We use smartphones for taking pictures, answering emails, games, online banking, reading and listening to music. New apps are created everyday to improve our lives and this year you can use it to improve your health.
Some of the most popular health-related applications involve tracking. It’s a great way to monitor your fitness, food and other vital readings. By entering your numbers into an app, you also feel in control of your health and fitness. You have the chance to see the negative or positive effect of your behavior and make changes for the better.
Here are a few favorites to try out this year! All of these can be found in the App Store.
Cost: free from the Apple and Android app stores, but you’ll need to sign up for Weight Watchers Online, which includes a fee for full access.
This app is great for anyone who loves the Weight Watchers program. It’s a convenient place to track your points as well as your exercise. The app creates a line graph of your weekly weigh in, so you can visualize your progress. It offers recipes and cheat sheets to help you navigate the grocery store and restaurants. There is access to the online community where you can share updates and photos with other friends using the program. The free side of the app, without paying for a Weight Watchers membership, has some cheat sheets as well as a meeting finder, recipes and information about their programs.
My Fitness Pal
Cost: free from the Apple and Android app stores
This app asks for your measurements and personal information and creates a calorie count for your day. You can track your meals as well as exercise. The tracking process is a little more tedious than some others, but you have the freedom to specify exactly what food you ate. My Fitness pal also breaks down the other nutrition information for your food.
Cost: Free from the Apple App Store
Everyday health is a pocket reference for health conditions. It has tips for specific behaviors, such as cutting bad cholesterol and healthy snacks. There are also extensive doctor and pharmacist Q & A’s. The best part is the “Mom Says…” tab, a quick guide to trouble shooting your own problems, such as breakouts, constipation, coughs, etc. Everyday Health also has links to communities for people suffering from different types of illnesses.
Cost: $.99 for the basic app or $2.99 for the full app from both Apple and Android app stores
This application is perfect for grocery planning, shopping and even offers coupons. You can take pictures of the items you are buying as a reference for later and scan bar codes to keep track of your purchases. This app can sync to your other machines as well as the phones of your family members.
Cost: Nike+ is $1.99 from the Apple App Store or Nike Boom is free from the Android App Store
This is a must have for any runner, no matter how serious. It maps your routes, monitors your progress and reports how fast or slow you were moving at different points on your run. You can connect this app to your Facebook account and it will cheer when your friends like or comment on your run status.
Cost: $4.99 from the Apple App Store
Diabetes Buddy is a tracking system for diabetics with specific information about glucose, medication, carbs, blood pressure and weight. You can plug in your daily food and exercise routines as well as see a line graph of your progress and trends.
Eat This Not That Game
Cost: Free from the Apple App Store
This game is modeled after the popular books Eat This Not That which offer healthy options while still enjoying your favorite foods. The game prompts you to choose the better choice between two similar foods. After it tells you the answer if also provides the calorie and sodium breakdown for each choice. It’s a great game to use to teach yourself to make healthy decisions.
Cook This Not That
Cost: $4.99 from the Android App Store
This recipe app helps you cook healthier choices. It offers over 140 quick and healthy meals for cooks with all levels of experience.
Cost: Free from the Apple App Store, pay for classes individually
This app offers a store of fitness classes that you can download, some for a small cost, others for free. It separates the classes by which part of your body you want to work, or if you want to tone, strengthen or work toward weight loss. This is a great app for someone who needs creative ideas for home workouts.
What are some of your favorite health apps? We’d love to hear your suggestions!