Everybody wants to get fit and stay fit these days. The global health industry now extends far beyond our doctors’ consultation rooms from the food business and nutritional dietary supplements, right through to everything from gyms and personal exercise programmes with body mass and fat analysis tools.

It was only logical then that health would eventually “go digital”. Online connected fitness apps and the devices that they plug into also gives us something else that is potentially quite invaluable: social group connections.

Think of it as Facebook for joggers, cyclists, rowers and yoga fans. There are a whole community of users out there using social apps to “train alongside” their friends, family and colleagues as they connect and improve their body mass index scores.

Garmin Connect

With this app for Apple, Android and also Windows devices you can record your walking, running or cycling stats and upload them to the online analysis pages before sharing them with friends around the world.

Designed to work with the manufacturer’s GPS-connected wristwatches to accurately track your distance, speed and heart rate, you can download it in various different mobile and online versions and start benefitting from it even if you don’t want to shell out on one of the manufacturers fancy watches.

Yoga with Pranayama

Pranayama Yoga is said to be the art of breathing control. Agreed by many to translate from the original Sanskrit into English to mean “extension of the breath” or indeed “extension of the life force”. There are Pranayama classes and schools, online YouTube videos teaching essential techniques and now there’s an app too.

This guide to deep breathing features a progressive course based on the principles of yoga, to help you find balance and stress relief. If you’ve had one too many trips between Dubai and Sharjah in traffic hell-holes already this year, you know this could just be the answer for you. The app is also said to help you with high blood pressure as well as overall stamina and fitness.


Growing its number of global users to what is now said to be around the 12 million mark, Endomondo is a social fitness network with users around the world including those in the Middle East who are currently posting their workout tracks and routes all across the UAE and elsewhere.

If you’re looking for a canoeing route around Dubai Palm Island or a more simple running track around Dubai Safa Park, you can use this app’s online records to see what other people have been doing. You can also use it yourself to turn your mobile into both a personal trainer and a social motivator. Bring your mobile whenever you run, walk, bike or do any other outdoor sport across a distance. While you are out there, your route is automatically tracked together with your distance, duration, average speed, split time and calories burned.

Middle East Food

We all know that if you are going to look after your outside then you know you had better look after your insides as well. Time then for more tabbouleh and lean shish tawook as you cut back on the pepperoni pizza. A healthy eating plan should form part of every fitness regime, so what better than a regional app in the form of Middle Eastern Recipes from GizmoPress for Android. This free app has Middle Eastern and Arab recipes of every kind to keep you on the lighter side.

Outbreaks Near Me

… and finally, this is not a joke. The Gulf region is notorious for its discussion of whether air conditioning units spread infections and disease. With a contextualised view of a user’s specific location where outbreaks have been reported, Outbreaks Near Me can alert you on your device by email when a new health scare is emerging. Genuine health obsession neurotics will also enjoy the app’s unique “outbreak reporting” feature.

Adrian Bridgwater is a freelance journalist who specialises in software applications, gadgets and games.