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Health and Wellness Apps

Page history last edited by Roxann Nys 7 years, 5 months ago

Some useful apps to help you and your students stay healthy!

 

Food Tracking

  • MyFitnessPal (free; available for iOS, Android and Blackberry) Helps track calories, exercise and goals. Built in barcode scanner is sometimes useful for adding foods without typing in the info, but isn't always accurate. Syncs with the web, so you can log in anywhere. Diet with friends and support each other!

 

  • Fast Food Calorie Counter (.99) Whether you are on a fitness plan and counting calories, carbs, fiber, or fat grams, this helpful guide will empower you to make better choices or allow you to "cheat" occasionally without feeling guilty.

 

  • Nutrition Genius (free) helps users keep track of calories consumed, exercise, and weight. (Free from Ticklish Turtle)

 

  • Calorific Lite (Free) Not sure why it's called Lite, except maybe because you use it to help you lose weight? "Calorific uses the three-color traffic light system to keep you aware and accountable. Just classify your food into Green (Great, Eat Often), Yellow (Okay, Eat Sometimes), Red (Bad, Eat Rarely) categories, pick the size and off you go. Eat an apple, and you log a green. A coke or candy is Red. Not sure about color or size? Use the Food Search. Once you’ve logged, Calorific gives you a star rating - use this to improve." A really simple way to track what you eat and studies show tracking does aid in weight loss.  

 

Why it’s cool: This is the mother of all iPhone calorie counters. With over 78,000 foods to choose from (including popular restaurant picks), you’ll know exactly how many calories (not to mention fat, carbs, protein, cholesterol, sodium, sugar and fiber) you’re eating, which makes it easy to keep track of your food intake, even if you’re following specific dietary plans like Weight Watchers or low-carb.

 

Healthy Eating Apps

 (as reviewed by Fitness Magazine's by Jocelyn Voo)

Why it’s cool: Say you write you wrote a grocery list, but left it at home in your rush on the way to work. Or perhaps your husband is already out, but doesn’t know which ingredients you’re lacking to make dinner. With this app, both these scenarios are solved. Grocery Gadget Shopping List allows you to write a list on the app or on the app and automatically sync up with all your devices with the app (including your husband's) so there’s less chance of accidentally leaving your list on the coffee table. The app includes a bar code scanner to easily add specific products and allows you to use your camera to photograph products, so there's less chance of picking up the wrong item. The app even learns your item order to save you time when shopping and links to e-coupons online.

 

Why it’s cool: Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or are simply seeking a veggie-friendly restaurant, VegOut will find a suitable eatery in your desired location, sorted by distance. Plus, since the app is powered by HappyCow.net, each restaurant already has consumer-reviewed star-ratings, so you can tell whether the place’s food was a hit with fellow diners.

 

Why it’s cool: If you’ve ever perused an ingredient list on a particular packaged food and wondered what acetic acid, ethyl maltol, or sodium nitrate really is, this app is for you. This program lists over 450 (yes, 450) additives, which you can sort by name, number, diet type, and more. Moreover, once you determine what Ingredient X actually is, the app informs you of potential side effects, maximum daily intake, and dietary restrictions. So hardcore vegetarians, for instance, can rejoice -- now they’ll know if an ingredient is animal-based. Then again, not everybody will be happy to know exactly what that their favorite cookie or ice cream indulgence contains...

 

Why it’s cool: Before you settle on the grouper at the grocery store or the yellow fin tuna at your favorite sushi joint, check the Seafood Guide to see if your choices are sustainable. Sure, the sea bass may be tasty, but with certain species being overfished and in danger of extinction, playing it smart with this Monteray Bay Aquarium app makes you a more responsible eater.

 

Why it’s cool: If you have trouble drinking enough water everyday, you may find a little more impetus with this app. Track your daily water consumption in an intuitive way, and because not everyone needs to drink the same amount, it is designed specifically for you. A consistent routine with the proper amount of water in your diet will lead you to optimal overall health.
Features:
* An interactive, free-roaming interface to add cups or bottles of water towards your goal.
* Earn a daily and overall average grade on how well you are keeping up on your recommended amount.
* Touch and drag the containers around your table to organize them in your own special way.
* Customize your own specific water container, with images to choose from.
* Specify attributes from your personal lifestyle to get a scientifically proven daily water intake goal.

