Appiness Part 2: Apps That Make Us Healthier

Apps that make us healthier

Last week, I shared with you some of my favorite apps for actually increasing your happiness. This week, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite apps for making you healthier. We tend to think of technology as the antithesis of health. Hours spent watching television or playing with our iPhones are not hours outside getting exercise. That can be true, but it’s also true that, used correctly, our iPhones can actually help us eat healthier and get us up and moving. Here are a few of my favorite apps for doing just that. As usual, all are free!

Waterlogged

         Waterlogged alarm screen                      Waterlogged alarm screen

 Most of us don’t drink enough water daily, yet water is crucial to our health. We’re mostly water! If you have trouble getting in your eight glasses a day, this app might be what you need. It allows you to track your water consumption daily, and even graphs your water consumption over time to show how you’re doing in meeting your goals. It also lets you set alarms as often as you want to remind you to drink water. It has capabilities to sync with Fitbit as well, which I’ll mention below.

 

Restaurant Nutrition

Restaurant Nutrition Calorie Count                    Restaurant Nutrition Menu Selection Screen

There is nothing worse than trying to eat healthy when going out. It’s almost a helpless feeling if you’re at a restaurant where calorie counts aren’t on the menu. You’re left guessing amidst tricks and traps, like weird amounts of sugar in McDonald’s salads, or 2,000 calorie Chili’s nachos (ouch). This app isn’t glamorous in aesthetics but it can solve the problem. It uses publicly available nutrition facts to provide nutrition info for tons of chain restaurants and snack places. It’s easy to read and can help you make a good dinner decision in a pinch.

 

MyFitnessPal

Myfitnesspal                 Myfitnesspal Calorie Breakdown

This app is an all-in-one and a classic. You can set goals for your nutrition, weight loss, water consumption, and track them over time. MyFitnessPal comes equipped with calorie counts for tons of common foods, and you can also add your own entries or scan barcodes to get nutrition facts. The interface is clean and easy to use. I’m a huge fan of this app. The only one I love more is…

 

Fitbit

Fitbit home               Fitbit Sleep

Okay, disclaimer, this one isn’t completely free. Here’s why: the app is the companion to the Fitbit line of pedometers, which, of course, you have to buy. But if you’re serious about fitness and tracking your health, there’s no comparison. The basic Fitbit, the Zip, starts at around $50.00. I have the Flex, which is about $100.00

But I included it here because it is actually a life-changing product, in my opinion.

The app is fantastic. Basically, regardless of which pedometer you get (if you can even call it that, it’s so much more), you can sync it to your iPhone using bluetooth, and see all of your daily steps taken and calories burned without entering a single thing into the app. It also allows you to add your food for the day, which then gives you a comprehensive view of your calories in and out.

If you have the Flex, you can also wear it while you sleep and track your sleep patterns. The app will tell you at what times you’re restless during the night and at what times you sleep soundly, allowing you to improve your sleep. You can also purchase the Fitbit scale, which can sync with the Fitbit pedometer and directly record your weight. And if you have friends that also have Fitbits, you can connect and compete for meeting daily step goals or other goals.

How do you stay fit? Have you tried any of these apps?

I hope you have a Thursday filled with appiness!

Xoxo, Taylor

 Header image based on “iPhone 4’s Retina Display v.s. iPhone 3G” by Yutaka Tsutamo, CC-BY-2.0.