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10 Trackers And Apps That Can Make Your Life So Much Better

You can now use trackers and apps to fix your posture, spy on your dog, find inner peace, monitor your baby's breathing, and more. We live in the future, didn't you know?

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1. If you wanna lose weight: Fitbit Flex or Jawbone UP24

Both of these wearables come with accelerometers that track your steps (experts recommend at least 10,000 a day — how are you doing with that?). They also come with apps that offer advanced and easy-to-use food tracking services, so you can easily log and monitor your eating habits. And the Jawbone UP24 has the added bonus of buzzing you whenever you've been sitting on your butt for too long.

Fitbit Flex (left), $99. Get it here.

Jawbone UP24 (right), $129.99. Get it here.

2. To step up your running game: Garmin Forerunner 10

Garmin / Via

For when monitoring your steps just doesn't cut it, you're going to want a device with a built-in GPS, like this one. The Forerunner 10 comes with a few special training tools just for runners: It speaks out loud to let you know when you've completed each mile; gives you summaries of every run after you're done; and it even comes with a tool called Virtual Pacer™, which compares your current pace to your target goal. Sync it up with a MapMyRun or Strava app to keep track of your progress.

Garmin Forerunner 10, $129.99. Get it here.

3. For better posture: Lumo Lift

Lumo BodyTech / Via

This tiny wearable device tracks your movements and gives you a gentle buzz every time it determines that you're slouching. Because of its size, you can attach it to your clothes discreetly — no one has to know your secret. And if you're still not convinced about this gadget's worthiness, you should watch this TED talk to learn more about how your body language shapes who you are. (How's your posture now, by the way?)

Lumo Lift, $99.99. Get it here.

4. For more efficient workouts: Athos Wearable Technology for Fitness

What you're looking at here might sound like science fiction — but it's real, and the products will start shipping to peoples' homes in January. On the left is the Core, which is what Athos calls "the brains of the system." On the right are some workout clothes that come with sensors that constantly track your muscle activity, your heart rate, and your breathing. They all connect to an app that tracks your progress, and gives you instant feedback about your performance — like say if your form was off in that last set you just did. Oh, and the workout clothes come with SPF 50 sun protection, and they're machine-washable.

Athos Wearable Technology for Fitness: Core, $199, and clothes, $99 per piece. Reserve yours here.


5. For spying on your dog: Whistle

Whistle / Via

Whistle is a health tracker for your dog — yes, seriously. It attaches to his collar, keeps track of his activity and rest, and sends updates automatically to your phone. It can give you a realistic picture of how much exercise your dog is getting (which can help motivate you to grab your pooch and get out and move more). It may also be helpful with dog behavior — bad dog behavior is often linked to insufficient exercise for particular breeds, so you can use Whistle and work with your vet to figure out a goal activity count for each day.

Whistle Activity Monitor, $99. Get it here.

6. For tracking your period and fertility: Clue and Kindara

Clue (pictured above) is a smart and useful app that helps you track your cycle and all of its intricacies — your moods, your pain, your fluids, your sexual activity, and more. It uses an algorithm that gets smarter and more accurate the more you use it, so it can better help you predict when your period is coming, when you're ovulating, and when you should prepare to hunker down for a few days with a tub of ice cream and a heating pad.

Kindara (not pictured) is a fertility awareness app that helps you learn more about your own cycle and take your reproductive health into your own hands. It can be paired with a tool called Wink that reads your basal body temperature (so you can find out if you're ovulating for sure), and automatically sync the readings to the app.

Clue App, free on iPhone and Android. Download it here.

Kindara App, free on iPhone and Android. Download it here.

Wink by Kindara, $79. Get it here.

7. For tracking your pregnancy: Glow Nurture

Glow is another fertility tracking app, like Clue and Kindara above. Glow Nurture is the app for when you successfully get pregnant. Glow Nurture helps you keep track of your prenatal appointments; tracks your weight; keeps a due date calendar and a daily health log; and it also connects you with a Glow Nurture community, where you can chat with other users going through the same things you are.

Glow Nurture, free on iPhone. Download it here.

8. For better focus and inner calm: Spire

Spire / Via

Spire is a sleek, beautiful tracker that monitors your breathing patterns and activity to give you a snapshot of how you're feeling. It can tell when you're feeling tension, focus, or calm, and it gives you real-time feedback — letting you know when you're a bit tense, or giving you rewards for being focused. It also offers guided breathing exercises to help you out. You can easily (and discreetly) clip it to your bra or waistband. Plus, the Spire and its charging station are among the prettiest / least plasticky looking trackers on the market.

Spire & Charging Pad, $149.95. Get it here.


9. To track your baby's sleep: Mimo Smart Baby Monitor

Tony Luong / Mimo Baby / Via

This is a baby kimono that comes with a built-in tracker. It monitors your baby's breathing and movement patterns, and can tell you whether your kid is actually awake or just stirring (super helpful if you're fretting about whether you should go into the baby's room or not to pick him up). It also can tell if your baby has rolled over or changed position, and can tell you how her breathing is. This baby kimono can be great for parents who obsessively check that their newborns are still breathing about 10 times a night. Plus, it's machine-washable (and very cute).

Mimo Smart Baby Monitor Starter Kit, $199.99. Get it here.

And one more to look forward to in THE FUTURE: Scanadu

Scanadu is a company working on building a suite of mobile health devices more impressive than anything you've heard of before. Pictured above on the left, for instance, is the Scanadu Scout, a sensor-packed scanner that you hold to your forehead to get readings of blood pressure, temperature, blood oxygenation, and more, delivered straight to your cell phone. Pictured above right is the Scanadu Scanaflo — a urine test kit that, among other things, can tell you if you're pregnant, or if you have a urinary tract infection (UTI). All of these devices are still under development, but the company has plans to seek FDA approval once they're all in working order... meaning that one day, we may not need to go to the doctor to get a routine diagnosis of UTI. Think of the possibilities.

Learn more about Scanadu here.

And to learn more about the insane and exciting and occasionally troubling growth of self-trackers and apps, read all about the big business of the quantified self: Big Mother is Watching, by Anne Helen Petersen.