Whoever said phones were bad for you were so clearly wrong.

The world is slowly but surely opening back up again following the endless lockdowns that we’ve all endured throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’re all trying to desperately adjust to beer gardens in freezing, wet temperatures but there’s something not quite right about eating a lasagne outdoors while wearing an anorak.

While we all eagerly await for the moment that we can sit inside, eat drink and socialise, there’s one inside establishment that’s already open and running business as usual.

That’s the gym we’re talking about, folks. There are three types of gym goers that can think of: those who love the gym; those who hate the gym but go anyway; and those that avoid it like the plague.

Those of you who fall into the first two categories will be interested to hear all about Apple’s Health app, and how it can contribute towards you living a healthier, happier life.

From the number of steps walked in a day to a tracker that tells you how well you’ve slept, the Health app will help you get more out of your fitness – whether you’re at the start of your journey or an absolute pro.

Here’s your warmup.

To get started you’ll need to set up your Health Profile and your Medical ID which is easily done in the Health app.

When you open up the app, don’t feel daunted. There are lots of different options but it’s a lot easier than it looks. Head to summary first and tap on your profile picture in the top right-hand corner.

You’ll see options to set up your health details and also your Medical ID, too. Start with your health details.

Here you’ll be prompted to enter lots of different details such as your name, gender, DOB and even any medication you’re on that could effect any workouts you’re doing.

The next step is to update your Medical ID. This is basically a profile designed to help emergency services access important information about you should there ever be, well, an emergency.

The Health details section on Apple's Health app.
Fill in your health details to make the most out of Apple's Health app.

Simply select Edit and fill in the details. It gets a little personal here and asks for your blood type, weight (including all that extra lockdown weight), medical conditions, height, allergies and emergency contacts.

As invasive as this might feel, it’s a great thing to have if anything unexpected should happen.

The main event.

Once you’ve successfully set up these two profiles, the fun really starts. Every time you load up your app, you’ll see your very own dashboard – which is totally customisable.

Here you’ll be able to choose your favourites by tapping Edit just below that beautiful photo of yourself in the top right hand corner.

A screenshot of favourites on iPhone's Health app.
Personalise your dashboard and add your favourites. 

Whether you want to see a rundown of your activity, your mindfulness or check in on how your heart rate is doing, everything you want can be added to your dashboard so you can access it all in one place.

There are four main functions that the Health app focuses on: activity, sleep, mindfulness and nutrition.

Get active.

The Activity section is probably the most used area of the Health app, especially for the gym-goers among you. It works by using the iPhone’s accelerometer to measure the number of steps you’ve taken and the distance you’ve travelled.

A screenshot of the steps setting on Apple's Health app.
How many steps do you do in a day?

We’ll let you decide whether this is motivating or mortifying; of course it depends on the day for us. Nobody wants to walk on a Sunday!

If you’re super-serious about your fitness and opted for an Apple Watch, the stats get even wilder. You can sync up a whole bunch of metrics like the number of calories you burn, how long you’re stood up for and even more details about your workouts.

You can compare your progress as the Health app will store all of your data from your workouts. Whether you want to check in daily, weekly, or monthly, you’ll be able to see just how far you’ve come.

It’s not only Apple Watch users who get all the fun. Those who favour a Fitbit or prefer a cheaper option that does all the same stuff can sync up their data too and track their progress.

Stay mindful.

There’s an old saying: healthy body, healthy mind and the Health app has certainly taken this into account.

With all the stress of the pandemic and everything else in between it’s more important than ever to be mindful of your mind…

The Health app has its very own Mindfulness section which will track a number of different things to see just how often you take time for yourself throughout the day.

It works by calculating the number of minutes you spend relaxing throughout the day and like we said before, we’ll let you decide whether this is motivating or mortifying.

Apple Watch users will be able to increase their mindfulness minutes by using their Breathe app. For those who don’t know, the Breathe app reminds you to breathe every day.

This might sound ridiculous to some, but you’d be shocked at how many people forget to take the time to just breathe.

Again, if you’re not an Apple Watch user but love apps such as Calm or Headspace, you can sync your data using those too.

Foodies listen up.

We’re all huge foodies at heart and by foodies we mean you simply love nice food. Even the pickiest of eaters can agree that the one thing they look for in their meals is great taste.

We’d never encourage strict calorie counting and that’s not what the Food and Nutrition section on the Health app is all about.

It’s actually a way of noting down what you eat and drink to visualise exactly how much protein is in your diet or iron.

It’s a tool for tracking whatever you want it to – it’s all in your control! The app doesn’t expect you to know how much protein was in your spag bol, there are apps for that.

MyFitnessPal is a popular one and it’ll literally tell you everything you need to know about all the juicy goodness that’s in your food. And the well-deserved bad bits too.

Once you’ve synced these third-party nutrition apps, head to Browse then Nutrition.

Goodnight all.

Last but certainly not least is the Sleep section on your Health app. You’re apparently supposed to fit in 8 hours of slumber a night, which to some of you may sound like something from a fairy tale.

The Sleep section is filled with lots of features that help you get a better sleep or track just how shocking last night’s was.

You can set your own sleep schedule and cast yourself back 25 years to when you had a bedtime. And we imagine some of you would love nothing more than an early bedtime again.

You can automatically turn on Do Not Disturb so that when you’re trying to peacefully drift off to sleep, you drift off from the digital world too. Wave goodbye to notifications or spontaneous late night phone calls.

Set bedtime goals, enter Wind Down mode and so much more. To see all of your options, head to the Set Up Sleep tab on the Summary page. You can work through the options here to ensure you’re getting what your body needs at bedtime.

The first wealth is health!

Whether you use it to track workouts, monitor how healthy and nutritious your diet is or you just want to see how good a nights sleep you had, the Health app is perfect.

To get in on all the health action, you’ve got to have an iPhone and if you’re walking on the Android side of life or looking for a new iPhone, we’ve got you covered.

We’ve got unmissable prices on the very best from Apple, including the new and trendy purple version of the iPhone 12!