We’ve come to associate our smartphones with unhealthy habits, such as stress, questionable social habits, lack of sleep and not getting enough exercise. But app developers are changing this perception with an abundance of apps to help us eat better, move more and rest adequately. Here are the best ways to turn your smartphone into your greatest health advocate.
Keep Track of Calories
Who has time to count calories? Quit bending your brain and let your smartphone take over. There are tons of apps for this, but the top rated apps are
- My Fitness Pal
- Calorie Count by Fat Secret
- Calorie Tracker
- Lose It!
These apps include the calorie count of foods you eat, help you track the calories you eat each day, count the calories you burn through exercise and allow you to keep a journal of your progress. The one that’s different is 40:30:30. This unique app helps you keep your nutrition in balance while you’re cutting calories so you don’t neglect important sources of iron, calcium, fiber, antioxidants and other critical nutrients for health.
Compare the Nutritional Value of Foods
Being healthy goes beyond weight. Good, healthy habits include getting all the vitamins and minerals you need. Apps like Restaurant Nutrition allows you to compare the choices offered by restaurants so you can pick something healthy before you sit down to eat. Fooducate is a great app that scans the barcodes of food you’re contemplating and tells you exactly what you’re getting, including calories, fiber, vitamins, etc.
Monitor Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and Gluten
Sticking to a special diet is hard in our world of fast, highly processed foods. Fortunately, there is no shortage of apps for the BlackBerry 10 smartphones and others to help us stay on track. For example, dLife Diabetes Companion allows you to look up diabetic-friendly foods, watch helpful videos, get your questions answered, find diabetic recipes and manage your blood sugar all from your smartphone.
For those managing high blood pressure, there’s Heartwise Blood Pressure Tracker and Heart Pal. The advantage of Heart Pal is that not only does it help you make healthy decisions about your blood pressure, it also keeps your doctor informed of your progress.
Those with gluten intolerance will enjoy the Gluten-Free Scanner, which examines the barcode of foods to determine if it’s safe for you to eat. Find Me Gluten Free helps you find businesses catering to your gluten-free dietary needs.
Get Some Exercise
Staying active is a challenge when work, family and social obligations are so demanding. Apps like Endomondo help you stay social and active by allowing you to connect with your friends from Facebook, Gmail, Yahoo! and other social sites and track each other’s activities by GPS. Fitbit is an app about all things fitness, including calorie counting, how much exercise you get, your weight, heart rate, glucose levels, blood pressure and even sleep. The app is free, but you’ll need to invest in the monitors and other gadgets to take full advantage of Fitbit’s capabilities.
Build Better Sleep Habits
Sleep deprivation affects our mental and physical health. As mentioned, Fitbit One offers some helpful sleep tracking aids. Jawbone Up is an updated release of Jawbone and shows marked improvement over the original. This app can keep track of your sleep habits, such as when you’re sleeping peacefully versus tossing and turning. It also helps with your activity levels and eating habits.
Who knew your smartphone was the ticket to better health?