Geranium seeds

Seeds of wellness for body, mind and spirit

Staying healthy? There’s an app for that!

on October 12, 2012

An actual picture of my phone screen with some of my favorite apps

In the last couple of years, I’ve come to depend a lot on my smart phone — and likely, so have you. I’ve never been one to fill my screen with games (although, on my last flight I missed having a game or two to keep me entertained). Instead, I’ve enjoyed finding apps that make my life easier and apps that make it easier to stay healthy.

There are tons of health and wellness apps out there, and you probably have your own favorites. I thought I’d share mine with you, and then maybe you can share yours with me as well!

1) RunKeeper: this was my all-time favorite app before hubby got me a Garmin watch for Christmas. It helps you track mileage and pace when out running or walking, lets you map out your run and save all of your activity. You can also make up workouts such as intervals and let RunKeeper prompt you to change the pace. Really great app.

2) Eat This, Not That: the restaurant version. It grades the menus of many popular restaurants (mostly fast food), gives the nutritional info of foods on the menu, and recommends healthier items. If I am out on the road and haven’t packed my lunch, I usually check it before ordering.

3) My Fitness Pal: Here you can enter your current weight and your weight goal, and the app will come up with a daily calorie goal for you and help you keep track of your calories throughout the day. It has an impressive amount of food items; you can just about find anything you’ve eaten or you can enter the calories of any food you’ve created. Very good way to keep yourself accountable if you’ve been overeating.

4) Food on the Table: you can select recipes based on what’s on sale at your local grocery store. Then, it makes up a grocery list for you based on the recipes you’ve selected. The recipes are not bad!

5) Breath Lessons: if you think you know how to breathe, think again! This is a great app with really good info on how to reap all the benefits of a good breath. Really, try it!

6) P Tracker Lite: Girls, this is a good little app for keeping track of your menstrual cycle. It helps you know when you are fertile and what to expect around your period.

7) Sleep Pillow: a free app with white noise for sleeping. Can be a life saver for a light sleeper like me.

8) Heart Rate: If you don’t have that Garmin watch or another heart rate monitor, use this app to quickly measure your heart rate after or during a workout.

And a couple of honorable mentions – apps I haven’t actually used a lot, but still find interesting:

9) ShopWell: similar to Eat This Not That in the sense that it recommends healthier foods for you. In this app you list your nutrition needs, and it helps you make a grocery list of items that best match your needs and goals. You can enter grocery items you usually purchase and the app will grade the items based on how well it matches your goals. My complaint about this app is that many of the grocery items recommended aren’t easily found in small, rural towns like mine. But, it is still an eye-opener even if you use it just once.

10) This for That: another food-swap kind of app. You choose the kinds of food you are craving, and it tells you what you could have instead. I haven’t actually tried the swaps, but it was fun to browse through. It would be interesting to see if the cravings actually go away with their suggestions.

11) Healthy Habits: I have recently uploaded this and have not used it yet, so I can’t give a proper review… If anyone has used it, let us know how you like it! The app lets you choose habits you want to break or add to your life (physical, mental and diet-related). Then it helps you stay accountable to that with tips and encouragement.

That’s it for now, folks! What’s your favorite health app?

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