You may not have bought an Apple Watch to help you stay fit, but wearing one makes improving your fitness game incredibly easy. In fact, there’s a good chance you’re already doing it.
There are two native apps on the Apple Watch that are key to living healthier: the Activity app and the Workout app.
Those apps allow Apple Watch users to learn more about their daily behaviors, encouraging them close the daily activity rings (which track movement, exercise and how many times you stand up) or log workouts with the help of Siri (i.e. “Siri, start timing my jog now”).
But beyond what the device offers by default, there’s a whole collection of apps that can help Apple Watch owners make valuable lifestyle changes, from three-minute meditation to tracking how much water you’re drinking.
At the same time, plenty of fitness apps (like, say, Runtastic) interact with Apple Health, letting you share data to the Activity app. That way, your efforts will go toward completing those rings and meeting daily goals.
So let’s look at the health and fitness apps you need on your wrist now.
WaterMinder: While we wish there was an app that automatically logged how much water we’re drinking throughout the day — you’d probably need an embedded chip in your arm (or something equally creepy) to do that — WaterMinder provides an easy way to keep a running tab on the glasses you down; it’ll gently nudge you to add your daily water consumption progress. Price: $1.99
Equinox: One of the hardest parts about working out is making the commitment and finding time to do so in your day. But gyms like Equinox are making it extra convenient to squeeze in a workout by letting you you sign up for classes and instructors with just a tap of the Apple Watch screen. The Equinox app will send an alert when a class you love is available, and you can reserve a spot by just selecting the prompt. It’ll even put the class on your calendar, too. Price: Free
3 Minute Mindfulness: This app is perfect for people who want to meditate but can never find the time. In just three minutes, this app uses light meditation to calm you down and change the way you breathe with various exercises. You can do it before bed or a presentation to ease the mind. Spending three minutes with the app each day may even have more overall benefits than that 30-minute meditation session you’ve been putting off all week. Price: Free.
Bonus: Headspace (also free) is another great meditation app for the Apple Watch, but the process takes a bit longer (10 minutes a day) to get centered.
Lark: Lark has been a health app mainstay on iOS devices for years, but where it really belongs is on your wrist. The app keeps track of your user habits and relates this to the rest of your health: For example, it might have noticed you were online late last night and suggest that’s probably why you’re dragging at work today. You can verbally speak with Lark, too, and it provides coaching feedback (i.e. you can tell it what you had for breakfast, rather than typing it into a logging system, and it will respond with something like, “Get more energy for your day with leaner protein in the morning”.) Price: Free.
While Apple’s built-in Workout app is a solid starter, there’s a whole collection of apps out there that offer more features and an enhanced experience.
Runtastic Pro: Runtastic Pro has a killer training feature that lets you see a ton of information right on the wrist. There’s also an in-ear trainer that speaks to you as you workout, letting you know when it’s time to speed up, how far along until your next rep and displays pictures of the workout to help improve your stance. Price: $499.
Bonus: RunKeeper is a solid — and free — alternative.
Seven: This app is all about short seven-minute workouts (you can extend it to 14- or 21-minute workouts too). Without distracting the user with too much information, the app shows the next body position (for situps, pushups, squats) and a timer. Because the app is on your watch, it’s much easier than keeping your phone in your hand or on the floor to see what’s up ahead. There’s an audio voiceover, too, and you can choose from characters like a drill sergeant or a kung-fu master. Price: Free
Pocket Yoga: Pocket Yoga is perfect for yoga beginners who may need additional visuals to get the poses correct: Set your phone aside and refer to your wrist so you can keep your head up. It also gets your heart-rate data as you stretch and move. Price: Free
Lose It! and MyFitnessPal: Both apps have long been popular on the smartphone but now have easily digestible versions for the wrist, too. With just a few taps, users can log what they’ve eaten throughout the day and see how it factors in to their daily food goals. The apps sync up with Apple’s Activity app, which pulls in data from other Apple Watch apps, so if you’re using one of the workout apps above, you’ll get a bigger picture of how much you can eat that day based on what exercise you’ve done. Price for both: Free