AWT Health Club: Lark, a conversation about your health


Readers of the AWT Health Club column know that one of my pet peeves is entering data into health apps. Whether it’s trying to enter Weight Watchers Points into their app (I gave up), entering calories eaten into any number of other apps, or trying to figure out much activity I’ve engaged in, it’s a pain in the gluteus maximus and I don’t like it. Well, a new app called Lark - Personal Weight Loss Coach and 24/7 Nutritionist (free) wants to change all of that.

Lark carries on a conversation with users about what they’re doing in terms of eating, sleeping, and activity. And when I say “conversation,”, I mean exactly that. After a quick setup that links Lark to the Apple Health app, Lark begins a set of short conversations with you. It will ask what you had for breakfast, chide you gently for not moving enough (it’s actually quite nice about it…), give you tips on what you ate that’s good and bad for you, and so on.

Through the conversations and inter-app communications with the Health app, Lark logs everything that deals with your health. Users can either type in their answers on the standard iPhone keyboard, or use Siri dictation to carry on the conversation.

You soon find that in some cases you’ll need to add more detail about your food and drink; for example, Lark got on my case for drinking lemonade — “a sugary drink” — when it was actually a sugar-free lemonade mix. Next time I’ll say I had sugar-free lemonade and see what response I get.

In addition, what Lark thinks of as activity is apparently pure exercise; this morning, I spent close to 90 minutes doing some hard cleaning of my house, yet as of noon Lark said I had spent only 6 active minutes. Hey, Lark — should I run around the house the next time?

Lark also has an Apple Watch companion. When it’s installed on your Apple Watch, Lark makes it ultra-simple to carry on the conversations and it provides you with helpful coaching throughout the day.

While it’s not perfect — what health app is? — Lark is a keeper because it’s like having a friend nearby who talks to you about your health. It doesn’t nag too much, and the helpful hints about what I’ve eaten are a good way to keep me on the path to better health. Don’t expect it to be a taskmaster or drill sargeant for your health; instead, Lark is perfect for those of us who need gentle help to change our health habits.

Health Club Members!

Rather than having to post your progress on the Apple World Today Facebook page, I’ve created a group that’s strictly set up for us. You’ll need to be invited to the group; please use the email button on the right sidebar to send me the email address you use for Facebook so I can invite you.

My weekly stats:

  • Weight: 197.2 lbs.
  • Change from last entry: +3.1 lbs. (hey, I was on a three-week cruise, so that’s not bad…)
  • Steps taken each day: M-4050,T-6921,W-2809,TH-2685,F-4874,SA-4507,SU-2524
  • Average steps per day last week: 4053 (-641 from previous daily average reported)
  • Move (Active Calorie Goal: 550) - 6/7
  • Exercise - 1/7
  • Stand - 6/7

Let’s hear how you did! Let’s get moving!