No question – this has been a long hard winter here in the South. Many of my patients who usually exercise are telling me that this winter they haven’t been doing so because of the weather. (Truthfully, I hear this when it is too hot or too cold…) Anyway, spring is coming (promise!) and it is time to get back at it. And there may be some electronic aids to help you do that.
If you have a mobile device (smart phone or tablet), there are a number of fitness and health-related apps that you might consider using. Many studies have shown that people tend to be more successful in reaching their goals when they are tracking progress especially with the electronic trackers. Consumer Reports recently looked at several fitness aids and found that the smartphone-based apps are typically the most user-friendly and accurate fitness devices on the market. All the apps I have included are available for both Android and iOS.
First there is the old standby: myfitnesspal. This is available as an app but also on the web via their website. I subscribe to it and receive emails with recipes and fitness ideas. It is also compatible with many other fitness apps and devices. Explore the website and see how it could be useful for you.
Other apps to explore:
- Fooducate has a wealth of information to help you make good food choices at the grocery store and at home.
- Runkeeper was developed by FitnessKeeper can sync your devices and track your pace on a bike or on foot. It measures your workout distance and can calculate weight loss. You can easily add in your yoga or CrossFit information.
- Lose It from FitNow can help with tracking calories, food intake and exercise.
- Weight Watchers has a mobile app to help with calculating points if you are on a weight watchers diet.
Another app that I was recently introduced to is White Noise Lite developed by TMSoft. This app can provide white noise to help you sleep. One of my patients who works nights uses this to help him sync his sleep schedule, rather than pharmaceutical agents such as Ambien and Provigil. The white noise app features very realistic sounds, so much so I think this would send my dog into a panic attack! (She’s terrified of thunder and lighting.)
I’d love to know, what apps have you found to be particularly helpful? Leave a comment!
By: Dr. Valerie Scott, board certified family medicine doctor with Mt. Pleasant Family Practice and a Roper St. Francis Physician Wellness Champion.