4 Free Mobile Apps Named Best at Keeping You Fit and Healthy
This guest post is from Michelle Gilbert, a member of the Verizon Wireless Midwest public relations team who handles PR for the company in Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky. Connect with her on Twitter @VZWmichelle.
Two great worlds — health and mobile — have recently received much-deserved attention thanks to the Healthy App Challenge. What’s that, you ask? U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, M.D. started the Healthy App Challenge to challenge developers to create apps that provide tailored health information and empower users to engage in and enjoy healthy behavior.
The apps were assessed against a range of criteria, including innovation, usability, ability to generate and download personal data and whether they made the health-promoting activity fun. The apps also had to be free. Four apps stood out among all entries, and they were ultimately named winners of the Healthy App Challenge.
A Meaningful Mission
Before I share details about the winning apps, let’s talk for a minute about the importance of this campaign. According to Trust for America’s Health, the obesity epidemic is one of our country’s most serious health problems. Adult obesity rates have doubled since 1980, from 15 to 30 percent, while childhood obesity rates have more than tripled. Rising obesity rates have significant health consequences, which contribute to increased rates of more than 30 serious diseases.
Think about those stats for a minute. They’re appalling!
I want to commend the surgeon general for making health a priority and finding a way to connect it to the type of technology that millions of people are using every single day.
It’s part of my job at Verizon Wireless to show people all the ways technology can benefit their lives aside from giving them a mobile connection. I want people to take advantage of mobile apps to aid them in losing weight and eating right, and initiatives like this will continue helping to call attention to how apps truly can improve our lives.
The Winning Apps
Lose It! — Lose It! lets you set goals and establish a daily calorie budget that enables you to meet those goals. You stay on track by recording your food and exercise and staying within your allotted budget. According to the app description in the Android Market, the average active Lose It! user has lost more than 12 pounds, and more than 85 percent of active users have lost weight.
GoodGuide — GoodGuide tells you whether food, cleaning products, pet food and other goods are safe, healthy, green and socially responsible while you shop. The app’s barcode scanning feature lets you quickly access GoodGuide’s ratings for more than 120,000 products.
Fooducate — This app helps you diet without an actual diet, by making healthier choices. Rather than trying to decode nutrition facts, labels and ingredient lists, you simply scan a product’s barcode to see good and bad product highlights and to find better alternatives. (I’ve already downloaded this app to my phone.)
Healthy Habits — This is a health, wellness and happiness app that helps you put your good intentions into action. It encourages you to reach goals in areas like smoking, wearing sunscreen and reducing stress by tracking your success and goals and sending you reminders when you get off track.
Remember, these these apps are free, so I encourage you to download them soon and start working toward a healthier you. If you’re already a health and fitness rock star, send this post along to a friend or family member who could use some motivation and encouragement. And, if he or she doesn’t currently have a smartphone, also pass along this tech enthusiast’s argument as to why people of all ages should upgrade their tech to a new smartphone or tablet.
So, what do you think? Will you create your own fitness challenge and use these apps? If you currently use them or other healthy apps, share your feedback in the comments.