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NHS Health Check

Health and fitness trackers

From lowering blood pressure and cholesterol to tackling obesity and smoking, digital technology is transforming the way you can manage and improve your health.

Apps and other digital tools are effective ways to sharing your goals, getting advice and support, or simply engaging with other like-minded people for extra motivation.

Wearable fitness gadgets

Wearable fitness devices are designed to automatically track, for example, your physical activity, sleep patterns, mood, and calorie intake.

These gadgets, which come in the form of wristbands, watches and earphones, can be a good option if you need a nudge and want information about your wellbeing – but they do come at a cost.

Many other online tools and apps are free, easy to use and can be accessed on a smartphone, such as an Android or iPhone, or a desktop computer.

The following tools and apps can help you lower your risk of developing the conditions that the NHS Health Check looks out for.

Quit smoking

Smokefree

This app is designed to help you quit smoking over 28 days. It provides daily tips, advice and support, and you'll be rewarded for meeting goals. If you stay smokefree for the 28-day programme you're up to five times more likely to quit for good.

Price: Free

Available on NHS Smokefree

Reduce your drinking

Alcohol unit calculators

Regularly drinking more than 14 units a week risks harming your health. Alcohol apps let you check how much alcohol you're drinking and the number of calories you're putting away too.

Price: Free

Available on:

Lose weight

NHS weight loss plan

With up to four million downloads to date, the NHS weight loss plan has helped thousands of people with their weight loss goals. The 12-week plan combines calorie counting and exercise to help you lose weight safely and sustainably.

The plan is delivered through 12 fun and motivating weight loss packs, which include a colourful food and activity log sheet. You can also get advice and support from the Health Unlocked online Weight Loss community.

Price: Free

Available on NHS Choices

Healthy eating

One You Easy Meals

The One You Easy Meals recipes app is a great free way of helping everybody eat tasty healthier meals. Use it to search for easy calorie-counted recipes for breakfast, lunch, evening meals and puddings.

Keep track with the handy shopping list, which organises the ingredients you need by supermarket aisle, and learn more about being food smart and making healthier choices.

Price: Free

Available on: One You Easy Meals

Calorie checker

Use the NHS Choices calorie checker to look up the calories of more than 150,000 different food and drink items. The calorie checker's database lists the calorie and fat content of: 

  • generic foods
  • branded products
  • meals from around the world
  • alcoholic drinks
  • restaurant meals, including fast food chains

For quick access to the calorie checker on the go, save the page to your mobile device's home screen and use it just like an app.

Price: Free

Available on: NHS Choices

Change4Life Sugar Smart

Many of us eat and drink too much sugar without realising it. The Change4Life Sugar Smart app lets you scan the bar code and food and drink labels to see how much total sugar they contain. That way you can make healthier choices when shopping for food and cut your sugar intake.

Price: Free

Available on: Change4Life Sugar Smart

Improve your fitness

Couch to 5K running podcasts

The NHS Couch to 5K plan is designed to get you off the sofa and running 5km in just nine weeks. This gradual running plan is a free and easy way of getting fitter and healthier and has helped tens of thousands of people so far.

The plan is delivered through a series of podcasts that can be downloaded to any mobile device, and is supported by the Health Unlocked online Couch to 5K community.

Price: Free

Available on NHS Choices

You can also try the One You Couch to 5K app.

Strength and Flex podcasts

The Strength and Flex plan is a five-week exercise programme delivered through five podcasts. The plan is a fun way of improving your strength and flexibility, and getting you motivated to exercise regularly.

If you're not very active, don't enjoy exercise, need a bit of a push, or you simply want a way to get fit again, then Strength and Flex is for you.

Price: Free

Available on NHS Choices

NHS Fitness Studio

Not technically an app or tracker, but a great free online resource, the NHS Fitness Studio has a range of free exercise videos for all abilities. This ranges from aerobics and belly dancing to pre- and postnatal yoga, as well as exercises suitable for people with limited mobility.

Price: Free

Available on: NHS Choices

Page last reviewed: 01/11/2016

Next review due: 01/11/2019

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Couch to 5K

Regular running can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke, boost your mood and keep your weight under control. In this video, watch how Laura went from fitness phobe to keen runner with the Couch to 5K programme.

Media last reviewed: 03/05/2016

Next review due: 03/05/2018

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