Published on October 30th, 2016 | by Guest0
Get into Healthy Habits – Here are 5 App Categories to Get You Started
Most of us probably have thumbs that get more exercise than the rest of our bodies. And many of us have other unhealthy habits – physically and mentally. Good health really is a matter of developing the right habits. So it might be a good idea to use those thumbs to find some apps that will help you get into those habits that will increase your energy, keep illness and disease away, give you a toned and fit body, and establish and maintain mental fitness too. Yes, “there’s an app for that” is certainly true regarding health and fitness – in fact there are thousands of them. It’s really hard to know exactly where to begin, and an app that is a “jewel” to one person will be “trash” to another.
The following five categories of health and fitness should guide you as you select your apps. You will want at least one if not more in each of these categories, and the following selection represents some of the most popular.
- Physical Fitness
Whether you are just beginning, have had fitness routines on and off, or are a bit of a fitness addict who wants to be certain to maintain, there are apps for any level. Here are several good ones from which to choose.
This is a great start for beginners who just want to get a handle on how active they are on a daily basis. If you keep your phone with you at all times, you will be able to track the steps you take and the mileage you rack up. It will also track such things as running, cycling, etc. At the end of each day, you can see your total mileage. You can also set goal levels for improving your levels of activity or picking up the pace.
For $10 a month, you can basically have a personal trainer guide you through the “class” you choose to take. Select from indoor or outdoor workouts, Yoga, equipment sessions, or marathon training and more, this is a great app for someone who wants versatility in fitness training.
You can download a variety of workouts as usual, all from pro trainers and athletes. But now, you can also access live event and stay informed/join local events too. You can also customize your workouts, and, once finished, you will be asked how tough it was. Based upon your response the app will intuitively adjust your next workout. Best of all? It’s free.
Use this app to estimate your body’s fat percentage, and then set a goal. Input your age, weight, height, and this app will develop a personal training program based upon your goals. You can also get dietary plans and additional coaching for an extra fee. Base price is $10/month of $60/year.
If you want what is called a “studio-like yoga experience,” then this may be the app for you. You can select your style, difficulty level, sequence, and a music playlist. And the app creates a new sequence each time you practice. Vocal instruction is included, giving a class-like experience.
All-inclusive fitness with your choice of trackers. Fitbit can track absolutely every piece of your day – your activity and your workouts, your diet, your weight loss, your progress toward fitness goals you set, your sleep, and more. You can sync your stats automatically from your chosen device to your phone or computer; progress is shown by way of charts and graphs on the app dashboard. App is free – devices vary in pricing.
- Medical Health/Wellness
Whether you need to monitor such things as blood glucose levels or blood pressure, there are apps that are used with tracking devices to give you the information you need. Beyond that, however, there are a few you might want to consider for other functions.
This free app has all of the information you need about drug interactions and proper dosages. You will also learn about potential side effects, and even track your when you take what. Users can ask questions about specific drugs and get immediate answers for themselves or loved ones.
- First Aid (Red Cross):
Here’s a great little app for instructions in the case of medical or accidental emergencies. One very cool feature – you can literally walk through emergency situations and test yourself on the correct responses. There are prevention videos and ability to call 911 right from the app.
Here is a health database and access to a conversation about a medical situation. You can search through a huge library and also ask questions and receive answers from actual physicians. For a fee, you can set up video chat with a doctor for more precise advice and recommendations.
This app was developed by two emergency room physicians and again offers a large database library for medical and health issues. You can search by symptoms, by named illnesses and diseases, medications, etc. many medical practices allow you access to your records via a personal portal. If you have more than one physician, however, you have to access different databases. With this app, you can store all of your medical records in one place – just download them from your multiple portals and upload them to the app.
The latest research on sleep indicates that adults need 7-8 hours out of every 24-hour period, in order to function properly, and that most adults do not get enough sleep. There are apps that will help you monitor your sleep and take steps when you are not getting enough.
This app will analyze your sleep patterns and make sure that you are waking up at the right time. You set the alarm and the app will wake you up to 30 minutes ahead of that time, based upon your phase of sleep. This will allow you to wake and be more alert more quickly.
This app can be for fun or for serious analysis. If you are waking not feeling refreshed, it might be because you are a heavy “sleep talker.” This app is activated by speech, so when you begin to talk in your sleep, it will record everything. You can then have a good laugh at yourself, or analyze what you seem to be dreaming/talking about that is disrupting the quality of your sleep.
There are many other sleep apps that monitor phases of sleep and will let you know if you are passing through the phases appropriately.
NOTE: Often we cannot control lack of sleep because we have too much on our minds or too much to do. This is especially true of students who pull too many “all-nighters” getting those essays and papers finished. If this is an issue you are plagued with, you might want to consider getting help from a professional writing service, such as Papers Board – you will sleep better knowing that some of those pesky writing assignments are being crafted for you.
If you are having trouble shutting down your brain, check out some of the meditation or soothing sound apps that may calm that brain and get you to sleep faster.
- So diets are not fun. And even if we are dieting with someone else or have others who support us, having an app or two to monitor our intake, count our calories and suggest menus and recipes for a weight loss goal can help us stay on track.
Use this app to search by GPS or zip code to find restaurants that offer foods within the dietary restrictions you have set up. And you can get calorie counts, as well as fat, salt, and carb gram amounts of most foods on popular restaurant menus.
This is easily one of the most popular diet apps out there. It houses a huge database (over 5 million food and drink items) with nutritional information, including gram and calorie counts. If exercise is in your overall weight loss plan, you can also track that exercise and learn how many calories you are burning.
While Foods is a great place to eat for people who are watching their nutrition and caloric intake. This app allows users access to their recipes, with several different search features, including ingredients and spices. You also get notification of sales and events at Whole Foods Markets in your area.
- Mental Health
Our minds need to be just as healthy as our bodies, and they can get “out of whack.” When we lose sleep, don’t eat right, and experience high levels of stress, our mental and emotional health can suffer. Here are some apps you will want to consider.
Users will receive a daily text question to answer and then will receive feedback regarding their moods. This technology for this app was developed at Johns Hopkins University.
If stress and anxiety are becoming more and more a way of life for you, here is a free app that will give you 10 guided meditations, along with a progress page to keep track of your practice.
If anxiety and too much on your mind is causing lack of sleep, this is a free app that will let you choose calming sounds and music to play when you go to bed. It is also a great tool to use during the day when you need a few minutes to relieve stress.
Again, another free app, although you can add a subscription for access to other features. There are daily mental workouts that will aid in memory and attention improvement, focus and other cognitive skills. Most are in the form of games. After each activity, you will receive a score, and then you can compare your scores as you move forward.
Fitness is multi-faceted and should perhaps be referred to as wellness. It encompasses physical, emotional and cognitive health, and the steps to achieve wellness in each area of one’s life are varied and yet entwined. Lack of health in one area of fitness will impact health in other areas. Technology is providing us access to research-based apps that can promote our health, and we should use them.