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Phone Apps for better health

Technology has given us the opportunity to do things that have never been done

before. There are now so many options in the market to help remind, encourage, and

track your exercise and physiological measures. Studies have shown that using

fitness technology has positive outcomes with weight loss and reducing health risks.

Even though technology has been a major contributor to increased sedentary

behaviour leading to a more overweight and obese society, it has also done the

opposite for many and has increased their physical activity.

With the emergence of smart watches, we can track our heart rate, steps, GPS our

walks, count calories and so much more. All these features help motivate us to be

active each day and monitor our health, with some of the best watches on the market

being Apple, Garmin, Fitbit, and Whoop. The health app in our smart phones gives

us free access to our health data that has been automatically calculated through the

technology embedded within our phone. There are even smart fabrics, rings and

other wearable devices in the market that monitor physiological responses during

sleep and exercise, so who knows what we will see in years to come. Below are

some popular apps you can have on your phone to help you live a healthy lifestyle

1. HeartWatch: Heart Rate Monitor

This app is in partnership with the heart foundation to monitor your pulse, provide

heart rate alerts, update you on health news and track sleep. It helps in Improving

prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart conditions. HeartWatch does cost

money to download however it is very beneficial for those who suffer from heart

disease and gives you guidance in changing your lifestyle to be heart healthy.

2. Curable

This is an app aimed at helping manage and educate individuals who suffer with

chronic pain. It’s an app that takes into consideration your symptoms and

preferences to create an individualised program to help with the psychology around

pain. It is a science backed app with involvement from leading physicians,

specialists, and psychologists, who empower the user through tools to help them

understand and gain control over their symptoms. Through the guidance of a virtual

coach, you will be lead through one of the four exercises they offer: brain training,

education, meditation, and writing, with the aim of improving your quality of life. This

app does include in app purchases with an annual subscription required.

3. Qantas Wellbeing

Get more out of exercise than just the physical health benefits. This app rewards you

with frequent flyer points for reaching your daily step count, fitness goals and doing

simple health assessments. By syncing the app to your smart watch and fitness apps

you can invite friends and family and create fitness challenges to make exercise a

competition with those around you. The only catch with this app is that after a 1-

month free trial you must purchase a Qantas insurance product to earn up to 20,000

points per year, whereas the free membership only allows 2,000 points per year.

4. Activity Tracking Apps

Strava is one of the most popular fitness apps, it allows you to track your activities,

such as a run or ride through GPS and then provides you with performance data.

The app connects you to a huge community to motivate you, it provides maps,

routes, and challenges so you can compare your stats with others on the app.

Another great app is MapMyWalk by Under Armour which tracks your activity

progress, gives you encouraging feedback and helps you set up a training plan. Both

these apps include in app purchases to have full access.

5. Meditation Apps

We know that our psychology mental wellbeing plays a massive role into our

physical health, which is why there is a huge variety of meditation and sleep apps in

the market. Some of the best available that can be downloaded through the app

store is Calm, Headspace and Smiling Mind. These apps guide you through

meditation, breathing patterns and techniques for reducing stress and anxiety and

helping you sleep better. Smiling Mind is a great option to try first as it is free and

provides a variety of choices to suit your needs. Calm and Headspace are

subscription based, but have a huge library of guided meditation, stories, and other

resources to help. You can set up reminders in these apps for a certain time of day

so that you don’t forget to practice.

6. Food Tracking Apps

Tracking our meals, micro, and macronutrients can help you stay accountable when

trying to reach health goals or lose weight. Easy Diet Diary is one of many apps

available that helps you record each item of food you eat and the breakdown of

energy sources you are consuming. MyFitnessPal is another popular app that helps

you count the number of calories you consume. Both these apps are free, easy to

use and give you the option to sync your exercise apps/watch to compare the

amount of energy you consume to the amount you expend during the day.


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