Smart phones are often with us everywhere we go, every day. It makes sense to use these devices for one of the most important aspects of our life–our health.

According to market research, many are already using apps to track health and wellness. The fitness apps market alone is expected to grow to $40 million by 2016, up from $12 million in 2010. Health apps are even breaking into the healthcare industry, with 66% of health practitioners using their mobile devices during their workdays.

Search for health apps though, and you may be quickly overwhelmed with the options.

There are apps that measure your heart rate during exercise, apps to measure your sleep cycles, symptom trackers, and medication guides. On top of these, are the many calorie tracking and activity logging apps that can help individuals maintain or get to their goal weight or fitness level.

With all of those options out there, it’s best to start small and explore a few different types of apps to find out which ones work best for you. When doing this, track which ones you actually enjoy using and start using habitually. When talking health, it’s best to use those apps that you’re actually going to use often in order to see any type of continuity or growth over time. This is especially important with apps that track certain things, like activity level or calories.

To get started using mobile health apps, think about starting with some of the recommended apps below. Most are free and work with both Apple and Android products. They may not be the perfect fit for you, but can lead you towards better options that in the end can truly help you improve your health and wellness.

MyFitnessPal tracks calories and daily activity, recommends daily caloric intakes, and connects you with other dieting friends on your social media accounts.

My Diet Coach provides reinforcement and motivational tips on sticking to a weight loss program.

Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock detects sleep cycles and wakes users up during light sleep within a pre-determined 90 minute window.

Alarm Clock Relaxation Sounds combines progressive wake-up and sleep-aid sounds with aural beats to help you sleep better and concentrate during the day.

MapMyRun allows you to map your running route, distance, speed, and elevation using an interactive GPS map.

The First Aid app from the American Red Cross gives quick advice on what to do in emergency situations and also includes educational materials so you can brush up on your working knowledge.

Lumosity helps you build training programs in order to enhance memory, attention, and problem solving skills and track your own growth.

Image by Robert S. Donovan via Flickr


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