Ways to Track Your Health Using Just Your Phone
You may not need all that wearable tech after all. Tracking your health can be done using just your phone.
Smart watches and fitness trackers can monitor a lot—but you may not realize how much your phone can do without the help of wearable smart device. Not only can it track your fitness, it can tally your calories, monitor your sleeping patterns, and much more. Here are a few apps that will help you get the most from your phone—and most of them are free!
It will track your mood, hunger, and sleep levels, then provide feedback to help you reach your fitness and health goals. It’s also helpful when shopping; it can scan barcodes and let you know how healthy (or unhealthy) each item is (free with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android).
My Fitness Pal
This app makes it easy to track numerous things, from your diet to sleep and exercise. With more than six million foods in its database—including food from restaurants and common homemade items—you can easily pull up what you had for lunch and log it. You can also customize it by adding your own recipes. Want more? Take things to the next level by setting goals to lose or maintain weight. The app will calculate how many calories you need each day to meet those goals. Aside from the healthy eating benefits, My Fitness Pal can track steps right from your phone and connect with other devices and apps like MapMyFitness, Strava, and Runkeeper. Make it social by connecting with friends and cheering each other on each day (Free with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android).
These apps have options for tracking your distance and calories while you are walking, jogging, biking, hiking, and more. The apps use your GPS tracker and calculates these items for you. You can also be social on this app, adding friends and seeing and “liking” each other’s accomplishments.
Great for runners, cyclists, and mountain bikers, Strava can track speed, elevation, distance, calories burned, and heart rate. The app also lets you join challenges with other users, and it tracks the mileage to tell you when to get new running shoes (Free with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android).
Spotify, the running feature
Okay, while this one doesn’t tell you about your health, it is pretty cool! It will measure tempo and choose songs based on your pace. Now you can push yourself to new limits (Free; iOS and Android).
Welcome to the app that measures your sleep cycles and wakes you up at the “best” moment within 30 minutes of when your alarm is set to go off. The body goes through different phases of sleep, from deep to light during the night, and the phase you’re in when you wake up affects how tired you feel.
All you have to do is place the phone to monitor your movement, and the app can tell which sleep phase you’re in, adjusting your wake-up time to match your lightest sleep phase. You could feel less groggy and more refreshed when you wake up (Free with in-app purchases on iOS, $0.99 on Android).
Aside from these apps, your phone may have a few built-in features. For example, iPhones have a “health” app that tracks steps, flights of stairs climbed, and other optional information based on your settings—keep in mind that you have to carry or wear your phone to use these features.
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