Mobile apps that can lead to healthier lifestyle

In this era of electronic gadgets, we have gotten used to everything in the palm of our hands. Mobile devices have apps to make life easier on the go. When you can track your bank deposit via an app, why not track your calories? Health apps are the hottest and latest add-on to the ever-expanding array of apps. These mobile health apps are designed to cultivate and maintain a healthier lifestyle. It can be a valuable guide to anyone on their path to wellness. Here are a few popular, reliable as well as user-friendly apps:

 MyFitnessPal - MyFitnessPal is one of the oldest health apps and still the best. It is free, helps to customize your caloric as well as your fitness goals. It has a database of 11 million foods and can give you healthy recipes at your fingertips. This app can connect with over 50 other health/fitness apps. This mobile food, fitness diary, has simplified calorie tracking. Motivational blogs can provide you with the best tools for weight loss. 


 Headspace - Being healthy is not only about physical health but emotional well being as well. Headspace app offers guided meditation sessions, mindfulness exercises to relieve stress, to sleep better, and, more importantly, be happier!

SleepCycle - Adults need 7 hours of sleep/night to maintain optimal health, yet 1in 3 adults are sleep deprived as per the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The sleep cycle app analyzes and tracks your sleep pattern. The best part is, it can give you a gentle nudge to wake you up during your lightest sleep hour so that you are well-rested. It is listed in the ten best sleep apps by Medical News Today.  


Fitplan - It is your personal trainer app that offers one-on-one work-out training designed for everyone from couch potatoes to fitness freaks. It is available for free, has instructional videos and tools to keep track of calories, heart rate as well as weight loss goals. 


Fooducate - Reading labels, measuring, and calorie logging can be overwhelming. Fooducate app makes it easier to keep track of the calories as well as the nutritional information on over 250,000 foods. It gives nutritional grading on the commonly available food in the supermarket along with healthy recipes and diet blogs. 


Happify - Happify app is a science-based app to enforce positive psychology, to teach mindfulness, and to achieve a state of happiness. This app has tools to erase negative thoughts, to break old habits, and to improve emotional well being. 


 8 Fit - Customized meal plans, personalized work-out routines, step-by-step guidance for fitness all made available to you through this app. They have over 800 nutritionist-approved recipes to please every palate. From Paleo to Pescatarian, they have every type of diet covered. 


Aaptiv - Do you want to work out listening to the playlist of the top artists? Aaptiv lets you select your personal trainer, the type of exercise as well as the music genre. Whether you want to jump-start into fitness or train for a 5 K, Aaptiv has a tailored plan for everyone. The unique feature of this app is the coach talking to you in real-time, giving you tips and guidance.


Noom - It is a mobile health coach that delivers a sustainable lifestyle, behavioral modification on a robust direct-to-consumer platform. Their weight loss, as well as the fitness tracking app, has reached more than 45 million people worldwide. Noom is the first mobile Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) to be recognized by the Center for Disease Control. In addition to diabetes prevention, they also have programs for pre-hypertension, hypertension, and weight loss. 


Lifesum - Calorie tracking, recipes, motivational blogs, and habit tracker all in one simple app. It also has body composition tracking and can be synced to major fitness apps. Lifesum gives a weekly "Life Score" based on 16 nutrition and exercise measurements. There are tips and recommendations on the app on how to build and maintain a healthy Life Score. 


The mobile technology has revolutionized the way health care is delivered now. The digital programs to inculcate a healthy lifestyle are very engaging and have lasting outcomes. With dietitians, personal trainers, health coaches right in your smartphone, leading a healthier life has only become easier than before.

Author
Dr. Chandrasekaran Aparna Chandrasekaran, MD, is board certified in Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine. Her primary area of care is centered around screening, preventing and management of overweight/ obesity. She offers a comprehensive medically supervised weight loss program at Jersey Medical Weight Loss Center, Somerset,NJ. She is a member of Obesity Medicine Association and is actively involved in spreading awareness about Obesity through her blogs, radio show, and presentations. Her article " Body Mass Index-Is It Reliable Indicator of Obesity" got published in the Journal of Nutrition & Weight Loss in February 2018.

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