5 Top Health Apps
Sleep Cycle monitors your sleep patterns and picks the best time to wauey
CREDIT: Sleep Cycle
Ready to get fit? Remember your running shoes — and your smartphone.
A new report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project shows that many more people use their phones to look up health information than did just two years ago, and that more people are using health and fitness apps, too.
The report, published on Nov. 8, showed that people want health information wherever they are, especially if they own a smartphone. For example, 31 percent of people looked up health information on their cellphone (up from 17 percent in 2010).
People aren't just browsing the mobile Web, either. Almost one in five people downloaded a health-related app, the report said. And those who experienced a significant health change (sudden weight loss or gain, getting pregnant or quitting smoking) within12 months were the most likely to try an app.
According to the report, the most popular apps were exercise, diet and weight management tools. These are five of the most popular in the Apple App Store and on Google Play (for Android).
5 Top Health and Fitness Apps
MyFitnessPal Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker (iOS, Android)
Weight management seems simple enough: Don't eat more calories than you burn. But knowing how much you've eaten can be tough. This free calorie counting tool helps track how many calories you've taken and how many you've burned.
WebMD (iOS, Android)
Health emergencies can happen anywhere, so you need health information at your fingertips. The free WebMD app provides first aid tips, explanations of conditions (such as asthma or migraines), a symptom checker and more in a mobile-friendly format.
[See Also: Should the FDA Regulate Smartphone Apps?]
Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock (iOS)
The best time to wake up is in your lightest sleep phase — you'll feel more refreshed. A regular alarm clock can't figure out if you're in deep sleep. This $1 app uses the accelerometer on your iPhone to detect when you are in your lightest sleep phase and wakes you within a 30-minute window of your ideal time.
MapMyRun GPS Running (iOS, Android)
Track how far and fast you run with this free app. It uses the mobile device's GPS to record pace and show where you are on your route. The company also offers similar apps for biking and hiking.
Fitness Buddy (iOS)
One of the hardest parts about working out is understanding which exercises you should be doing. Fitness Buddy helps you plan workouts based on fitness goals. This $1 app includes descriptions of more than 1,700 exercises and 1,000 videos to show you how to do them.