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Smart Phone, Healthy You

Smart Phone, Healthy You
Trying to keep that New Year's resolution to stay fit? You'll be pleased to learn that technology can help you far more than it may distract you, if you use it right. Whether you want to stick to a fitness regimen, eat healthier, manage your weight, sleep better, or improve your overall wellness, there is, as they say, an app for that.

If you need some encouragement to stick to your workout routine, your smart phone's got you covered. Apps such as RunKeeper, MapMyFitness, and Fitocracy provide structure, incentive, and motivation by tracking your workouts. Tracking or logging workouts serves as an extra push to work out in the first place by making your adherence to your routine and your progress visible. And what's more encouraging than watching yourself improve?

Still need a little more motivation? Several apps, like Runtastic Pro, The Walk, and Zombies, Run!, offer a fun and encouraging twist to cardio by adding a story to your workout. Applications like these make you the protagonist in tales like an adventure to save the world or an epic flight from zombies, making workouts more interesting and providing a little more motivation to finish that run.

If you don't know where even to start when it comes to working out, fear not. Applications including Fitness Fast, FitStar, and NIKE Training Club offer instructions on how to perform various exercises, recommendations for optimal numbers of reps and sets, and even full-length workouts at the tips of your fingers. Being clueless when it comes to the gym is no longer an excuse!

Your smart phone is also an indispensable tool if your goal is to lose or even to gain weight. Weight management apps like MyFitnessPal, Noom, and LoseIt! can serve as personal guides, creating a custom plan for you to achieve your goals and even letting you track your adherence to the plan. By setting concrete goals and granting you the ability to keep track of them wherever you are, these apps make weight management a much less daunting feat.

If you'd rather focus just on healthy eating, you guessed it: your phone is there to help. Apps like Fooducate and Shopwell are designed to help you shop smartly, telling you which groceries fit your dietary goals and needs and offering a myriad of information about the groceries you're interested in. One grocery application, Zipongo, even alerts you of deals on and coupons for healthful foods, as well as providing tips and recipes for healthful eating.

When you're not shopping for food, apps like Fitocracy Macros and MyFitnessPal help you track what you eat in a day. These apps create a custom allowance of calories and various nutrients based on you and your goals, and, as you log what you eat, show you how much of each category you have consumed versus their suggested value.

While some people seek wellness through diet and exercise, others just need a good night's sleep. For those struggling to get those precious eight hours, a variety of applications exist to help. Apps including Sleep, Insomnia Cure, Relax & Sleep, Sleepmaker Rain, and many others offer soothing sounds, music, and even self-hypnosis tracks to aid those who struggle falling asleep. Also to the aid of insomniacs are apps like SleepBot that offer abundant resources to help those who struggle to fall asleep in their efforts to get some-shut eye.

Also popular are sleep tracking apps, including Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock and SleepBot. These apps are helpful to those who wish for better sleep that leaves them feeling rested; by tracking small motions made during sleep, these apps are able to determine when you are in your lightest stages of sleep and wake you in a light stage near a designated alarm time. By waking you during light sleep rather than deep, restorative REM, these apps allow you to wake up feeling refreshed and awake. Sleep tracking apps also chart and analyze your sleep and sleep quality.

For the caffeine addicts there is yet another app that may help you score some extra sleep. UP Coffee, available on iOS, is an application intended for those of us who enjoy their daily dose of caffeine. It allows users to input any caffeinated items they consume in a day, from coffee to chocolate, and tells them when they can hit the sack without the caffeine's affecting their sleep. Not only does UP Coffee let its users plan around getting quality sleep, but keeps them conscious of their caffeine consumption and its impact on their sleep and wellness.

Finally, apps intended to improve general wellness are great resources for your health. If you're looking to explore meditation or yoga, simply searching those keywords on your phone's app store will yield a myriad of applications that can guide you through practicing these healthful activities. If you seek other means of coping with stress, apps like Mindshift are there to tackle anxiety and offer general stress relief. Lastly, Withings is an overall health and wellness app that has all the bases covered, helping you be healthier and happier from every angle.

The apps you can use to help you boost your health are almost endless; the several we have listed here are only the beginning of a great range of apps that can help make your health and wellness goals a reality. So hesitate no longer: get downloading and get healthy!

About the Author -
Sharon Housley is the VP of Marketing for NotePage, Inc. a software company for communication software solutions. http://www.notepage.net


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