Android Wear has been around for a couple of years now, and it’s honestly one of those things that you don’t know how much you’ll use it until you actually have it. There are some really good, useful tools available for Wear that will make your life simpler, but we want to highlight a handful of apps that will also help you live a bit healthier.
For Exercise: Strava and Runtastic
If you’re a runner or cyclist, Strava and Runtastic are two excellent apps to track your progress. They each have full Android Wear integration, so you can start your activity with “OK Google, start a bike ride” or “OK Google, start a run” and whichever you have set as default will launch and you’re on your way.
While both apps offer free versions, there are also premium versions available to unlock their full potential. Strava Premium costs $6 a month and offers more in-depth activity details, like advanced heart rate analysis, power zone details, real-time segment integration, and a lot more. It’s still a highly useful tool on its own, however, so there’s no need to jump right into the premium membership until you feel like that’s something your workouts can benefit from.
Similarly, Runtastic offers a premium membership for $2.99 a month (if you pay for a full year) that offers more details on the web, like training plans, records, fitness reports, and more. There’s also a premium version of the app that enables useful features and removes all limitations that are found in the free version. Like Strava, though, give it a shot and see if it’s what you’re looking for before you invest any money into it.
For what it’s worth, I was a long-time Runtastic user, and I think it’s probably the best standalone activity tracking software available for Android and Wear. But since switching to a Garmin Edge to track my cycling data, I’ve moved to Strava Premium since it has better Garmin integration. You really can’t go wrong with either of these apps—pick your poison and get moving!
For Passive Tracking: Google Fit
If you’re just looking for a way to casually track steps and get a rough idea of caloric burn on a daily basis, Google Fit is a great way to go. Basically, you install it, log in, and do literally nothing else. It will passively track your steps using your Android Wear watch, then send that data back to the phone. You can set goals for how long you want to be active every day, then use Fit to keep up with that—it logs miles, steps, active times, and calories. You can also use it to take your heart rate if you have a Wear watch with a built in heart rate monitor, like the Huawei Watch, for example.
Google Fit also integrates with other activity trackers, like Strava. That way, even if you don’t track an activity using Fit, you’ll still see the data show up in Fit. That’s pretty neat.
For Better Sleep: Sleep as Android
Getting good sleep is absolutely crucial for a healthy mind and body. And the thing is, as a society, most of us don’t sleep enough. With family, hobbies, and jobs that require more out of us than every before, getting an acceptable amount of rest is almost impossible for many people. That’s why you have to make the most of the sleep you do get, and Sleep as Android is a good place to start.
Basically, it’s a smart alarm clock that tracks your sleep, then tries to wake you up at the optimal moment, so you wake up refreshed and ready to attack the day. It also integrates with Google Fit (and Samsung S Health, if that’s your thing), can record sleep talking (neat!), offers nature sounds to fall asleep to (on the phone), and more.
Like most of the others on this list, Sleep as Android has a free version you can try, but also a premium model that unlocks everything the app has to offer. But as always, give the freebie a shot before you throw down your four dollars.
Living a healthier lifestyle is something that basically everyone can benefit from, and doing little things like drinking more water, getting better sleep, and walking more are all little things you can do to get started on that path. The notification machine on your wrist can be a great asset in helping you start living healthier, so use that to your advantage.