Weekly Wellness: There's an app for that

3 years 1 month 3 weeks ago Monday, October 20 2014 Oct 20, 2014 Monday, October 20, 2014 12:12:00 PM CDT October 20, 2014 in News
By: Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach
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COLUMBIA - In today's technology age, we have tools for everything. And they are all available to us in the palms of our hands. I'm talking about phone apps.

The website Greatist.com has released a list of the top 64 health and wellness-related apps of 2013.

If you are looking for an app to help you do things like lose weight, monitor activity, learn new exercises and more, this list is an excellent source of fantastic information.

In the Fitness and Strength category, you will find:

GymPact

  • What It Is: Skipping a workout is a lot harder with cold hard cash on the line. GymPact lets users ante up and tie a monetary incentive to working out.
  • Why It's Cool: Users who check in at their gym with the GymPact app get to keep the money they put up, while those who miss a workout lose a predetermined chunk of change. GymPact also features integration with RunKeeper (one of our top apps!) and at-home workout options.
  • Cost: Free. Available for iOS and Android

Pumping Weight

  • What It Is: Weight training can get complicated, but Pumping Weight hopes to make tracking workouts simple with an easy to follow, smooth interface. View your workouts in calendar mode to see the weekly sweat schedule, and record individual reps and sets with their intuitive tracking system.
  • Why It's Cool: While Pumping Weight keeps things looking simple, the app gives users access to a goldmine of data on their progress. The app graphs strength gains over time and can remind you what muscle groups you've been neglecting.
  • Cost: $1.99. Available for iOS.

DailyBurn

  • What It Is: Fitness DVDs are so 2000. Stream a workout directly to your phone (or computer) anytime with the DailyBurn app. For $10 per month, subscribers can access a carefully curated library of professional-quality fitness videos. A panel of expert trainers (specializing in different areas of fitness) keep you on your toes through each exercise session.
  • Why It's Cool: From yoga to cardio kickboxing to dancing to kettlebells, this app has a workout video to suit any fitness preference and goal. The app includes videos for every level, from beginner to advanced.
  • Cost: Free (with online subscription). Available for iOS and Android.

In the Tracking and Analytics category, you will find:

MyFitnessPal

  • What It Is: When it comes to health and fitness tracking, MyFitnessPal is one of the biggest names in the game. With a database of more two million (that's right, million) food items, the platform makes it easy for users to keep track of calories and so much more.
  • Why It's Cool: The platform can be used with all diets, whether you're going low-carb, high-protein, or just trying to eat healthier.
  • Cost: Free. Available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry

Moves

  • What It Is: We make moves every day, so why not track them? Moves is a smart pedometer that records everything from steps taken in a day to miles cycled.
  • Why It's Cool: The app's daily maps and "storylines" give users a new way to easily record and analyze their movement throughout the day - without any extra costly equipment.
  • Cost: Free. Available for iOS.

Fitocracy

  • What It Is: Fitness is increasingly social, and Fitocracy is one of biggest platforms to share your workouts, progress, and gym-friendly content. Fitocracy is a social network for gym buffs along that comes bundled with a smooth tracking system.
  • Why It's Cool: Keep track of what your friends are doing in the gym with Fitocracy's newsfeed built into the app.
  • Cost: Free. Available for iOS and Android.

In the Food and Nutrition category, you will find:

Fooducate

  • What It Is: This grocery-store navigator aims to help people better analyze food labels and get key information without swimming through unnecessary details.
  • Why It's Cool: The app allows users to scan items right in the store and will highlight the product's positive and negative attributes. It grades each item based on its "healthiness," and will even offer up a healthier alternative if one is available.
  • Cost: Free ("Plus" version, $3.99). Available for iOS and Android.

Harvest

  • What It Is: Confused in the produce aisle? Get confidence in a flash with the Harvest app. From tips to picking the highest-quality items to minimizing exposure to pesticides to ideas on how to clean and store fruits and veggies, Harvest is the ultimate produce tool.
  • Why It's Cool: With more than 120 fruits and vegetables in the database, this app won't leave you hanging when confronted with, for example, some questionable-looking strawberries. Information is easy to find, elegantly presented, and organized by food item alphabetically.
  • Cost: $1.99. Available for iOS.

Locavore

  • What It Is: No long-distance trucking here! Locavore hunts down nearby markets and farms featuring local, in-season food. Find out what's in season in your 'hood, where to buy it, and how to prepare and store it. Who knew farming was so high-tech?
  • Why It's Cool: Besides a map of local markets and a frequently-changing list of seasonal fruits and veggies, the app allows customers to interact with each other and food producers. Find contact information for farms and share info on new produce or markets on Facebook. Plus, there's a section of recipes featuring seasonal food you're likely to find at the market.
  • Cost: Free. Available for iOS and Android.

