Social distancing in the era of Covid-19 has undoubtedly led to disruptions in daily routines.
While the current period of self-isolation has derailed social gatherings and sports activities, there are plenty of wellness apps to try to help one get through the long days at home – many of which are free and require minimal equipment.
From monitoring your mental health to planning a vegan diet, here is a guide to several nifty apps that can help you get back on track towards your health and fitness goals for 2020:
Down Dog’s suite of apps, which includes HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and Barre, explores some of the latest fitness trends.
Acknowledging the growing demand for at-home fitness routines, Down Dog announced through its website that it would make content on all its affiliated platforms – Down Dog, Yoga for Beginners, Barre, 7 Minute Workout and HIIT – free till May 1.
Yoga Buddhi, the company behind the apps, has also reached out to healthcare workers, offering them free online sessions till July 1.
MyPlate helps users track their calorie intake and aligns their consumption with their desired weight goal. The app asks users to key in their height, weight and gender, and suggests an ideal BMI range from which to pick a weight goal.
It advises users on their estimated calorie count for each meal; and reduces the calorie limit on a weekly basis to achieve or maintain the desired weight. It also enlightens users on the composition of fats, proteins and carbohydrates of their meals, helping them to make informed decisions on their diet and meal preparation.
If the constant blue light from your devices and anxiety over the outbreak has wreaked havoc on your sleep patterns, Sleep Cycle might be able to help.
The app is designed to start your day right and, instead of one shrill alarm, users are gently roused from light sleep through a series of alarms in the half hour leading up to the set wake-up time.
Using the smartphone’s microphone, the app tracks sound movement to judge if the user is in deep sleep or light sleep, and issues alarms during the light sleep stage, thus minimising disruption to one’s sleep cycle.
Stress or a change in routine, both of which can occur during this period of social distancing, are some reasons that affect female menstrual cycles. Having an app like Clue to record these changes on the go allows users to take note of them and consult their doctors if they have any questions regarding their reproductive health.
Besides its main function of tracking a woman’s menstrual cycle and forecasting ovulation and menstruation on a monthly basis, the app is also a useful recording tool for users to track their oral contraception, alcohol intake and consumption of medicine such as antihistamines and antibiotics.
This is designed for beginners who want to try their hand at a plant-based diet. As more people turn to herb and vegetable gardening in their backyards, the app offers a 21-day meal plan with recipes and a detailed weekly grocery list to simplify cooking vegan meals. Some of the mouth-watering recipes include vegan french toast, basil pesto spread and sweet potato pudding.
This app could be useful for smokers trying to kick their nicotine habit. Users key in their desired quit date, the money they spend on cigarettes, daily cravings and the number of cigarettes they smoke each day. The app then tracks their progress, including the money and time saved. It also encourages users to key in personal messages to themselves and a wish list of things to buy with the money they save in the process.
The app by Phoenix Healthcare gives the user regular notifications to drink water, taking into account the temperature in his environment, his height and weight as well as what time he wakes up and goes to sleep. Users can customise the frequency of the reminders they receive throughout the day.
Choose from a cluster of ideas, from reading philosophy to meditation to cycling, and turn your picks into habits. The app by developer HighDream is based on the idea that it takes 21 days to work a habit into our lifestyle.
This could be a good way for families isolating together to bond, by picking up habits or performing sweet deeds – such as washing the dishes after meals or being generous to each other – together. The habits are also colour-coded into physical, mental, spiritual and emotional categories for users to track their all-round wellness.
Available for iOS on the iTunes App Store
This app is designed for users to monitor their mental well-being, with sections such as coping strategies and positive affirmations.
Based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance Commitment Therapy, the app offers users a simple and user-friendly platform for those seeking help. By providing calming techniques and affirmative thoughts and encouragement, the app aims to help users manage anxiety or depression.
It also connects users through a discussion forum and includes a comprehensive diary feature for those so inclined to record their thoughts and feelings.
One of many apps by developer TMSOFT in the market that generate ambient sound, White Noise Lite is designed to provide users with sounds derived from nature and the urban landscape. These can be used to improve one’s focus while working at home or calm the mind before bedtime. With a few clicks, users can soothe themselves with the gentle sound of a cat’s purr or rain falling against a windowpane.
Text: Malavika Menon, StraitsTimes.com / Additional reporting: Hazel Vincent de Paul