The consumerization of wellbeing means a myriad of medical, sports, fitness, wellness and health care apps, everything from getting you to hydrate to getting you to sleep sounder. More than 40 million smartphone owners have at least one health or fitness application on their device.
For once in history, we are paying attention to our health.
But with 100,000 health care related apps available for Android and iOS in 2014 and only so much storage space on our mobiles, how do we decide which apps make the cut?
Here are 8 free Android and iOS apps that will motivate you to be more accountable for your health and wellbeing.
Activity tracking apps are without a doubt the most popular fitness apps out there, but the number of choices can be dizzying. MapMyFitness has been around since 2007 and sometimes it is best to stick to the tried and true. With an easy-to-use interface and accurate tracking, upgrades now allow you to set alerts (i.e, Mama needs a new pair of shoes!) and challenge your friends to a friendly fitness competition.
Founded in 2009 by Austrians, this tracking app is gaining momentum year after year. Now owned by Adidas, there have been 150 million downloads as of November 2015. At the very core, the platform tracks distance, time, pace and calorie consumption through a number of different fitness related apps (i.e., biking, winter sports). Bonus, it is available in 18 languages.
There’s always the question whether eating out equals unhealthy grub. But now you can have your cake, and eat it too (so to speak). Set your dietary preferences—gluten free, vegan, etc—and search for local restaurant dishes for take-out, eat-in and delivery that meet your preferences according to cuisine type. The app even suggests a dish, and goes one step further with a recommendation on how to make it healthier. I’ll take brown rice instead, please.
Going strong since 2005 and with 80 million users, this app topped the charts among health and fitness apps in 2014. It counts your calories based on a user-contributed database of foods. Enter the meal or the ingredients of your chow and it will give you a breakdown of calories, fiber, carbs, sugar and cholesterol.
5) WOD Deck of Cards
Gamers delight. The Workout of the Day (WOD) lets you choose four exercises representing the four suits of diamonds, spades, hearts and clubs. Go through every exercise in the deck of cards, unless you collapse from exhaustion first.
6) Fitness Buddy
This app allows you to build a custom workout routine for specific body parts and different fitness levels. It creates routines based on your criteria and provides you with instructional videos on how to do the exercises, like barbell bench presses.
This 8-week training program does exactly what the name says … gets you from couch to 5K, fitting workouts into even the busiest of schedules. An audio coach helps light the fire under you to keep it going.
Cheating here since this app is only available on iOS, but the hypochondriacs won’t mind. The app allows you to pull up a map to see what’s going around for sicknesses and even sign up for illness alerts!
These only begin to scratch the surface of the innovations that will continue to occur in mobile healthcare technologies. Go forth and download.
SOURCES (in order of appearance)