Health apps: a running commentary

In this sponsored post, discover Bupa's new range of apps and tools to help you set your mid-life health goals and give you the motivation you need to achieve them

BUPA health tools and apps
Bupa’s tools and apps

We all know the benefits of exercise and healthy living but anything that can make it easier to embrace such pursuits in mid-life is usually welcomed. A tip of the hat, then, to private health giant Bupa, which has launched a range of free apps and toolsto help us “find healthy”.

Self-assessment is the key, from a simple health age calculator, which quizzes you on your diet and fitness levels, to the Smart Runner, for plotting different types of running workouts.

The general information is accessible and well presented, but it’s the apps that prove most useful. The running app has the ability to plan uphill, sprint and cross-training routes, and log them on completion. If you’re listening to music through your phone, prompts giving encouragement will play over the top. If aches, pains and niggles arise, they too can be logged and sent to your physio for diagnosis and advice.

The simply-titled Bupa Fitness app allows you firstly to assess your fitness, and then plan specific four-week workout plans to improve your flexibility, balance, strength and stability, as well as tracking your improvement in all four areas.

Step-by-step explanations and video demos give a clear idea of what you’re letting yourself in for before you begin each exercise, and if you’re feeling self-promotional, you can share your achievements on Twitter and Facebook after the four weeks are up.

It isn’t all about the body, though: the brain gets a workout too. Spare ten minutes and some personal details and you can get a decent reading of your stress levels.

A comprehensive round-up of sleep information, from relaxation techniques to advice on insomnia, ensures that after all the physical exertions, you should be able to lay your head down for a decent night’s kip too.