The Crestiad

Cedar Crest College newspaper since 1923

What The Health? Smartphone Apps and Health

Victoria Kuebler, Managing Editor

“Oh, I remember when phones just made phone calls,” said every adult who was alive before 1980. Now we’re fortunate enough to live in a technology age where we can use our phones to make phone calls, check email, text friends, and check Facebook while walking into a fountain at the mall.

I wasn’t the first person to run out and get a smartphone. In fact, the only reason I have one now is because my previous phone stopped letting me using the buttons when it was raining or humid outside. Luckily, I had an upgrade and we’ve now reached a point where that means I get a free smartphone with as small a data package as they come.

I’m the first one to say I’m addicted to it. But I think with this accessible technology, we should be taking advantage of it for our health. And no, not by sitting around and playing Words with Friends. Just because I can spell FITNESS for 50 points doesn’t mean that I’m doing it. Here are some of my newly found, favorite free nutrition and fitness apps.

Lose It. Don’t be fooled by the name. You don’t have to want to lose weight in order to use it. It’s very simple to use by entering your age and whether you want to lose or maintain weight. I like this app because it won’t let you lose more than 2 pounds a week. You’re able to chose from hundreds of food options, including popular chain restaurants. The component I like most about this app is the ability to scan the barcode of food you eat. Girl Scout cookies. Scan. Cheerios. Scan. And all the information is there, you just pick the serving size. The only downfall is you have to really know serving sizes for items without barcodes. So get familiar with your measuring cups (those weird things with the handles and numbers on them in your kitchen).

MapMyRun. Before I had my smartphone, I would carry both my cell phone and mp3 player with me while I ran. It’s the reason I think my right arm is strong than my left. I use this app to not only keep time but to measure the distance I go in a certain amount of time. It also saves the course so I can go back later and see where I’ve improved or stayed the same. The component I like most about this app is that it tells me (in a very nice soothing voice) at each mile my distance and pace. The only issue is if I stop in the middle of a run and I don’t get a chance to pause the time. It’ll throw off everything else.

Spotify. You’re probably wondering why I added a music app to a list about fitness and nutrition apps. But I love listening to music when I workout and music sounds even sweeter when it’s free (but not illegal). While you’re able to use Spotify on the computer to create playlists, it can be downloaded onto a smartphone for free. Spotify won’t let customers listen to playlists without a $10/month subscription fee, but it will pair songs from playlists with a radio station of similar songs and Spotify will allow songs from the radio to be added to playlists to be listened to later. I’ve found great workout songs this way. Anyone else digging the Missy Elliot remix of Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F)?

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This entry was posted on January 30, 2013 by in Lifestyles.
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