Apps often get a bad rap for being time wasters and battery drainers. While is sometimes the case (especially the battery part), there’s definitely some good evidence that certain apps can help to sharpen up your thinking skills. You’re already spending a lot of your time on phone every day. Why not make the most of this time by using some apps that suffices beneficial for you? Here are six awesome apps to get you started.
1. Piece Out
There have been numerous scientific studies proving that puzzle games do, in fact, make you smarter by increasing mental flexibility and problem solving. There are tons of puzzle apps in the market, but Piece Out is one of the better-designed games that is actually quite challenging. Each puzzle requires you to slide and flip pieces to get a single block from one end to the other (kind of like that Rush Hour game you played as a kid). The design and rules are simple, but the levels are not. If you do happen to get stuck, there are hints to help you along the way.
Piece out is available for download on iTunes and Google Play.
Appeal your inner middle-schooler and give your memory a workout with BBF. This game will quite literally “train your brain one fart at a time” with a challenging pattern game that uses bodily functions to create sequences for you to repeat. Memorization challenges, like the repeating the patterns in the game, can actually prevent memory loss in the long-term, so indulging in a little childish fun with BBF will make you smarter overall. Burp, Belch, Fart away!
BBF is available on iTunes and Google Play.
While fitness trackers can be a great way to count your steps and measure heart rate, they may not be the most accurate when it comes to calorie burn, according to a recent study. Many factors count into the number of calories burned during a workout, or any other activity those other trackers simply do not measure. Thankfully, tryAround found a way to give users a more accurate measurement by basing every movement of personal metabolic equivalent (MET). You can record just about any activity you can think of (even daily tasks like cooking or walking the dog), and tryAround will calculate your calorie burn based on your individual body measurements and MET.
tryAround is integrated with Apple Health and is currently available on iTunes.
A classic among calorie counters, MyFitnessPal recently paired up with Under Armor to create an all-encompassing healthy lifestyle app. Users enter in their weight loss goals, height, weight, sex, and activity levels, and the app calculates the optimal daily nutrition for you. This app is not limited to straight up calorie counting; it keeps track of your fat, carbohydrate, and protein intakes as well, and helps you find the right balance to generate weight loss.
Tracking your daily meals and snacks makes you accountable for the food you eat, helping you eat more mindfully - generally leading to weight loss. You can import recipes from the web, create your own, or add ingredients from the thousands of food items in the app so you know you have an accurate nutritional report for every meal. The best part is that you can join with a community of users and connect with your friends to cheer each other on and keep everyone motivated.
MyFitnessPal is available on iTunes and Google Play.
5. Sleep Cycle
You should know by now how crazy important it is that you get a full night’s sleep. There have been so many studies linking adequate sleep to better health, weight loss, and longer lifespans, yet most Americans still struggle to get anywhere near 8 hours per night. And of course, nothing is worse than that jarring feeling when your alarm jolts you out of a deep sleep. Thankfully, Sleep Cycle can make sure that never happens to you again.
Sleep Cycle is an alarm clock app that actually tracks your personal sleep patterns and goes off when you are in your lightest cycle, making it much easier to wake up feeling refreshed. The app uses your phone’s microphone to listen to your movements and breathing patterns (it will even mark down when you start to snore, in case you were wondering). You can even program the snooze time setting to progressively shorten, so you wake up more naturally. Getting up in the morning will still probably be tough, but this app can certainly help make things a little better.
Sleep Cycle is free on iTunes and Google Play.
Recent studies have sadly shown that Americans are fairly unhappy. And according to the ADAA, 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders, as well. Thankfully, app developers have created a number of apps to help with this problem and uplift your mood. Happify is one app that stands out because it actually measures your progress as you continue to use it. According to their reviews, about 86% of users reported that they saw a significant positive shift in their wellbeing after a few weeks! The games and activities in the app were developed by scientists and experts to help alleviate stress and promote positive thinking. It includes guided meditations, helpful articles, self-evaluations, and scientifically backed games to help improve your outlook on life.
Happify is available on iTunes and Google Play.
They say the best thing you can invest in is yourself. Take a little time that you are already spending on your phone to make your life a little bit better by improving your mind and body with just a few swipes and taps on your screen.