Use Your Smartphone to Monitor & Maintain Health

Active Living Profiles

Use Your Phone to Help Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Most of us have our phones close at hand throughout the day, allowing us to stay in touch with friends and family. But have you ever considered using your phone to stay in touch with yourself? Here are some great ways to use your smartphone to monitor, maintain and even improve your health.

Fitness Apps

  • Track your steps: Prepare to be surprised! Most people think they cover a lot more ground in a day than they do. Tracking your steps can help you set and achieve goals for walking more, whether you’re moving around your home or out for a stroll in the neighborhood.
  • Get up and move reminders: Several years ago, the medical community sounded the alarm about the dangers of sitting too much. People who spend much of their day sitting are at increased risk for heart disease, some forms of cancer, and loss of muscle tone and strength. As we age, it becomes even more important to get up, stretch, and move around for a few minutes for every 30 minutes spent sitting. There are free apps you can download to remind you to stand, and if you’re seated at a desk, staring at a computer screen, there are apps to remind you to give your eyes a break too.
  • Easy exercise apps: Look for apps with basic strength exercises that use little or no equipment, gentle yoga apps, tai chi apps, and apps to map out walking paths and save favorite routes.

Apps for Mental Health and Sharpness

  • Download games and puzzles to stay sharp and have fun. There are countless game apps that are available free of charge to keep you entertained and on your toes. Brain teasers and puzzles challenge us to think about more than what’s for lunch today!
  • Download podcasts and news to stay current. Listening to the news or to opinion pieces via podcasts will keep you in the know about your local area and the world at large.
  • Download music to relax (or dance!) Look for music streaming services from public radio or via paid subscriptions to find great music in any genre, at any time of day. Music can lift your spirits and further encourage you to get up and move to a beat.
  • Stress less about remembering appointments. There’s no need to clutter your brain with dates and times. You can find apps that will send you a text message in advance of an appointment. Tired of creating a detailed grocery list, only to realize that you’ve left it on your kitchen counter? Download a list-making app and bring your phone to the store instead.

Apps to Maintain Physical Health

Use your phone to set alarms to remind you about medications. Set up reminders to encourage you to drink more water. Download apps that feature healthy recipes and let you create grocery lists on the go.

Free, Free Trial, and Subscription-Based Apps

Be sure to understand any charges associated with app downloads. Many are free, and some have a one-time download fee, but others tie you to a monthly subscription. You may be able to try before you buy and get a trial version of these subscription-based apps, but make sure you understand the terms and how to stop your subscription before signing up.

Although we don’t endorse any of these apps, you may find they make it easier to stay healthy and fit. Try those that suit your routine and lifestyle, and make your phone work harder for you.