Is your phone harming your physical health? There have been some reports in recent months that state your smartphone could be doing more harm than good.
Smartphones provide a distraction and in many cases give you your news, entertainment and social interactions. However, most people typically use their devices when they're primarily sitting or eating.
A study in the journal Physiology and Behavior found that people who ate while using their smartphone consumed more calories than those who didn't - up to 535 calories more. That's roughly an extra Big Mac added to your meal.
What could you do to turn that trend around, get more physically fit,and make your smartphone work for you instead of against you? That's what we'll answer for you here.
What apps can help in overall physical fitness?
Thankfully, this is an area that most smart devices have many options for with at least some sort of motion and activity apps. There are apps that require extra hardware, that run solely on your smart device and options for manually tracking your dietary intake. There are however apps you should be mindful of using such as for blood pressure.
Finding the right apps for you can be a daunting task in the sea of options. Although some of the easiest options are probably already on your devices.
Samsung Health - Cost: Free
- This app tracks your activity, nutrition, stress data, heart rate, and sleep, while it delivers insights based on your progress.
- You can set goals, sync your wearable's, smart devices and other health-related apps.
- This Samsung app supports both users of the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store and more often than not comes pre-installed on your Samsung smartphone.
Apple Health - Cost: Free
- This app tracks your activity, nutrition, mindfulness, sleep, measurements, blood pressure, and third-party health records.
- You can create a digital Medical ID card in case of emergencies that allows first responders to access your critical medical information from the lock screen, without needing your passcode.
- It consolidates health data from iPhone, Apple Watch and third-party apps you already use, so you can view all your progress in one convenient place.
- Health is available on iPhone 4s or later and iPod touch (5th generation or later).
What if I only need to track my nutrition?
My wife is a fitness instructor and has a lot of weight on her own. I've had the opportunity to watch her sort through these kinds of apps and to hear her opinions on them. One is her favorite to manage your nutrition while allowing you to eat a more normal and liveable diet.
MyFitnessPal - Cost: Free
- MyFitnessPal is available in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
- Includes a free account which tracks your daily calorie/fat/protein goals, and a Premium upgrade at various price points which gives you much more.
- This app and website help to track your diet and exercise to determine your personal optimal caloric intake and nutrients for the goals you've set.
- Uses a check-in system for premium users to allow for regular coaching on your health needs.
- They have a plethora of other apps that can help with whatever you may be interested in from Activity Trackers such as Fitbit or Garmin Connect to running, pedometer, training, cycling and nutrition.
Get an app and start getting fit now!
No matter which direction you go with a health app, there are many options to choose from no matter if you're an iPhone user or an Android user. Choosing the one that works best for you while using the features you specifically need will help in deciding that special app that you want to use.
Ultimately you'll have to make the choice to limit phone usage but getting more active and using the devices as a personal check-in system can be very beneficial to see what ways you can help your health improve for the better.
Count calories by taking photos of your food
Counting calories is one of the most tedious parts of any diet. Keeping track of portions, looking up ingredients - it can make anyone want to give up on their diet goals. But, once again, technology has the answer. This cool new app can make it easy to stay focused on your diet goals. Tap or click here to start calorie counting.