 

 

Healthy Recipe Apps 

  • The AllRecipes.com Dinner Spinner app (Free) is a fun way to discover new recipe ideas. Simply choose a course and main ingredient, shake your device, and the app will display recipes that meet your criteria. With thousands of user-submitted recipes to choose from, you're bound to find something new. AllRecipes.com is one of the best apps for low-carb dieters, as it has a filter to identify recipes that meet low-carbohydrate standards. The app includes nutritional information for all recipes, including total carbs and dietary fiber so you can calculate your net carb intake. AllRecipes.com also has filters for high-fiber, low-fat, gluten-free and low-sodium diets.

 

  • Simply Organic (Free, iPad/iPod) is another great recipe app to find healthy and wholesome meals. It doesn't have as many recipes as AllRecipes.com, but the Simply Organic app does display nutritional facts for each meal. It includes total calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, and protein. Unfortunately, it doesn't contain information on fiber, so it's not the best choice for low-carbers. There is a ton of variety within the recipes, and you'll find everything from cajun to kid-friendly meals. 

 

  • Martha's Everyday Food-Fresh & Easy Recipes ($0.99) contains thousands of recipes from the magazine of the same name. It's also packed with functionality, including push notifications for new recipes, Twitter and Facebook integration, and a robust shopping list. Nutrition facts are also included, so it's a good choice for dieters. Unlike the Simply Organic app, Martha's Everyday Food includes information on carbs and fiber, in addition to total calories, fat, and protein. The app has a few stability issues, but otherwise it's an excellent choice for those on a diet. 

 

  • Healthy Recipes by SparkRecipes (Free) is from the same folks behind SparkPeople.com, a popular diet and calorie-tracking website. As a result, SparkRecipes is similarly focused on helping dieters shed pounds --the app is sponsored by Lean Cuisine. SparkRecipes includes nearly 200,000 user-submitted recipes, each one with detailed nutritional information. Unlike some diet apps, which give you only a brief overview, SparkRecipes is more detailed and includes info on polyunsaturated fat, monounsaturated fat, potassium, fiber, and sugar. You can also search for specific low-fat or low-carb recipes. 

 

 

Exercise Apps 

  • 1000 Exercises ($5.99)  created by experts at Men's Health and Women's Healthmagazines, allows users to build, log, and share workouts, as well as access video demonstrations of exercises. 

 

  • The Sports Rules ‘App’ (.99) Sports Rules is the perfect app for PE Teachers, Coaches, Athletes or anyone interested in swift easy reference of popular sports and their associated rules. 

 

  • iMuscle ($1.99) "iMuscle can be used to easily identify a body part or individual muscle by zooming into a 3-Dimensional human body with the musculature exposed. The user can then access hundreds of exercises associated with the development / rehabilitation of specific muscles. Multiple user profiles and workouts can be created using iMuscle, making it ideal for fitness instructors and their clients. Also, due to the anatomic nature of this app, it is a very useful tool for physiotherapists." (Highly recommended by Bellin Fitness Trainer, Tim Grell. 

 

Fitness fanatics should be stretching their limbs in between cardio and strength training days. All-in YOGA: 300 Poses & Yoga Classes is a great yoga app that can be used any where and any time. All-in YOGA: 300 Poses & Yoga Classes leads users through 300 different poses. The app even comes with photo, video, audio guides and 3D muscle models accompanying each pose. Price: $.99 iPhone app

Fleetly offers loads of workout routines for different sports and targeted for different body areas. There are also quick full-body exercise routines for when you're low on time. Every workout comes with a description, video, tips and an area to log your progress. With Fleetly, users can also join open challenges such as "36,500 Push ups in 2012" or "500 miles in 2012." Fleetly also gamifies exercise, which encourages users to move to earn points and badges for workout accomplishments. Price: Free iOS app 

 

Lance Ulanoff, editor-in-chief of Mashable.com, shared his favorite apps to get you moving this year on a January '13 episode of "Live with Kelly and Michael." Most of the apps are available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone:

  •  Charity Miles (Free iPhone and Android app) You'll walk, run and bike for longer, knowing your miles are earning money and raising awareness for charities. Charity Miles is a free and easy-to-use app that tracks your exercise mileage. Walkers and runners earn $.25 per mile and bikers earn $.10 per mile. There's currently $1 million to give away. Select which charity you're exercising for when you launch the app. The charity will receive your winnings after you share your activity on Facebook or Twitter from the app. The nine charities currently signed on with Charity Miles include Feeding America, the U.N. World Food Programme and Achilles International. NOTE: The use of this app to earn money for charity does require that you have a Facebook or Twitter account. 

