Brandi Bleak


Health & Fitness Apps

Apps, The ChatBrandi BleakComment

Today on The Chat I did a quick overview on health related apps and wearable technologies. The few wearables I mention on air are Microsoft Band, Android Wear and Fitbit. I personally don't have any of these devices, but know several people who have used them and plenty of opinions. In general, the benefits outweigh the costs, as long as you're motivated to use the product. Wearables tend to offer that motivation in varying ways, including gamification techniques like earning badges after accomplishments and allowing friends to follow and cheer each other on. These devices, most commonly watches, wristbands or clip-on style vary in prizes but start around $100 for the most basic features. If you are an avid runner, or have a need for more accurate data for you health, these wearables are exactly what I would recommend. 

Microsoft Band - Android Wear - Fitbit

For people who may not routinely exercise or have specific fitness goals, I would suggest taking a peek at apps that are available to you right on your phones, Google Fit for Android users or Health Kit for Apple fans. 

In my video below, I chat about the simplicity of the apps I've selected to show and help they can help make people more aware of their health. Apple's Health app has a dashboard with easy-to-read graphs of information you select for the apps to collect. I've shown the app tracking my steps and showing me how far that is, in the distance I've walked. There are endless categories to select to see information from. Some that require the user to input information, some  that gather info from a third-party app, and some, like the counting of steps, that are built into the device. For me, that's a huge motivator. Even seeing that I had walked one mile today by doing routine walking makes me want to top my previous day's steps. 

The Health app also allows users to create a Medial ID card that would essentially always be with you, in case of an emergency and details like your medical conditions, emergency contact or allergies may be critical. 

Sleep Cycle instructs you to place your phone on the corner of your bed, near your pillow, then tracks movements to give you an indication of your sleep patterns. It also has an alarm feature that wakes you within a 30 minute period, based on the lightest sleep phase. 

Nike Plus is my successful at tracking your pace, distance and location while running, but also has features for keep you moving forward, like hearing when your friends cheer you on via social media.

Lost it! Is an app perfect for anyone with a weight, calorie or dietary goal. Each day, you input what food you've had then shows the nutrition information so you're more aware of what you're eating and if you're on track with recommended numbers. This app also has the social aspect by allowing your friends to follow and encourage you throughout the process.  

Let me know if you use any of these apps or have suggestions on others that I may have missed. 

- Brandi