popular calorie tracking app on the App Store. At the highest level, MyFitnessPal gives you a way to track your calorie and macro intake. Going beyond, the app creates a community around nutrition and allows you to set custom goals on a personalized dashboard.
MyFitnessPal offers a database of over 14 million food items and can integrate with over 50 other apps. MyFitnessPal is free to download on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. It offers a premium subscription with additional features for $27.99 per month or $114.99 per year.
Lose It is another popular calorie tracking app on the App Store. Lose It works similarly to MyFitnessPal. You enter in a weight loss goal, track your food, and optionally sync your workouts. Lose It claims to have the most extensive food app database of over 27 million items.
In addition, the app offers custom themes, recipes, and workout guides to help you along your fitness journey. Lose It is free to download on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. The app does offer a premium plan with additional features for $54.99 per year or $139.99 for a lifetime subscription.
Calory is a fun and well-designed calorie tracking app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Calory operates much like every other calorie tracking app. To get a recommended calorie consumption goal, you enter your current weight, goal weight, and activity level.
Calory thrives on its additional features. The app offers dark mode, app customizations, widgets, and syncs your data with iCloud — avoiding the need for an account. Calory is free to download and offers premium features such as macro tracking for $22.99 per year or $39.99 for life.
In watchOS 8, Apple introduced the long-awaited sleep tracking feature on Apple Watch. While the Sleep app isn’t as full-featured as the other two third-party options in this section, it is free and included on any Apple Watch running watchOS 8.
Apple’s Sleep app allows you to set a sleep goal, bedtime, wake-up time, and an alarm to wake you up. In addition, you can view how much sleep you got the previous night or view trends from the last 14 nights. Apple has a support article on using your Apple Watch to track your sleep.
AutoSleep is my sleep tracking app of choice. AutoSleep has a really informative UI on both the iPhone and Apple Watch. You’re able to view the total amount of sleep, quality of sleep, heart rate, and deep sleep duration. In addition, you can set goals for your sleep duration, deep sleep percentage, quality percentage, and nocturnal dip percentage.
AutoSleep detects when you’re sleeping automatically and can send you a sleep status notification the next day. AutoSleep prides itself on not collecting user data and only requiring optional Apple Health app permissions. AutoSleep is a one-time purchase of $6.99.
Sleep++ is my other favourite third-party sleep tracking app. The app offers automatic sleep detection and manual sleep tracking activation. The sleep data is then provided in a simple timeline UI that tells you how much sleep you’ve gotten and when you had moments of restless sleep.
Like the other two apps on this list, Sleep++ writes to the Apple Health App. Sleep++ is free for iPhone and Apple Watch, with a $2.79 in-app purchase option to remove ads from the iPhone app.
Apple’s Mindfulness app was introduced with watchOS 8 as a replacement for the breath app. This simple app is designed to encourage people to take a moment for themselves. When opening the Mindfulness app, you’re prompted with two options: Reflect and Breath. Reflect prompts with you with a topic you’re encouraged to think about while Breath guides you through a breathing exercise using haptics.
Data is synced with your iPhone’s Apple Fitness and Apple Health apps. The Mindfulness app is also used for mediation workouts via Apple Fitness+. Mindfulness is free on any Apple Watch running watchOS 8. Apple has a support article for anyone looking to learn more about the app.
Ten Percent Happier Meditation
Ten Percent Happier Meditation is designed to help you sleep better, be more mindful, and improve your relationships through meditation. Ten Percent Happier Meditation offers guided meditations plus talks and videos on improving your meditations.
The award-winning app offers over 500 guided meditations to help with situations such as anxiety, parenting, and focus. Meditations always range in length to allow you flexibility when you can squeeze in a meditation. Ten Percent Happier Meditation is free to download with limitations on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. You can subscribe to the entire library of meditations for $19.49 per month or $129.99 per year.
The best form of meditation and reflection is done through journaling for some of us. Day One is an app designed to help you create meaningful journal entries about your life. Unlike writing in a notebook Day One allows you to import photos, videos, audio recordings, and Instagram posts with their premium subscription.
Free and paid users can make unlimited typed entries to record their thoughts. In addition, Day One offers journal entry sharing, text message and email imports, passcode protection, and automatic backups. Day One is free to download on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch with a premium subscription for $5.49 per month or $47.99 per year.
Fasting & Water Tracking
Intermittent fasting has become a popular way for people to help manage their food intake, lose weight, and improve their metabolic health. Zero is an app designed to help track your fast and motivate you through it. In Zero, you can select a duration you want to fast for or manually enter your fast start and end times.
In addition, zero offers notifications when you’ve reached or surpassed your goal and provides widgets to help monitor your progress. Zero is free to download for iPhone and Apple Watch. The Zero Plus subscription costs $13.49 per month or $92.99 per year.
WaterMinder is an app designed to help track your water intake throughout the day and identify trends. If you’re looking for help to drink more water, WaterMinder might be able to help you. WaterMinder offers dark mode, widgets, Siri Shortcuts integration, and Apple Health app syncing. In addition, WaterMinder provides a simple UI on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. The app is a one-time purchase of $6.99.