Use your smartphone for something other than talking and texting, use it to work towards being a bit healthier

Sections: Communications, Features, Gadgets / Other, Lifestyle, Mobile, Originals, Smartphones

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You may have noticed, or if you haven’t, the TechnologyTell group of sites have been doing theme weeks. The first was a few weeks back and covered back to school. The second came last week and was open for a how-to topic. And well, this marks the third week and the topic at hand is something personal for me — health and wellness. Sadly though, this topic has given me a severe case of writers block. So in an effort to put the block aside, I am going to generalize a bit. Of course, with the wide variety of health and fitness related gadgets these days — it is hard to even think of where to begin. I am going to make leap though, and talk a bit about using your smartphone. After all, it seems that just about everyone is carrying one these days and those who aren’t already doing so seem to be thinking about making the move.

With that in mind, there are plenty of options available for smartphone users in terms of health and/or fitness apps. Two of my favorite apps include RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal. The RunKeeper app I use for tracking my running. Obvious by the name, however RunKeeper also works well for other outdoor activities such as walking, cycling, skating, swimming and others. The MyFitnessPal app is more on the side of what you are eating — it is a calorie counting app. And the nicest part here — both of these apps are available on multiple platforms, both are available for free and both have a web interface that works for checking, reviewing or entering your pertinent details.

Still, these are just two of a wide variety of health and fitness related apps. There are some for those looking to do more pushups, do more sit-ups or do just about anything fitness related that you can think of. And on top of that, many of these apps are free or low-priced. You can also take this a step further and go into basic activity such as getting up from your desk. For this I use an app called MotionX: Sleep. This app has lots of features but the two features of MotionX: Sleep that I really like are the smart alarm and the step counter (with alerts to remind me to stop typing and get up from my desk).

You can also go real in-depth as some of the apps integrate with third-party products. For example, there are heart-rate monitors that work with iOS and with Android. But in keeping this basic and on the topic of getting started I am going to stop that talk. My main point here, if you are looking to get healthier and are unsure of where to start, try searching your app store for something that you have an interest in. You will probably be able to find an app that will meet your needs and will most likely be able to find one that will offer some guidance in terms of plans to follow. And while I suspect many of you will want to go with a free app, I challenge you to spend a few bucks — after all, spending a few bucks may help to convince you to make regular use of the app in order to get you moneys worth. Still, that is not to say free apps should be avoided. Hey, RunKeeper is one that I use (and absolutely love) on a daily basis.

Bottom line here, the smartphone that is already in your hand (or in your pocket or on your desk) is a great tool to either get started or dive deeper into being healthier. You just have to use it.

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