These Apps Will Help You Manage Your Health
Keep Up Your Daily Water Intake
We all know, drinking water is integral to our health, helping with calorie control, keeping our kidneys in check, and making our skin glow. But getting those daily two litres in can be hard to remember when you’ve got a million other things to keep track of. Luckily, there’s an app for that – several, actually. Of the best, Plant Nanny turns virtual you into a plant that needs to be watered, sending you notifications to tell you to drink water. Your daily dose will affect how your plant (you) thrives so for those who need a daily reminder, Plant Nanny is a cute way to stay hydrated. My Water Balance is a far more straightforward app that will calculate how much water you need to drink based on the personal details you give it. Kind of like the well-known food and fitness app, MyFitnessPal, this lets you add all different kinds of beverages to your daily record, from water, tea and coffee to protein shakes, wine and kombucha. Once you’ve added that drink to your list, My Water Balance will let you know what percentage of your daily intake it makes up, and what you have left for the day.
Track Your Period
For those not on a contraceptive (and sometimes for those that are) tracking your period can be a logistical nightmare. Not only is a period tracker a great way to keep on top of your cycle from month to month, but it’ll also make it easier to track your fertility and notice when something is wrong. Flo is a great all-rounder app that not only tracks your cycle, but can also look at your daily sleep duration, water consumption, and track how much exercise you do in a day. It’ll also let you track your most fertile days if you’re trying for a baby. The Clue app was named the top free period and ovulation tracker, by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, so you know when it comes to keeping tabs on your cycle, it’s the best of the best. Using the app, you can log all manner of things, from pains, moods and PMS symptoms, to your period flow and cervical fluids, meaning you’ll never ruin another good pair of knickers again.
Look After Your Skin
There’s a lot of things in our skincare that we’re told to avoid these days, such as sulphates and parabens, but if you’re not an expert it can be hard to know where to begin. Skin matters, an app by facialist Joanne Evans, explains which ingredients to look out for, the ones to avoid, and why. It’s a pretty basic app that simply asks for your age, gender and skin type – allowing you to change the latter based on how your skin is feeling that day – and then directs you towards products that are going to work best for you. There’s a list of over 2,000 ingredients, each with easy-to-understand explainers, that’ll come in particularly handy when you’re looking at a mountain of products in Superdrug. Similarly, CosmEthics is an app that allows you to analyse beauty products when you scan the bar code – if there’s an alternative that will be better for you, CosmEthics will let you know, from its vast database of products (and we’re talking thousands).
And probably the least sexy app, but maybe one of the most important too: SkinVision is a leading skincare app that helps you check your skin for signs of cancer. It’ll check risky skin spots by allowing you to take pictures of the area concerning you. SkinVision will then give you a low, medium or high-risk indication based on this, and you’ll receive advice from one of their in-house dermatologists on what to do next. Storing these photos within the app will then help you track your skin in order to take note of any changes.
Maintain Your Gut Health
For those slowly trying to work through gastrointestinal struggles without really knowing what’s wrong, then Cara will be your lifesaver. It works as a food and symptom diary, helping to track patterns between your nutrition and the issues that arise. It’ll look out for your nutrition, symptoms, stress, moods and medication and even your stool health, using all the individual factors to see if there is some kind of connection between these and how you’re feeling, and will provide actionable insights to help keep you and your gut healthy. Another app, MyHealthyGut, was created by a registered dietician, a health tech entrepreneur and a health psychology researcher, so it produces results you can trust. Track your meals and symptoms in the journal to learn how certain food are impacting your healthand offers foods that are friendly to your needs as well as sample meal plans.
Keep A Balanced Diet
We all know how hard it is to stay on the healthy food wagon – especially if your food contains hidden nasties that aren’t known to the everyday shopper. But whether you’ve got allergies or just want to stick to a stricter diet (like finding items with no sugar, a good source of vitamin C or avoiding products made from concentrate), Shopwell will help you stay on track. All you need to do is create a food profile using the app, and when you’re doing your weekly food shop you can scan an item’s bar code to find out whether it meets your nutritional needs. If yes, pop it in your basket. If no, back on the shelf it goes. Similarly, Fooducate allows you to scan food barcodes and will subsequently evaluate its grade and review the product details – if the food has a low grade, the app will suggest alternatives.
Clear Your Mind
It’s important to take care of what’s inside as well as what’s outside, which includes looking after your mental wellbeing as well as your physical. If you find yourself struggling, Elefriends is the app from the mental health charity Mind designed to bring people together in a supportive online community, where you can share tips and experiences, and reach out to others who might be struggling too. They describe it as a “safe place to listen, share and be heard”. To bring stress levels down, try Happify, which uses evidence-based techniques and games to improve your emotional wellbeing. With the app, you can set your own mental health goals, and complete their guided meditations to track your progress.
And if you find yourself getting easily overwhelmed with certain tasks, or the mountains of work you have to do at work and at home, then help to decompartmentalise these things with Wunderlist, an app helps you to manage your own to-do lists. It’ll send you reminders for things you need to do throughout the day and lets you tick your items off as you go. It also allows you to create joint lists for work or home, so everyone can pitch in and help you out, instead of you struggling on your own.
Stay On Track Of Your Physical Health
We all know that when it comes to your physical health, fitness is important. But the thing we concentrate less on is our overall physical health. If you’re worried about your health and want to speak to a professional, the HealthTap app puts people in touch with a trusted library of doctors, getting answers to their medical queries quickly and efficiently. Also, as women we should be keeping on top of the things that could be affecting us without knowing it, like checking our breasts on the regular. The Know Your Lemons app helps you to do just this, showing you how exactly to self-check exam with a virtual coach and customising your own screening plan based on your personal risk. It’ll also let you to book a mammogram with an FDA-certified centre in just seconds.
Get Enough Sleep
We all know that sleep is important, but we rarely get enough of it. Sleep Genius can help with that. Developed with research meant to help NASA astronauts fall asleep, the app uses sounds that guide your brain through a complete sleep cycle. This helps you to fall asleep faster, stay asleep throughout the night and wake up at your body’s optimal time. But if you’re finding yourself still hating the alarm clock in the mornings, Sleep Cycle is a delightful twist on your normal alarm clock. Using your microphone, it tracks your sleep patterns, waking you in the lightest phase of your sleep so you’re not groggy. All you do is set a time frame in which you would like to be woken (between 7am and 8am, for example) and it works out the best time to pull you out of your snooze.
Give Yourself A Detox
If you’re looking to detox your life, then DetoxMe uses research to help reduce your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals in all kinds of household products, including beauty items, food and drink and home products. The app says that knowledge is a ‘prescription for prevention’ and allows you to track your progress in terms of removing toxic products from your life, and offers tips for choosing safer ones, whilst decoding confusing terminology used in your favourite products. If it’s a digital detox you’re after, Flipd is the app that teaches you when to step away from your phone. It has plenty of ways to track your time and its most basic feature, which will come in handy to most, is called a ‘Light Lock’. This has a countdown that you activate when you want to avoid your phone, so you get to decide how long you want to unplug for – say, 30 minutes for a quick coffee with a friend – and lets you initiate the timer.
We know that quitting smoking isn’t easy, but SmokeFree might make it that less painful. The app provides a four-week programme that gives you practical support and tailored advice and congratulates you on your achievements, big or small. You can record a motivation to help you at your lowest points, and their savings calculator lets you see just how much money your saving now you’re not buying cigarettes.
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