Do Smart Phone Healthy Apps Really Work?

I love using apps as a way to track health, nutrition, exercise and sleep. There are so many good ones to choose from, they are inexpensive or free, and I love that many of them will also text reminders to you, to keep you on track.

  • My Fitness PalNutrition – my favorite nutrition tracking app is called “My Fitness Pal”. I love this app because once you go through the tedious process of logging a few weeks, you can store items that you eat regularly, and it only takes 5-10 minutes a day to get a great glimpse of your daily or weekly nutrition. We can see your “macros” – meaning, what percentage of carbohydrates, protein and fat you have in your daily diet.  We can also track several micronutrients to see if you are getting, for instance, enough calcium or iron in your food. This comes in handy when we are trying to replenish a nutrient without using vitamin supplements.  It can also help with weight loss goals.
  • SevenExercise – There are many good ones here too, but my favorite is one I am now using called “Seven“. For those of us who have very little time to squeeze in daily exercise…this app can help you get moving with exercises that require little space or preparation or tools.  I recommend starting it and trying to squeeze in 2-3 seven minute sessions a day and voila! You are exercising 20 minutes a day!
    I have yet to find a good app on breathing techniques specifically, but I did set an alarm in my Apple Watch/phone that will remind me to BREATHE!
  • BreatheMeditation – I am now using one of the following meditation apps:
    “Insight Timer” and “Timeless“. I like these because they offer timed meditation, again, so you can squeeze in a session before work, at lunch, while waiting to pick up your kids…they can be anywhere from 5 minutes to 60 minutes.  I also like that they offer various techniques and teachers, so you can find one or more that work, and then dive deeper into those styles that work for you – either by downloading podcasts, or ordered meditation CDs by some great meditation teachers once you experience them.
  • SleepSleep – I recommend trying an app like “Sleep Cycle” to track your sleep – how much sleep you are getting each night, and how much is restful. No, it isn’t as scientific as a sleep study, but it can give some information into the trends of your sleep and how we can help you achieve better quality and length of sleep.
    Dr Kemby

What other health apps are you using? Please comment below so we can all share apps that are working and improving your quality of life and helping you achieve your fitness and life goals!

Dr. Heidi Hook, ND

Born and raised in Auburn, California. Dr. Heidi Hook is a 1996 graduate of Bastyr University and is the owner of Auburn Naturopathic Medicine. Her practice focuses mainly on discovering the underlying causes of illness that is specific for each person.

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