iPhone Apps that Help Manage Diet, Exercise, and Disease - dummies

iPhone Apps that Help Manage Diet, Exercise, and Disease

By Sarah Densmore

If you own an iPhone, you know the downloadable applications (apps) can help you find your way around town, pick a restaurant, decide which movie to see, and more. But did you also know there are hundreds of mobile apps that will tabulate the calories you consume, teach you a new yoga posture, or help you keep track of your diabetes?

If you’re health and fitness conscious, here are some iPhone apps you might want to consider downloading:

  • Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker app: Enter your weight loss goals. Then Tally your daily calorie intake by accessing this app’s 450,000 food database. You can analyze your diet by the amount of fat, protein, sugar, fiber, and so on you consume.

    You can calculate calories burned by entering your exercise regimen. This iPhone app will tell you if your day’s diet and activity level is keeping you on track to achieve your fitness goals. You can run reports that chart your progress. You can even setup the app so it posts your progress to Twitter and Facebook. Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars; cost: free.

  • iTreadmill: Pedometer Ultra with PocketStep: This pedometer can tell you if you’re really going the distance because it bases its calculations on the length of your actual stride. It counts your steps, distance, and calories burned while you listen to music that you’ve gathered into your own iTreadmill playlist.

    Don’t worry if you get a call on your iPhone while you’re working out. The app will continue to count your steps while you’re chatting away. Rating: 3 out of 5 stars; cost: .99.

  • Yoga STRETCH: If you’d prefer an exercise app that doesn’t have you pounding the pavement, try Yoga STRETCH. You can follow a preloaded, hour-long session or create up to five custom sessions by choosing from among a menu of different yoga positions. Each position is illustrated and explained both in writing and by an instructor’s voice. You can workout while listening to one of six preloaded background songs or you can stretch to your own iPhone music. Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars; cost: .99.

    You don’t always have to be online to access an app’s features, such as a food database. Check your particular app’s instruction guide for the ins and outs of using it offline.

  • BCMon — Blood Cholesterol Monitor: If your doctor has instructed you to keep an eye on your cholesterol, this app will provide you with detailed reports based on the levels of total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides you input into the app. You can add cholesterol readings several times a day, and tag those readings according to the time of day (for instance, before lunch and after dinner). The app will provide you with a report of your daily, weekly, and monthly cholesterol averages. You can export these charts and share them with your doctor. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars; cost: 1.99.

  • iBP Blood Pressure: Tracking blood pressure can be a family affair with this app. Multiple users can enter their blood pressure readings and send the data to multiple e-mail addresses (your family doctor and your heart specialist for instance). The app uses color coding to indicate whether a particular reading is normal, high, or hypertensive. The app will take those individual readings and provide you with charts that display your blood pressure averages over the course of weeks and months. Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars; cost: .99.

  • Diabetes Buddy – Diet Tracker: With this app you can input information that’s vital to successful blood sugar management. Enter your weight, the foods you eat, glasses of water you drink, physical activity you perform, and glucose readings and insulin injections you take each day. The Diabetes Buddy will help you budget your carb intake, show fluctuation trends in your glucose readings, and more. Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars; cost: 2.99.