Health apps and Fitness Apps
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Downloadable tools that put you on the road to a better you

By Brandon Gorrell

Even the most perfect among us can find ways to improve ourselves. The challenge is identifying our potential and motivating ourselves to achieve it. With these five health and wellness apps, your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer can become your personal life coach, empowering you to meet that better you. Like the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, whose smart technology, aggressive styling and confident handling all come together to create the epitome of automotive fitness, you can take your drive to the next level if you stay focused on the road ahead.

Nike+ Running

Download this app to your smartphone, and you'll be a running machine in no time. One of the most popular running-assistant apps, Nike+ records the distance, pace and time of all your runs. It also allows you to compare your stats with others who have the app from around the world—because nothing's wrong with a bit of competition, especially when it comes to your health.

Sleep Cycle

When you work long hours, it's easy to skimp on sleep. But here's where Sleep Cycle comes in. This app tells you all about your sleep: how well you're doing it, how much of it you get, how much deep sleep you're averaging and more. It also decides when exactly to wake you up within a specific time window you provide, based on how deep you're sleeping at that time. To use Sleep Cycle, you place your device (with the app open) on your mattress when you go to bed. It senses your movement while you sleep. Based on your movement, it can calibrate when you're sleeping, when you're sleeping lightly and when you're in deep sleep. After a week or so, you can use the data Sleep Cycle's given you to isolate what you're doing right (and wrong) in your quest to develop healthy sleep patterns, get all the regeneration you need and gain the associated improvements in mood, alertness, performance and longevity.

Couch-to-5K

Attention couch potatoes with marathon aspirations: this app's for you. Couch-to-5K is an app that provides hopeful marathoners with a training plan, audio cues and a database of their own running stats to motivate them to get up and going with confidence to the starting line (and hopefully the finish line!) of the next race in their town.

StayFocusd

You know the drill. You show up at the office, power up the computer and get to work—or don’t. First you have to check your e-mail, visit Facebook, scan Twitter, read your favorite blogs and catch up on the news. And then maybe you can sneak in a peek at a few pictures of cats. And so on. With so many distractions, it’s hard to be productive. StayFocusd is a Chrome app that helps increase your efficiency by limiting the amount of time you spend on distracting websites. With the app turned on, your computer or laptop automatically shuts down websites that you provide it after an allotted period, helping you stay on track.

Calorie Counter by MyFitnessPal

A tried-and-true method of losing weight is to cut the amount of calories you consume. Calorie Counter by MyFitnessPal is the perfect app to help you do that. With one of the largest food databases, this mobile app will help you eat wisely, stay on that diet and shed those pounds. 

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Brandon Gorrell is an editor at Thought Catalog. Contact him at brandongorrell@gmail.com or @brandongorrell.