The Key to Healthy Living Might Be in Your Pocket
Smartphone apps are making it easier than ever to monitor your health and boost your fitness. Whether your goal is to lose weight, eat healthier or workout more often, chances are, there’s an app for that.
Finding the Right Apps For You
When selecting health and fitness apps, there are several things to look for so you can understand exactly what service the app provides. Calorie log? A way to organize recipes? A place to chart your weight? Select apps that have features you are actually interested in, rather than the ones that are showing up on blogs and at the top of your app store. This keeps you from cluttering up your phone with apps you won’t use, and helps you achieve your fitness goals because you won’t be reaching for a goal “that has nothing to do with you,” says fitness trainer Tracy Anderson. “Stay focused on yourself and your own journey and why you’re doing it.”
Stay focused on yourself and your own journey and why you’re doing it.
Read reviews to get an idea on how easy the app is to use. A good app is intuitive and doesn’t require much to get started. If you can’t walk yourself through the app with minimal difficulty, it is unlikely you will use the app enough to get comfortable with it. Reviews will also give you an idea about how reliable the app is. The best idea in the world won’t be functional if the app crashes or is buggy.
Helping Your Health Practitioner
Lastly, consider the benefits of an app that can help you share your fitness and medical data directly with your doctor. As Tim Cannon from HealthITjobs.com notes, “Most doctors see a huge benefit in some of the new, emerging health apps that allow you to track your nutrition and make it easier to eat healthier. In the future, these technologies will even improve and let you do things like scan your food for the exact nutritional contents which makes the data even more valuable. They will also be able to integrate with other technologies like EMR systems used by your physician to provide a comprehensive overview of your health which will lead to better treatments and preventive actions.”
Most doctors see a huge benefit in some of the new, emerging health apps that allow you to track your nutrition and make it easier to eat healthier.
A Few To Check Out
There are too many apps to review each one that is available, but the ones discussed below are popular, generally trouble-free, and offer services helpful to improving health and fitness.
My Fitness Pal is both a calorie counter and an activity tracker. This app offers a huge database of foods, making it easy to log meals and add your own recipes. My Fitness Pal also works well alongside other fitness apps and tracking devices, making it easy to record activity, track progress and notice results.
My Fitness Buddy is an exercise app. It provides you with a spot to easily record your workouts. The app is loaded with over 1,000 exercises, as well as over 45 customized workouts for you to choose from. Images and animated rendering of each exercise makes adding new exercises a breeze.
Nutrino is a meal planner app that is like having your own personal nutritionist on call. It uses your personal goals, food preferences, health needs and lifestyle into consideration when planning your meals. The app also builds a grocery list using your pre-planned meals. It also acts as a virtual health coach and keeps you updated with the latest health news to help you stay on track. Nutrino connects to wearable trackers and other fitness apps for ease in tracking.
My Diet Coach is a motivational app that provides encouragement for your weight loss journey. You can set up reminders for particular activities, such as cardio or drinking water, store motivational pictures and receive motivational messages through the app.
The Low Fat Recipes app simplifies meal planning. Low fat recipes are sorted by main ingredient and other criteria, such as “easy” and “diabetic friendly.” Each recipe has prep and cook time listed, and you can star favorites to find them again easily.
My Diet Watch is an entertaining app that can help curb cheating. Before reaching for a snack, enter the snack, as well as your gender and current weight. The app will let you know how long it will take to burn off the treat, through walking, swimming, running or cycling.
First image courtesy of phasinphoto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net