Advancements in mobile technology are making smartphone or tablet computers go to devices for just about everything. A report from research group Pew Internet & American Life Project explains that people are even turning to mobile applications to stay healthy. Take a look at five of the top health apps you can use while on the go.
Dieting is not complex until you try to figure out how many calories are in each food item. MyFitnessPal offers a mobile solution complete with a database that lists accurate calories for different foods, including brands, and a tracker to help count them. The site labels the application as a calorie counter, but the features this app offers go beyond simply counting calories, adding calories back into your allotted amount for the day with each logged physical fitness activity and making looking up a new food a breeze with the UPC scan feature. MyFitnessPal is free from Glam Health & Wellness. The company offers programs for current mobile platforms including iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry and WindowsPhone on the website. Get App
For a broader view of health issues, WebMD has a free app. The software includes tips and tricks for handling first aid, and a guide that helps explain common medical problems such as asthma. Included in the program is a symptom checker that will come in handy when you are not feeling quite right. This is just one in a number of applications available from the WebMD site. You can download this or any of the others other directly from WebMD or get access via iTunes. WebMD mobile apps are available for Android systems, iPhone and iPad. WebMD iPhone
MapMyRun GPS Running
Jogging enthusiasts will enjoy this award-winning gem for MapMyFitness. MapMyRun uses GPS technology in your phone to track a run. With the data taken via satellites, the application reports your current pace, distance, calorie burn and elevation. While on the road, joggers can see a real-time map of their route. They will always know where they are and how far they have run. MapMyRun requires an iPhone with iOS 4.3 or better. It is also available for Android and BlackBerry. You can download it for free from iTunes or the MapMyRun website.Get App
Dining Out Guide
Counting calories gets harder when you are dining at a restaurant. Jenny Craig offers an application with a database of menu items from over 70 national restaurants. With this program, you can search for the menu selection by restaurant, keyword or item. The program includes an animated portion guide that helps you understand the effect of serving sizes. The application is available for iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. iTunes offers downloads at no cost. Get App
Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock
Studies show that waking up when you are at the lightest stage of sleep provides the most rest. The problem is a standard alarm clock has no way of knowing your sleep phases. The Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock from Maciek Drejack Labs uses iPhone technology to detect sleep cycles with the accelerometer. In other words, the phone monitors your movements to determine when to wake you up. The application is available for just under a dollar on iTunes and is compatible with Apple mobile devices that have iOS 4.3 or higher. Get App
Mobile technology is bringing healthcare, fitness and nutrition right to the door of consumers. Innovative applications can help you lose weight, workout effectively and understand illness anywhere you go in 2013.
Peter Waller is a wellness coordinator who is always on the lookout to make living a healthful lifestyle easier for those he educates. You can read more of his expert advice at Masters in Public Health Degrees.