The Apple Watch is an incredible health and fitness device and Apple doesn’t shy away from positioning it as such. It includes a number of features out of the box like a Breathe app for meditation, a Workout app that tracks your heart rate, and an Activity app to monitor your movements and remind you to stay active.
That said, several third-party apps are capable of enhancing your health even further than what Apple’s stock apps can do. If you’re really serious about using your Apple Watch as an all-around health and fitness device, try out these free apps to take things to the next level.
Adequate water intake is extremely important for both maintaining and optimizing your health. It helps with energy levels, muscle growth, clear skin and more. Despite everything the Apple Watch can do for you, no stock app tracks your water intake. iHydrate can help out with that. You enter a few details about yourself like sex and weight to determine how much water you should be drinking every day. Then, every time you drink, track your intake directly from the app.
The good news is you don’t have to only track water. Water comes from plenty of sources — coffee, milk, juice, etc. You can choose specific types of beverages when tracking with iHydrate and the app will automatically adjust your consumption for the day based on the water content. Over in the full iPhone app, you can see a breakdown of your progress over time.
➤ iHydrate in App Store (free)
While Apple Watch’s Workout is solid for runners, swimmers and a few other basic cardio exercises, it’s not good at tracking specific exercises or reps. Gymatic not only tracks those various additional exercises you do at the gym, but somehow automatically figures out what exercise you’re doing. All you have to do is begin the movement, then teach it the name. From then on, it should recognize when you begin that movement and start recording reps. In my tests it was pretty accurate. It also syncs with the Apple Health app to record data over time, track your weight and offers further guidance in the iPhone app.
Your first few exercises are free, but after that you’ll have to pay for either unlimited exercises or premium mode to unlock the rest of the features.
➤ Gymatic in App Store (free)
Centered is a terrific, free app for both mental and physical health, but really focuses more on the mental. It offers varying meditation sessions right on your Watch with voice guidance up to 19 minutes in length. You can also walk and meditate simultaneously or choose self-guided to begin your own meditation session. Centered also asks you about your mood and encourages you to track it to start getting a better understanding of how your mood shifts during the week. What I like about Centered is that you can even view these statistics for meditating and your mood right from the Watch app, rather than needing to use your iPhone for those extra details.
As one last feature, the app also tracks your steps and step goals. Apple Watch this on its own, but I suppose it’s nice to have all these features consolidated in one app.
➤ Centered in App Store (free)
Don’t write off WebMD just yet because it’s more than just a reference guide for medical health and medications. On the Apple Watch, it includes medication reminders complete with dosage and instructions. You can even add this as a complication on your watch face so it’s never out of sight.
Over on the iPhone app, you get more familiar WebMD features: symptom checker, medical condition lookup, first-aid and even manage your refills through Walgreens pharmacy. The iPhone app is also where you have to set up your medication schedule so reminders work on your Watch.
➤ WebMD in App Store (free)
Tasteful is a truly phenomenal app that makes eating out so much easier if you’re on a diet or have certain restrictions either for allergies, digestion or morals. For me, socializing and enjoying restaurant food is the hardest part about eating the way I want to.
Tasteful lets you choose and break down your dietary preferences, then shows restaurants in your neighborhood with menu items that match up. You can choose from everything, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, gluten-free or low carb. Even better, you can break these down more. Maybe you want to eat paleo, but incorporate some gluten-free grains every now and then as well without issue. You can do that too. Make these changes on your phone, then the Apple Watch app will update accordingly with restaurant results.
➤ Tasteful in App Store (free)
Let us know your favorite health-related Apple Watch app in the comments below.