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Round-up: 10 apps to keep you fit and healthy

The apps that deliver a health boost - from "instant meditation" to an app that offers you money for going to the gym.

A new app promises to calm users down in a matter of minutes - developed by the cult British developer behind the Million Dollar Homepage.

Alex Tew became a teenage internet sensation in 2005 when he launched the Million Dollar site, a web page where each pixel was "on sale" for a dollar.

His new app, Calm, promises to relax users instead.

Tew says: "It is a simple step-by-step program to teach people how to be calm, called 'The 7 Steps of Calm'. We don't use the word 'meditation' in the app as we think this is a barrier for most people who perceive it as difficult, or too spiritually orientated."

But there are plenty of apps that already deliver a health boost - from fitness diaries to apps that offer you money for going to the gym.

Below are 10 of the best.


Calm

Free, iOS

This free app offers a step-by-step guide to calming down - known as ‘The Seven Stages of Calm’. The Calm team now plan to add more programs in the next weeks and months including techniques to help people quit smoking, reduce social anxiety and increase creativity.

Juice Master 3-Day Detox

£2.99, iOS


“Juice Master” Jason Vale offers a rapid-fire version of his juicing diet here - an all-juice diet which has helped Vale sell 500,000 books in the UK. This three-day plan offers recipes for a three-day “detox” where you eat nothing but juices. Vale claims that the diet can can help users lose up to 5lb.

Fitsby

Free, Android


Fitsby uses a rather unique method to persuade you to visit the gym - gambling. Fitsby lets you 'compete' against friends, by betting that you'll visit the gym a certain number of times. You test this by checking in at your gym, using a Foursquare-style GPS login on your phone. If you go, and your friends fail, they pay you. If you don't go, you pay them.


Aquafresh Time2Brush

Free, iOS


This app is a fun way to remind children to brush their teeth properly - with a cartoon blob of toothpaste reminding children to brush each quadrant of their mouth. Music plays as children brush, and a timer reminds them to switch - brushing wins points which can be used to buy hats and other add-ons for the coach.

Food Diary and Calorie Tracker by MyNetDiary

£6.99, iOS


This all-in-one fitness and diet app logs both what you eat and the exercise you do - and offers easy-to-use graphs to steer you towards long- and short-term weight loss goals you set yourself. Unlike many fitness apps, it has calorie readings and fat counts for foods from British stores such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco, ASDA and Marks and Spencer - and if you have iPad Mini, you can scan barcodes instead of typing in information.

Runtastic Pushups Pro

£1.49, iOS/Android


This simple, focused app is a training guide - complete with voice coach - which helps beginners towards a goal of being able to do 100 push-ups. The routine will take you to your goal in just eight weeks as long as you stick to the daily workouts. Graphics are simple, and it works well on both iOS and Android.The workouts use proximity sensors in phones or tablets - or just touching your nose on the touchscreen - to push you towards the goal of  doing 100 in a row.

Change4Life Drinks Tracker

Free


Worrying that you might be drinking more than the safe number of units of alcohol - or unsure of what a unit even is? This NHS app lets you log your drinking in a daily diary, and shows a graph of how your drinking ebbs and flows during the week. The graph turns red if you are drinking too much. The app also offers advice such as, “If it’s in the house, you’re more likely to drink it.”

Sleep Bug Pro: White Noise Soundscapes

£1.49


Sleep Bug Pro is a hi-tech way to ensure you drop off. The hit app - downloaded 400,000 times - offers a series of “soundscapes” including a 'white noise' player (great for getting very young children to go to sleep) which can be set on a timer to give you time to drop off. There are two dozen soundscapes on offer, each tweakable with individual sounds such as wind chimes and waves.


Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking

£4.99, iPad

Attentive smokers will be wondering how on earth anti-smoking guru Allen Carr recorded the videos in this new app - Carr, of course, died of lung cancer in 2006. The historic clips are a great way to get to know his unique ‘easy way’ to stop, though, with an 80-minute tour of his hit method delivered in talking-head form by Carr himself.

iYoga

£1.49, iPad/iPhone


This great-looking app offers a scientific insight into what yoga poses actually do to the muscles inside your body, with a 3D animated body minus the skin walking you through yoga poses, with coloured highlights to show which muscle groups each one affects. It’s designed to complement yoga lessons and help beginners advance their knowledge. The app has 81 Basic poses built in, with a further 124 Intermediate and Advanced poses available via in-app purchase for £1.49.


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