Guest writer Jared Hill is an eclectic, Chicago based blogger. His articles mostly focus on fitness and NBA team reviews and have been featured on NewHope360, Los That Sports Blog, & Dr. Premm's Global Community. Have you been seeing people intently studying their smartphones at the gym, track, and court?
While they might be ordering takeout, or furiously swiping left on Tinder, it’s slightly more probable that they've been using a health app. These miraculous “health monitors” are widely used today; within the fitness community, most obviously, but increasingly among the general population as well.In this article, you'll find details on the best of the best in the fitness app trend.
With this advantage in mind, we begin with one of the top apps favored by both health seekers and their doctors.
As BusinessInsider.com explains, Apple's HealthKit isn’t “an app, exactly. It’s more of a hub where you can monitor daily health stats, and see them over longer periods of time,” making HealthKit something of an all-around organizer. It collects data from medical devices, fitness trackers, and other health apps and stores them in an organized format. Additionally, it translates data into medical metrics, ensuring accuracy.
HealthKit will track calories, blood sugar, cholesterol, weight, and heart rate. In its "Medical ID" format, you can document medical conditions, allergies, medications, doctors, and emergency contacts. By having all your health data in one location, you can see the relationship between your diet, exercise, weight, stress, and sleep. Seeing "cause and effect" in this way can guide you in achieving your fitness goals. A "Dashboard" enables you to decide which data you want to share or keep private. HealthKit works with apps of health care institutions, such as Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, and Mount Sinai. HealthKit operates on a closed platform, and Apple restricts access by unapproved developers and apps.
Bottom Line - Apple HealthKit scores as a data store.
Google Fit has taken a bite out of Apple's profits as a competitor with HealthKit. Fit tracks the same fitness elements as HealthKit, but it interfaces with other Android devices and apps. Fit has various partnerships with device manufacturers, such as Adidas, RunKeeper, Withings, Polar, and Nike Fuel. With Fit, you access information by opening individual apps separately. Fit operates on an open platform, and users have unrestricted access to other apps.
Bottom Line - Google Fit is an app that rivals Apple and is compatible with Android devices.
MyFitnessPal is an app designed to help you achieve a weight loss goal. You establish a calorie goal and input your daily exercise and food intake. The app tracks calories consumed and burned, and its database is the largest among calorie counters, with nutritional information on thousands of brand-name, generic, and chain restaurant foods. You can also calculate calories from a recipe. A "Food Search" feature enables you to call up information by name.
Do you want the scoop on that Häagen-Dazs chocolate ice cream? MyFitnessPal will give you the nutritional breakdown in calories, fat, carbs, and protein for a specific serving size. As USA Today notes, “the great thing about [this app] is that [it] learns your tastes,” making it easy to track your favorite foods and restaurants you frequently visit. MyFitnessPal is compatible with numerous other apps and fitness-tracking devices.
Bottom Line - MyFitnessPal is a great weight loss buddy that enables you to accurately track calories as part of a weight reduction program.
One word of caution: there are some health apps on the market that may cause more harm than good. “Health apps are expanding at a rapid rate, so quickly that the FDA, despite its best intentions and efforts, has been unable to regulate each new app before it hits the market,” says Tim Cannon of HealthITJobs.com. It’s generally a good idea to check on the app you’re interested in using before you install it to make sure it’s got a good reputation, and a large enough base of users to generate meaningful reviews. If you can’t find any reviews for a specific app on the internet, steer clear.
That said, with the above three apps at your disposal, better health is just a download away!