It should come as no shock that health-care providers are starting to rely on smartphones, tablets and medical apps to not only monitor their own health, but the health of their patients as well. In fact research has shown that, if used properly, a medical or fitness app used by a patient may cut down in the number of doctor office visits they would normally make.
Technology can be a strong factor in helping you take control of your health, but there are now some 40,000 health apps to choose from — and it’s a completely rapidly growing market. So by my estimate you would need an app just to help you find the right app. And one to keep you sane while you do it.
So consider me your low-tech app finder and look into these more useful and popular medical and fitness related apps. Trust me, these are not the only ones, and you may find a better one, but it’s at least a start. But a word of caution. No matter how good the app, you still have to put in the effort. So whether it’s counting calories, or suggesting exercises, unless you do the hard work, the only thing the app is doing is taking up space. Which could be better used on Words With Friends.
Calorie Counter — or MyFitnessPal — is a free app that lets you track your activity and calories using an activity log and food diary. It’s an incredibly easy way to monitor your food intake without a lot of fuss. It quickly and easily allows you to see the number of grams of carbs, fats and protein you’re eating. It has an easy-to-use interface that allows you to access about 1 million food items in its database, plus you can also add your own foods and recipes at any time and access them from anywhere with an Internet connection. Once you enter new food nutritional information, it will be there for you the next time you need it.
For those of you who like to run, Nike+ Running is another free app that’s very useful. If you’re looking for something to spice up your walks, it still does the trick.
It lets you map out runs, monitor your distance and speed, and even track calories burned. It will even track your location as you run using GPS, and lets you share goals and run information with those on your social networks.
Endomondo Sports Tracker is also free, but there is a version that costs around $4. This one is like having your very own personal trainer available at your fingertips. Along with the usual ability to track your heart rate, calories, speed, and distance during a workout, a built in GPS tracks your route on a map. Plus, when you enter your goals, an audio coach will give you feedback while you exercising to keep you motivated, and you can also share your workouts with friends and even track the workouts of your friends in real time.
If you’re interested in creating an individualized yoga program, but don’t want to hire a one-on-one instructor, try All In Yoga.
It lets you create a program based on your experience (beginner to advanced), time available and goals, as well as a database of more than 300 poses with detailed instructions. Also useful, it gives you a daily inspirational message to keep you on target. You provide the Ohms.
As I mentioned earlier, these are not the only ones. And if you just spend some time and look around, and read user reviews, hopefully you’ll find one that might be able to help you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle. Just don’t spend too much of your day looking for the right app. That’s valuable time you could be exercising.
Mike DeCinti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-827-2439.