By Sarah Trafton
In the digital age, apps are really changing the game in terms of health care. Before getting to the point where we wind up on Web MD searching our symptoms and assuming the worst case scenario, we now have many options to monitor our health and keep any ailments we may already have in check. And should things do go awry, we can have accurate records to provide to our doctors, thanks to these apps.
According to Medical Daily’s website, around 75 percent of Americans do not drink the 10 cups of water a day recommended by the Institute of Medicine and are thus, chronically dehydrated. Chronic dehydration can cause a variety of problems including fatigue, weight gain, joint pain and bladder or kidney problems. Plant Nanny will determine how much water you need based on your height, weight and activity level and track your water intake as you water a plant. You can earn new plants as you succeed. Amanda Tetro likes this app because: “The plants are so cute! Seeing them wilt really motivates me to drink more water. I also really like that you can enable notifications to remind you to drink, but I wish you could increase the frequency.” This app is free and compatible with both Android and Apple. On Google Play, it has a 4.4 out of 5 rating.
Migraines are the third most prevalent disease in the world, according to the Migraine Research Foundation. Migraines can be caused by hormones, the weather, sleep changes, stress and sensory stimuli. Migraine Buddy keeps track of every detail you experience in your attack, such as where the pain started, the intensity and duration as well as potential triggers. It also has a separate section to track your sleep and can factor in your local weather. This app is free and can be used on both Androids and iPhones. It has a 4.6 rating.
One in three people suffer from at least mild insomnia according to the Sleep Health Foundation. Factors that make certain individuals more prone to develop insomnia include using electronic devices before bed, not getting enough exercise, being stressed, having too much caffeine and having other related conditions such as anxiety or depression. This app monitors your sleep by keeping track of statistics, making graphs and recording factors such as drinking coffee or being stressed. It also allows you to set a time period for an alarm. It will then wake you up during that window when you are in the lightest sleep. This app is free on iTunes but costs $0.99 on Google Play. It has a 4.5 rating.
RunKeeper uses GPS to track your workouts whether it be running, walking or biking. You can set goals for yourself, create plans to reach them and earn rewards. You can create groups with your friends and have some friendly competition. It is also integrated with Spotify so you can enjoy some tunes while you go! This app is free and compatible with both Android and Apple. It scored a 4.5.
This app can come in really handy if you are among the 30% of women, according to Every Day Health’s website, that have to deal with irregular cycles. Some potential causes include hormonal problems, stress and weight changes. Period Tracker allows you to log your menstrual cycles and will average the past three months to predict future dates. It also tracks ovulation, fertility and symptoms. Mary Anne Orin likes this app because: “You can have it with you wherever you go, and you have a comprehensive list of how long all your cycles have been. You have to buy the deluxe version for certain things though, which is kind of annoying.” This app is free and works on both Androids and iPhones. It has a 4.5 rating.
They weren’t kidding when they said “There’s an app for that.” Having health apps can overall help your health because you are tracking everything and being more conscious of what you are doing with and to your body as well as what symptoms you are experiencing. Try some of these apps to help improve your health. Let us know how it goes or any other app suggestions you may have in the comments.