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Reaching your fitness goals can be challenging, and it can take more than a few trips to the gym to see visible results. Building healthy habits requires a lot of time and effort, which can seem impossible if you’re already juggling a family, a job, and a social life.   

On top of trying to stay active throughout the colder months, the rising price of gym memberships can make getting in shape an expensive commitment. Beyond maintaining their physical health, everyone should be able to turn to exercise to improve their mental wellbeing – after all, it is accepted by medical professionals that exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood, in turn boosting self-esteem.

That’s where the BetterMe: Health Coaching App can help. Available to download for free from the App Store or Google Play, users can choose whether they want to purchase the premium features available in-app or stick with the free version.

I gave it a go, and after taking the 1-minute quiz and answering a few simple questions about my fitness goals, I got familiar with the layout of the app – and I was pleasantly surprised. 

Instead of the intimidating language I was used to seeing in the fitness world, I was instantly engaged with the calming layout, the simple workout tracking system, and the helpful sections encouraging me to clock my water intake and reach my step goal.

Depending on how you prefer to manage your diet, there are sections to help you to plan nutritious meals, track your fasting (if that’s your style), log your workouts, and even take care of your mental wellbeing with uplifting mindfulness exercises.

There’s also a section filled with tips and articles to help you stay motivated, a handy sleep tracker, and a helpful coach to follow each time you start a workout. Here’s what I learnt after trying BetterMe:

Having a workout schedule can transform your motivation (especially if you work from home) 

As someone who works from home three days a week, it’s easy to slip into the routine of sleeping in and staying indoors all day, particularly during the winter months. But while it’s important to get enough sleep, this habit can quickly leave me feeling lethargic and unfocused. That’s why I found planning workouts for the week using the calendar feature of the app to be incredibly helpful, as it provided structure to my week, and a refreshing change of pace.

Instead of going from my bed to my desk, I’ve developed a healthy habit of choosing quick, 15-minute workouts from the BetterMe: Health Coaching App and following them in my living room. Even if it’s just a gentle stretch, it changes up my day and helps me to feel accountable for my fitness.

Your brain needs a workout too 

I must commend BetterMe for being one of the few workout apps out there that includes mental exercise as a key element of staying healthy. Not only does it help to normalise the discussion around mental health by viewing it as part of our fitness routine, but it also encouraged me to check in on my wellbeing far more often than usual.

Packed with relaxing guides and mindfulness tutorials, the app provides the option to read the exercises or listen along with an audio guide. I prefer the audio version, so I can close my eyes and focus on quietening my mind. 

Carbs are an essential source of energy 

When trying to get in shape, I’ve always assumed that pasta and bread are off the menu – but BetterMe has changed my mind.  Upon signing up, you’re given the chance to pick the diet that best suits you. From lactose-free and paleo to vegan and keto, there’s meal plan to suit everyone’s taste. In my case, I chose good old-fashioned “traditional”, and I was delighted with my choices.

BetterMe Meals

Each diet offers a downloadable meal plan that you can use on your weekly shop and is designed to let you enjoy your favourite foods without exceeding your calorie limit. For my “traditional” diet, my plan included meals like avocado toast, spinach and tomato pasta, chicken burrito bowls and even tacos! Topped off with easy-to-prepare yoghurt parfaits and dark chocolate to satisfy my sweet tooth, I had no complaints.

You don’t have to clock your calories to feel a difference 

If counting your calories is up your street, then you’ll love BetterMe. With a clever calorie tracker built into the app, you can clock everything from your Starbucks order to your favourite sandwich.

But as someone who doesn’t like to count calories, I was initially concerned about how effective this app would be if I didn’t want to participate. I needn’t have worried – the app is customisable and is there to be used in any way you see fit. Perhaps you want to record what you eat each day, or maybe you just want some inspiration for a healthy dinner – whatever you want to get out of BetterMe, it can be tailored to suit your needs. 

Walking is my new best friend 

Above all, the “Reach Your Step Goal” section of the app is easily my favourite feature. I’m a big believer in the power of walking to improve your physical and mental health, and I love it when an app celebrates this too.  

By simply syncing the app with my phone’s settings, it instantly backdated my weekly step count from the days before including my distance walked and the calories I’d already burned. Super clever, and super satisfying.

So, would I recommend the BetterMe: Health Coaching App to a friend? If you value exercise that fits in with your work-from-home routine and busy schedule whilst supporting your mental and physical health, then I’d advocate trying it. Whether you’re looking to reach a goal weight, or just change up your daily exercise, BetterMe can help you to do it.

Download the BetterMe: Health Coaching App for free online

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