Apps for living well

From diet to fitness and better sleep, these apps can put you on the right track.

For the diet tracker

Android, iOS

This app by the Health Promotion Board helps you track both the calories you consume and calories burned through activities, to keep you on track to meet any weight loss goals you may set.

The Diet Tracker function lets you search an extensive food database containing popular Singapore meals to track your calorie consumption, while Activity Tracking utilises your smartphone's GPS function to track distance based sports like walking, running and cycling.

Manual input is possible.

You can also add friends and be updated about their activities - a way to spur each other to get up and exercise. Plus, the companion iDat website let you analyse your activities in further detail.

For the sweet-toothed

Sugar Alert!

Before succumbing to the lure of a sugary drink, use this app to see how much sugar the drink has. Simply scan the packaging barcode or input the name of the beverage, and the app will tell you how many teaspoons of sugar that beverage contains.

The app will also advise how long you should do a particular exercise or sports activity, selectable from a list of over 100, in order to use up the corresponding calories contained in the beverage.

This app by the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at National University of Singapore leverages on the data of the school's sugar content data bank, which includes information on beverages sold at popular coffee and fast food chains.

For the wheeze

AsthmaCare Buddy

The first mobile application developed by SingHealth Polyclinics, AsthmaCare Buddy (right) helps patients to assess and manage their asthma control, with tools and action plans for monitoring asthma conditions. Asthma Check, for instance, poses simple questions to the user to access his or her condition. The app can record visual monitoring charts to aid the doctor or nurse to work out a good care plan for the patient.

Users can also refer to the app's instructional videos on the ways to use different types of inhalers. The app provides reminders for vaccinations, as well as a listing of general practitioner clinics in Singapore.

For the fitness fanatic

Android, iOS

Designed for national servicemen by the Ministry of Defence, MyIPPT helps in preparation for the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT). Look up the IPPT Scoreboard to view score tables so as to set your training targets, and use the app's workout tracker to measure and record your training sessions.

To make the workout more enjoyable, you can configure playback of your favourite tunes during the session. The app also helpfully checks the weather forecast and PSI (Pollutant Standards Index) level which you can review before heading for outdoor exercise. Social features let you share workout details with friends, and locate the nearest IPPF fitness corner in your community.

The user can book, cancel and view IPPT, IPPT Preparatory Training (IPT) and Remedial Training (RT) sessions through the app as well.

For the busy bee

7-minute Scientific Workout Timer
Android, iOS

Are you too busy to work out? Fitting short 7-minute sessions into your schedule may be the answer. This colourful app features a collection of practical workouts like crunches, jumping jacks, push-ups and squats to help you get into shape through interval training. If a particular workout gets too intense, you can pause it or swipe the screen to skip it. You can also repeat a particular workout to work on specific areas. The app works offline so you can do the workouts without having to hook up to the Internet.

For the insomniac

Sleep Cycle alarm clock

Are you getting enough shut-eye? Waking up rested is made easier with this intelligent alarm clock app that analyses your sleep and wakes you up in the lightest sleep phase. The app monitors your movement during sleep through the highly sensitive accelerometer in your iPhone, and then finds the optimal time to wake you up during a 30-minute window that ends at your set alarm time.

It provides detailed sleep statistics and sleep graphs, and one can track sleep quality over the long term and even export the data to Excel for detailed analysis.

The app provides 15 alarm melodies, besides the option to use your own music to wake up to.