All right, move it along, people. Summer’s over. Our tans have faded, the kids are back in school, and it’s time for us adults to get back to real life. Here are some free apps to help get you back into the swing of things.
You’ve had your fun with fried food and ice cream. Fooducate (Android, iOS, web) helps you recalibrate your tum-tum, letting you scan the barcodes of popular food items and returning a food score based on dietician-rated factors. The better it is for you, the higher it’ll rank. Whole foods like fruits and vegetables tend to score well, naturally, but this app shines when it comes to figuring out just how bad certain junk foods are. With any luck, your eating habits will slowly start to err toward healthy.
All those days slumped in a beach chair have left you woefully out of shape. Thankfully, C25K (Android, iOS) is an excellent solution for easing back into a workout routine. Short for couch-to-5K, the app starts with a mix of walking and jogging, adding more running and less jogging as you progress through the eight-week program. If you can handle three days each week for 30 minutes each day, by the end of the eight weeks, you’ll be capable of running a 5K from start to finish. You’ve spent all summer slacking off; why not spend two months this fall making sure your pants fit?
As the sunny days get shorter and shorter, that alarm seems to be going off earlier and earlier. Let SleepBot (Android, iOS) help you get the most out of sack-time by easing you to sleep with ambient-noise soundtracks. While you’re sawing logs, the app detects movement and sound so you can analyze what might be causing you such restless sleep. You can also set a smart alarm, which will sense when you’ve started to stir and go off within 30 minutes of your target wake-up time so as not to rustle you out of a dead sleep.
Within minutes of the final winter thaw, your budget took a turn for the worse. Goodbudget (Android, iOS) provides an easy-to-use set of tools for getting your finances back under control. You break your earnings up into virtual “envelopes” in order to track how much you’d like to spend (or save) in various categories, the idea being that segregating your expenses can help you see where you’re going off the rails. You can share budgets among family members as well so that everyone’s kept on the same page.
Months of trashy novels and reruns have turned your brain to mush. Turn things around with Elevate (Android, iOS), an app that pelts you with focus, memory, processing, math, and mental comprehension exercises. To get the most out of it, you’ll need to check in each day for a series of quick, fun tests. Do better, and the app will increase in difficulty. Slip a little, and it’ll ease up a bit to help you progress along. Spend enough time with the app, and you may find yourself more focused, more eloquent, and quicker on the mental uptake.