Sunday, May 22, 2011

10 iPhone Health Apps to keep you in good shape

Using a phone app is an easy way to track your health -- and even improve it. But with so many flooding the market, it’s tough to figure out which ones are actually useful. So we got busy testing. Here are our top iPhone health app picks for simplicity, convenience and ease of use. (They are all available for iTouch and iPad as well.) Most are free -- and none costs more than $3.99. Better health is just a download away.

Sun Alert Lite: This app lets you know when to reapply sunscreen based on your skin type, weather conditions, and your sunscreen’s SPF. By retrieving the current data of the UV radiation for your location, Sun Alert then calculates the time you can safely expose your skin to the sun before getting burned.
Cost: Free at iTunes

Lose It!: Set fitness and nutrition goals -- and actually feel accountable for keeping them. Like a mobile food diary, this app allows you to keep track of your daily caloric intake, as well as your exercise and other activities. It comes with an extensive database of foods that’s complete with calorie, fat, carb, fiber and protein counts. Monitor your progress by printing out custom reports, or sign up for weekly email updates. And for an extra motivational push, join the online community to earn badges and share your progress with other users.
Cost: Free at iTunes

GymGoal: With 280 exercises illustrated with animations and organized into 52 suggested workouts, this easy-to-use app is like having a personal trainer at the gym -- minus the pricey hourly fee. Track your workouts, body measurements, target heart rate and more. The app also provides progress reports and, for fitness fiends, gives you helpful suggestions of muscle groups you’ve been missing.
Cost: $3.99 at iTunes (a lite version is available for $1.99)

Cavity Free 3D: Perfect your brushing and flossing techniques with realistic (and strangely beautiful) animations that guide you step-by-step. The app even makes it fun for kids to learn how to care for their teeth, especially if they have braces.
Cost: Free at iTunes

Mayo Clinic Meditation: Learning to meditate might seem like it requires a lot of patience, but it’s really as simple as opening this app. Developed by the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at the Mayo Clinic, the application guides you through a five-minute or fifteen-minute session that’s designed to teach breathing and meditation techniques to soothe stress. We felt more centered from our very first try.
Cost: $2.99 at iTunes

Epocrates Rx: If you take any kind of prescription drug, you’ve got to have this app. It lists data for more than 3,000 brand-name and generic medications, including common dosages, possible side effects, and interactions. It even has photos of pills -- so you can make sure your pharmacist gave you the right Rx.
Cost: Free at iTunes (visit for BlackBerry and Android versions)

Dosecast: Can’t take your daily meds at the same time without setting an awkward phone alarm? Avoid the disruption with this app, which keeps track of all your meds and vitamins, including daily dosage and pill strength, and sends you a text notification when it’s time for your daily dose. Bonus: It adjusts for time-zone changes when you travel.
Cost: Free at iTunes

CPR & Choking: Even if you’ve taken a CPR class in the past, chances are you’ll find it tough to recall the steps in an emergency situation. Featuring step-by-step instructions for adults, children and infants, this app could be a true lifesaver.
Cost: $0.99 at iTunes

Emergency Aid: Whether you have to deal with a sprain, chest pain, or dozens of other unpredictable emergencies, this app gives you simple first aid instructions on the spot based on standards from the Red Cross and other national health and emergency associations.
Cost: $1.99 at iTunes

ICE: The name of this app stands for “In Case of Emergency.” Should there be one, it will help first responders identify you and your emergency contacts, and alert them to your medical conditions and medications.
Cost: $0.99 at iTunes

Brought to you in association with Charge Up For Good Health...written by Nancy Kalish, Certified Health Coach.