In the Relaxation and Meditation category, you will find:

Gratitude Journal

  • What It Is: This app is a mobile journaling tool. Every day, it asks users to write down at least five things they're grateful for. There's also an option to add photos and ratings and even track the weather. At the end of one month, see if your attitude hasn't improved.
  • Why It's Cool: Gratitude is all the rage these days. Supposedly, the more thankful we are for the positive things in our lives, the happier we'll feel. This awesomely simple app makes it easy to see if that's true without lugging around a giant journal everywhere we go.
  • Cost: $0.99. Available for iOS.

Calm

  • What It Is: True to its name, Calm is designed to reduce stress and bring a little more calm into users' lives. The app offers a seven-step program designed to give users the tools they need to become calmer, in addition to seven guided relaxation sessions (ranging from two to 30 minutes) and 10 beautiful nature scenes from which users can choose a calming background for their phone.
  • Why It's Cool: The guided relaxation sessions allow users to bring some zen into their life at any time throughout the day, and the two-minute option pretty much eliminates all excuses not to chill out. In a world where most signs scream "More! More! More!," it's great to have an app reminding us all that we can be happy right now, even with less.
  • Cost: Free. Available for iOS.

Sleep Cycle

  • What It Is: Waking up is hard enough, but this app makes it a little less traumatic by analyzing users' sleep patterns and rousing them when they're in the lightest phase of sleep. Plus users get to go through troves of data showing how well (or poorly) they slept during the night.
  • Why It's Cool: Most sleep-tracking devices are pretty pricey and involve some fancy headgear. But Sleep Cycle's just about the app. Users place their smart phones in their beds and the app senses what phase of sleep they're in based on how much or little they're moving.
  • Cost: $0.99. Available for iOS.

In the Overall Wellness category, you will find:

Fig

  • What It Is: This app is a no-brainer. Create a plan from common wellness goals - drink water, take the stairs, call mom - then join a community, and share your journey with friends.
  • Why It's Cool: Users can invite friends to join a goal. Listed side effects: more happiness, deeper friendships, and additional physical vitality. With so many apps out there centered just on diet and exercise, Fig takes a more holistic approach.
  • Cost: Free. Available for iOS and Android.

WellnessFX

  • What It Is: WellnessFX is supposed to be a platform for developing, maintaining, and sharing personal health goals. It's like a vitamin shop and doctor's office all rolled into one: Users can research different vitamins and supplements, track which one's they're using, and then let other people know how those supplement programs are going.
  • Why It's Cool: The app is designed for users already using Wellness FX services to track their health and wellness, as well as new users. It's perfect for anyone who wants to see if they're meeting the RDA for certain nutrients and keep track of other related aspects of health, like sleep and physical activity.
  • Cost: Free. Available for iOS.

Lift

  • What It Is: Everyone has their own health and fitness ambitions. Lift lets users track the goals most important to them. Want to stay accountable for walking 30 minutes a day, meditating, or getting in some greens? Lift has you covered.
  • Why It's Cool: Lift can compile a personalized report to let you know your progress on each and every goal.
  • Cost: Free. Available for iOS.

There are other apps and categories to check out on this Greatist.com list, so jump online and see what tools might work best for you!

Some other apps that might be helpful to you cover topics such as how to set up a safe work environment, a diabetic glucose monitor, a medication database and a tool to help you quit that nasty habit.

Ergonomics (Free; for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)
Ergonomics by Sidharth Garg has actually won awards for its usefulness when it comes to helping people with worker safety and health.

No one wants to be injured in the workplace and this app helps you ensure everyone stays safe and healthy. It has actually won the People's Choice Award for the Department of Labor Worker Safety and Health App Challenge.

It is meant to be a full workplace health solution to be used on your mobile device. You'll find workplace stretching exercises that offer detailed instructions, ergonomic equipment setup tips and advice, and programmable reminders that are meant to remind people to get up and take a break.

Glooko (Free; for iPhone, but cables and adapters must be purchased separately)
Glooko is a logbook tool for diabetes patients to help you track your glucose levels by taking your data straight from your glucose monitor via a cable and adapter (sold separately). It also enables you to share readings with your health care provider. Find out if your monitor is compatible with the Glooko app before downloading.

iPharmacy (Free; for iPhone, iPad and Android)
iPharmacy includes a database of more than 20,000 medications, along with photos and dosage guidance, to help you learn more about the medications your doctor has prescribed. The app also offers reminders to take medication and tips on how to save money on the prescriptions you purchase.

MyQuit Coach ($3.99; for iPhone)
MyQuit Coach from LiveStrong helps you tailor a personalized plan to finally succeed at giving up cigarettes. The app can evaluate where you stand, set attainable goals for gradually quitting or even assist you in going cold turkey with inspirational messages and support. The app also connects to your Facebook or Twitter accounts so you can draw on support from others.
Have fun downloading your apps and using them to achieve your goals!

 

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