 

  • Gym Pact (free) This is your commitment to get to the gym! Get money by going to the gym and cashing in on those who didn’t go.  You enter how many days a week you want to exercise (minimum 1 day per week) and set the monetary stakes you’ll pay if you don’t go (minimum $5 per missed day). You can change your Pact for the upcoming week until Sunday at midnight in your time zone. You can verify any fitness facility that is separate from your home or office. University gyms count, and so do yoga studios, swimming pools, tennis courts, martial arts studios, rock climbing gyms, outdoor tracks, or any standalone exercise facility. If your gym isn't listed, simply add it the first time you check in there. If you meet your Pact, you get a cash reward for each day committed, paid for by those who didn’t get to the gym! Rewards have generally been $0.50 to $0.75 per workout

 

  • Nike+ Running (Free iPhone app)  Before starting a run, it's easy to set the app up to calculate how fast and how far you're going. At the end of the run, share your success with Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest friends. In the app, there's a record of your farthest run, longest run, fastest mile, fastest 5k and other important stats. Every run can be set as a distance run, time run or speed run to beat your own records.  This app does NOT require any other devices, like the original Nike app which paired with a device in your shoe. Some users have complained it is not entirely accurate.

 

  • Strava Cycling (free iPhone/Android app)  Strava is a company hoping to empower runners and bikers with their GPS-powered apps. The technology puts workouts, commutes and movement into context on the Strava.com website — graphing heart rate, distance and progress. Different kinds of statistics are meant to enhance your training. Users are encouraged to best their own personal records or challenge friends to a competition. Connect with Facebook or Twitter to challenge friends' records. In the app's feed, you can also "give kudos" and add comments to encourage friends' activity. On the app's "Explore" tab, find local paths and areas to run. Or, compete in official Strava app-wide challenges such as running 50 kilometers in three days — for fun. Also available Strava Running iPhone and Android apps. 

 

  • One Hundred Push Ups: ($1.99 iPhone app and $.99 Android app) The end goal of using the app is doing 100 consecutive push-ups, following the mobile six-week training program. The app tailors the training schedule by considering your initial fitness level and age. The app's Facebook and Twitter integrations also help users stick to their upper-body regimen   

 

  • Zombies, Run! ($3.99  iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone) Zombies, Run! is an immersive running game and audio adventure. Experienced actors and writers have created the mobile game's incredible storyline. All you have to do is run (or jog or walk!) There are currently 23 audio missions available. Your character "Runner 5" will collect supplies, ammo, medicine and battery along the way, which you must distribute at the end of the mission. Survivors of the post-apocalyptic world are counting on you. 

 

 

Stress Reducing Apps

(As reviewed by Edudemic guest writer Jan, 2013

  • Stress Tracker  (free) If you’re looking for ways to minimize your stress in college, identifying what exactly stresses you out is the first step. Keep track of your behaviors, moods, and stress levels with this app, and manage your stress with its guided relaxation feature.
  • Relax: Stress and Anxiety Relief (lite version/$3.50) iOS or Android

    Take a timeout with Relax. The app’s guided breathing exercises use peaceful music to help you relieve tension or combat insomnia. Use the quick start feature at the first sign of a panic attack, or use the skills you’ve learned in your yoga practice.

  • Cleveland Clinic Stress Meditation (.99)

    Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute brings you this app to help you fight stress and improve your overall well-being. The app features eight meditation exercises, including “Letting Go Meditation” and “Self Confidence Meditation,” read to you in a narrator’s soothing voice.

  • Health through Breath – Pranayama ($3.99)

    The conscious breathing exercises of pranayama are useful for treating a number of health problems, including migraines and asthma. This app helps you use the techniques to handle stress in your daily life by counting time for you so you can concentrate and progress through the different breathing levels. It also has visual and audio cues.

  • Relax Melodies (free or $2.99) for iOS or Android

    Allowing you to make a custom mix of 82 of your favorite sounds from its library, Relax Melodies makes counting sheep a thing of the past. Create a mix, set the timer for when to shut off the audio, and save creations for later playback. Don’t lose any more sleep over school.

