6 Useful Apps to Improve Your Overall Health

These days, you can use technology to do more than just check your Facebook page or play Angry Birds. Apps have been developed that focus specifically on diet and exercise, two key components to keeping you healthy. With just a little bit of motivation, you can learn more about what you’re eating before you take that first bite or get in shape by tracking all of your daily activity. Not only can these apps help you lose weight or firm up, they can also help you improve your overall health, leading to a longer, more happy and productive life. (And who doesn’t want that?)

1. Fooducate

If you’ve ever stood in front of a box of cookies wondering just how bad they are for you, then you’ll want to check out Fooducate. Created by dietitians and concerned parents, this app pulls up important yet “digestible” information when you scan a product’s barcode. It won’t just give it a grade and tell you the calories per serving, it will highlight both the good and bad traits of that particular food. Best part? Fooducate will offer better options so you know that you’re making healthier choices.

2. Runkeeper

Ready to put on those running shoes and hit the pavement? Don’t forget your smartphone. Use RunKeeper to track your fitness activity including your distance, time, pace, calories and heart rate. Curious to see how you’re pacing? This app will provide audio cues of your time and distance. Because RunKeeper works with your GPS, you can even see the path you’re traveling on a map. After you’re done running, check out all your stats on RunKeeper’s website. If you’re so inclined, you can even share this info by posting these activities to Facebook and Twitter.

3. Nike Training Club

Want a trainer but don’t have the time, money or energy to devote towards one? Check out Nike Training Club, an app that’s as close as you can come to having your own personal trainer. Nike’s created over 60 custom-built workouts for you to tap into including full body 30 or 45 minute full-body workouts, for all skill levels and targeted, professional athlete workouts that last 15 minutes. All you have to do it pick one of their routines, choose your music and go. You can count on audio guidance to even keep you on track and stay motivated. If you’re so inclined, you can also access step-by-step instructions and videos to make sure you’re doing your drills right. Track your workout history and progress, and then, just like Runkeeper, you can share your workout and reward status on Facebook or Twitter.

4. Lose It!

Are you ready to lose some weight? Who doesn’t want to shed those extra 5-10 lbs we put on during the holidays? Lose It! wants to help you by getting you to set your weight loss goals and daily calorie budget. Of course, it’s up to you to record your food and exercise stats, but once you do, you’ll start to notice how much your consuming and how often you’re exercising. The app comes with a calorie-counter that has a large database of brand name and generic foods, including items you’ll find at popular restaurants. Best part? The daily budget will help you stay on track by telling you how many calories you need to burn if you want to eat that extra cookie or devour that last piece of cake.

5. Restaurant Nutrition

Going out to eat? Craving fast food? Before you order your Big Mac check out the Restaurant Nutritionapp to see the nutritional information about what you’re about to consume. With over 200 restaurants and 60,000 food items in their database, you’ll be able to learn more about what you’re putting in your mouth. Though more and more restaurants are posting some nutritional information like calories on their menus, you’ll find more information here like protein, fat and carbs. Looking for healthier alternatives before you step out? Just find the name of the restaurant with the healthiest food, look for the map button near it and tap on it to be launched into Google Maps which will show you nearby locations. Want to remember what you just ate? Click “I ate this today” and you can keep track of all that food.

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6. WebMD

Feel like you’re coming down with a cold or maybe the flu? Check out WebMD to diagnose your ailments. This powerful app isn’t a good substitute for your doctor but it will help give you an idea of what kind of sickness you could be experiencing. First, let the app know what symptoms you have by cllcking the Symptom Checker and tapping on the body part you’re having problems with. Then, choose your symptoms and learn about your conditions or issues. You can also search through WebMD’s extensive database for information on drugs and vitamins, learning about possible side effects. Got an emergency? Look to WebMD to help guide you on what to do if you have an insect sting or a broken bone.

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