From helping you create healthy grocery lists to acting as your own personal trainer, there really is an app for that. As part of a technology-focused project in her health education class, Texas A&M University instructor and Director of the Office of Health Informatics Amber Muenzenberger asked her students to present their favorite health-related apps.
“At the touch of a screen, you can track your daily caloric intake, get started on a personalized exercise regimen and set a weight loss goal and monitor it,” said Muenzenberger. “The apps the students selected can be a great support base for those looking to achieve their health goals.”
If you're hoping to develop healthy nutrition and physical activity habits, here are 10 free apps that deserve a spot on your mobile device.
Healthy Habits (free on the Apple market) logs personal habits or behaviors users hope to achieve, tracks the progress toward those behaviors and provides reminders and award badges.
Everyday Health (free on the Apple and Android markets) provides information on health conditions, remedies, answers to questions from experts and nutrition information on snacks. Everyday Health provides access to health resources to help users make informed decisions.
Fooducate (free on the Apple and Android markets) allows users to scan barcodes of grocery items to make better decisions while grocery shopping. The app provides ratings on nutritional information for the item, a “letter grade” rating and provides healthier alternatives.
The Eatery (free on the Apple market) allows “followers” or people that you ask to join The Eatery to rate photos of meals. These followers help you rate whether the food was “fit” or “fat.” Based on your ratings, the app keeps track of when you eat better or worse, as well as your progress from week to week. The Eatery allows users to motivate themselves and others in making healthy food choices.
GoMeals (free on the Apple and Android markets) provides nutritional information for individual foods, grocery items and restaurant meals. It allows users to track total caloric, sugar and other nutritional intake for each meal. GoMeals identifies healthy or unhealthy eating behaviors that can be maintained or modified accordingly.
Restaurant Nutrition (free on the Apple and Android markets) provides nutrition information on menu items from different restaurants. It allows users to keep track of nutritional intake and find restaurant locations.
Fast Food Calories (free on the Apple market) provides full menus and nutritional information for restaurants to help users make informed decisions about their food intake. It allows users to track what they ate, the serving size and when they ate at the restaurant.
Lose It! (free on the Apple market) assists users in losing weight by setting a weight loss goal and tracking progress. By inputting food and exercise totals, Lose it! determines if users are over or under their allocated daily calories. Lose It! allows users to track progress toward their weight loss goals through their preferred fitness activity and foods they enjoy.
Get in Shape (free on the Apple market) provides food plans and exercise regimens based on goals and personal parameters set by the user. Get in Shape features a calorie counter, charts of progress, advice, a BMI calculator and a shopping list.
Runner’s World SmartCoach (free on the Apple and Android markets) creates training plans for users that are customized for their running ability and race goals. SmartCoach allows users to customize physical activity plans and track their progress toward individual goals.