  • Sleepmaker Waves Free (free)

    Is school stress affecting your sleep? Take back your Z’s with this app that delivers the calming sound of real ocean waves rolling onto the beach. Don’t worry, these beaches have no kids or seagulls. There’s also a pro, paid version, but stick with the free one, which gives you 45 minutes of each recording. Also available are free versions of rain, storms, streams and wildlife. The free all in one version looks promising, but crashes regularly.

  • Breeze (free/$1.99)

    The phrase “I really hate those wind chimes” has never been uttered in human history. With the power of technology, now you can de-stress wherever you are by running this app on your iPhone and picturing yourself enjoying a cool breeze on the back porch to this pleasant sound.

  • iShatter Stress Relief (.99)

For certain types of stress, the sound of breaking glass is the last thing you want to hear. But if you’ve got some bad-grade aggression built up you need to vent, this app lets you destroy light bulbs, TV, fine champagne glasses, and more. 

A similar free app (but more basic) Crack & Break It!

  • My Daily Journal ($1.99 iPhone)

    Getting your thoughts out of your head and down on paper can be a powerful stress relief tool. My Daily Journal is at the top of the list for iPhone journaling apps, with its automatic saving, easy export, and attractive interface. 

  • Angry Birds (free)

    You could go with Angry Birds Space, but frankly some of those levels make us nauseous. This free version is set in the much more chill environment of surf and sun. Pull that slingshot back, blow up those pigs, and feel the stress melt away.

     

 

GADGETS

Lance Ulanoff, editor-in-chief of Mashable.com, shared his favorite gadgets to get you moving this year on a January '13 episode of "Live with Kelly and Michael." 

  • Movband ( $29.99) The MOVband is a wristband with a pedometer inside. The device measure movement, as well as steps, so every calorie burned counts. MOVband also tracks miles and time. The company suggests the MOVband is good for groups, like schools, clubs and companies. The MOVband must be purchased with the MOVchallenge -- a program designed to get groups moving and active. Organizations have used grants to purchase the MOVbands, the company writes on its website.

 

Up is a system that combines a sleek, narrow wristband that tracks your movement and sleep in the background. The app displays your data, lets you add things like meals and mood, and delivers insights that keep you moving forward. UP was designed to quickly and simply sync your data with your iOS device using the 3.5mm headphone jack 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nike+ FuelBand uses a sports-tested accelerometer to measure your movement in NikeFuel, a universal metric of activity. Decide how active you want to be by setting a daily NikeFuel goal. Then, get moving and see your progress along the way. Sync with the Nike+ FuelBand app and see your activity history, stay motivated, and connect with your friends. 

 

 

  • BodyMedia Core 2: (Featured at 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas) Prices are expected to run between $119 and $149. 

 

Wearable body monitoring pioneer BodyMedia announced the BodyMedia CORE 2, the next generation of the activity/health tracker armband used on The Biggest Loser®. Packing four sensors into a housing smaller than an iPod Nano, the CORE 2 will be the smallest wearable multi-sensor device of its kind as well as the first to offer a choice of interchangeable jewelry- like faceplates, straps and cuffs for a fashion look. It will also feature a new heart rate monitoring option; energy-saving Bluetooth® Smart Ready technology enabling live activity updates on your smartphone or tablet as well as longer battery life; and data-rich mobile and online apps that can help users make smart food, exercise and lifestyle-related health decisions every day.  

 

  • Withings Scale: (Featured at 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas) $179.99 with corresponding free app

Designed specifically to be used in your bedroom, stepping on the scale barefoot provides you with your weight, body fat and heart rate reading. Data is sent wirelessly from the scale to the Withings app on your smartphone, where it can be tracked for your own personal record, or to share later with a physician. More than just a scale, Withings also added an air quality monitor to the Smart Body Analyzer. The scale specifically monitors CO2 in the room. High levels of CO2 can affect your quality of sleep, and cause headaches, restlessness, difficulty breathing, and an increased heart rate. 

 

  •  Lifespan Treadmill Desk DT-5:  (Featured at 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas) One of the first mass-market entries in a relatively young category of gadget: the treadmill desk. You are able to work and walk. Hopefully, these things become commonplace, because the DT's current cost on the LifeSpan website, even with discount, is $1,299! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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