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12 Free Apps to Improve the Three Most Important Aspects of Your Life

12 Free Apps to Improve the Three Most Important Aspects of Your Life

There’s an app for everything nowadays, from tracking steps to tracking Pokemon. A good app offers some level of added utility to your day-to-day life without intruding in on your real-world responsibilities. When looking to get the most use out of your smartphone, look for apps that can enhance your work, hobbies, and relaxation.

Apps can help you to take charge of three of the most important aspects of your day-to-day life: your family, your health, and your time.

Family

1. Tinder

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    Your relationships start and end with your romantic endeavors, and a host of online dating sites have led to Tinder — the most efficient romance app available. While it may not be as romantic as meeting the love of your life in a chance encounter, it’s fast and fun to meet and chat with potential love interests through Tinder’s intuitive design. Consider similar apps like Hinge or Bumble if you’re looking for a more specific experience.

    2. Family Locator by Life360

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      “It’s nine o’clock in the evening. Do you know where your children are?” A parent’s worst fears can be easily assuaged with Family Locator by Life360, an app that uses GPS tracking to map the locations of registered family members. It’s a simple solution that brings major stress relief. The app’s group chat feature allows family members to communicate quickly and easily.

      3. inBudget

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        inBudget is the only personal finance app on the market that allows users to make public budgets. If your friends went on a great family vacation to San Francisco, they can share their budget to help you recreate the experience. Users can also sync group budgets between family members, simplifying things like bill paying and bookkeeping. Of course, individual users regularly make use of private budgets for everything from household finances to long-term savings.

        4. Khan academy

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          If you’re raising kids, you’re probably concerned about giving them the best possible education and upbringing. Khan Academy offers valuable free lessons to users in important subjects like math and science. Turn idle time into a learning experience by setting Khan Academy up on your family’s iPad or smartphone.

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          Health

          5. Insight Timer

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            Mental health is every bit as important as physical health, and Insight Timer helps to improve your mental health through mindfulness and meditation. Give your mind a chance to relax from the stresses of a busy day at work.

            6. Lifesum

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              While there are dozens of calorie- and fitness-tracking apps on the market, Lifesum stands out by offering feedback and inspirational advice to its users. The biggest challenge for users of fitness apps is to stay on board and consistently enter data; by providing encouragement, Lifesum gives the user a reason to stay on top of their fitness goals.

              7. Strava

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                If you’re the type of person who can’t go to the gym without a buddy, Strava is the app for you. Billing itself as the “social network for athletes,” Strava helps you connect with other fitness enthusiasts to engage in group fitness activities or even do simple exercises together. Strava also offers great utility with its fitness tracking, using GPS technology to follow and catalog your activities.

                8. Sleep Cycle

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                  Sleep is one of the most often-overlooked aspects of a person’s health. The Sleep Cycle app helps users achieve optimal sleeping habits by waking them up at the best possible time each morning. Intelligent graphs and insights help the user to understand their sleeping habits and how to achieve a more restful sleep cycle.

                  Time

                  9. Asana

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                    Most employees dread the prospect of team assignments, recognizing it as the place where efficient work goes to die. Asana helps to combat this problem with useful tools for project tracking and time management. By clearly delineating responsibilities and keeping up with expectations, Asana keeps every on target and eliminates wasted time.

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                    10. Google Keep

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                      If we had the ability to act on our thoughts from the moment they first occurred, the world would be a more efficient place. Google Keep is a simple app for achieving this goal, allowing users to upload notes from any device into a central location. Don’t forget about your most important ideas and responsibilities — let Google keep track of them for you!

                      11. Wattpad

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                        Make the most out of your free time. Wattpad is a popular app for reading enthusiasts as it provides a diverse library of materials that don’t require downloading huge PDFs or connecting to the internet. Liven up your commute or make better use of your downtime with a book, article, or short story.

                        12. IFTTT

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                          Every technological advance offers an opportunity for users to save time and effort. IFTTT is a free app for automating processes from printing and setting alarms to making coffee. Explore the different ways that IFTTT can automate your life and have more time to do the things that you love.

                          Featured photo credit: Mockuuups via mockuuups.com

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                          Alex Bickov

                          Product designer

                          12 Free Apps to Improve The Three Most Important Aspects of Your Life 12 Free Apps to Improve the Three Most Important Aspects of Your Life

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                          Last Updated on May 22, 2019

                          10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                          10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                          There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

                          One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

                          In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

                          Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

                          1. Cat Camel Stretch

                          Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

                          Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

                          Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

                          Here’s a video to guide you through:

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                          2. Go for a Walk or a Run

                          This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

                          Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

                          The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

                          Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

                          Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

                          3. Jumping Jacks

                          Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

                          Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

                          4. Abductor Side Lifts

                          Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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                          Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

                          5. Balancing Table Pose

                          This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

                          Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

                          ablab

                            6. Leg Squats

                            Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

                            Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

                            The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

                            7. Push Ups

                            You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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                            An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

                            Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

                            This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

                            8. Bicycle Crunches

                            There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

                            Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

                            9. Lunges

                            Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

                            Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

                            This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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                            10. Bicep Curls

                            You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

                            Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

                            Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

                            Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

                            Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

                            These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

                            You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

                            Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

                            More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

                            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                            Reference

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