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In theory, living a long, healthy life isn't all that difficult. That's because a lot of the "tips" and "secrets" we regularly hear about in the news are pretty common sense. Any fool can tell you that too much sugar will make you fat and an insufficient amount of sleep will turn you into a zombie, or that exercise and laughter are good for you, while smoking and stress are bad for you.
To promote your well being and help you to stay conscious of the health of your mind, body and soul, here are a few apps that may help you to live to be a ripe, old age.
If you're going to go work out at the gym, you should have some bragging rights. CardioTrainer for your Android phone is a handy app that tracks your workouts and allows you to share them via Twitter and Facebook. The app uses your phone's GPS if you're into training outdoors, but it also has a platform for you to log your indoor workouts, too. You can also schedule your exercise if you fear forgetting and skipping it. I've found that the app's GPS isn't always 100 percent accurate, but because it has such a large and diverse list of exercises for you to log, CardioTrainer streamlines all of your physical activity into a single app.
You don't have to move fast to stay fit. Walking isn't exactly strenuous activity, but when you do a lot of it, it's pretty effective. Because the number of steps you take in a day can say a lot about your fitness level, Pedometer is a great way to keep you conscious of how much you're moving around and inspire you to get out of the office a little more often.
Calorie Counter (Free)
Where my Saturday mornings used to be reserved for sipping mocha lattes and enjoying flaky chocolate croissants, the numbers have made me lose my appetite. The fact that calories are now listed on restaurant menus throughout Los Angeles has really taken the fun out of dining. That's kind of the idea with Calorie Counter. The app has a food diary so that you can track exactly what you're eating, and an exercise diary to record the ones you burn. It also has a guide that you can use to search for calorie and nutrition information on different kinds of food, plus a barcode scanner to scan nutrition labels.
Diet2Go is your very own personal weight loss manager and dietitian. Pick a diet from the menu such as trendy, fad diets like South Beach or the Grapefruit Diet, or just stick with a basic high fiber or vegetarian diet. There are tons of different diets for all different kinds of lifestyle. Then, to help ensure that you're successful, Diet2Go provides specific instructions, eating schedules, shopping lists and recipe ideas. Just stick to the rules and you can't go wrong!
Nutrition Facts Pro ($1.99)
If you don't know what you're looking at, decoding a nutrition label can be tough. Nutrition Facts Pro is an app that breaks down what they mean when they use the phrase "calories from fat" and all that business with percentage of daily value. The app has the numbers on the recommended daily intakes for men, women and children and it has nutrition information for more than 7,000 different kinds of food and beverages.
General health apps
It's never too late to quit smoking. By creating a program based on how often you smoke, SmokeBreak helps you to set and achieve personal goals, whether that be quitting smoking completely or simply cutting back on the number of smoke breaks you take. The app is smart enough to adapt to your needs, rather than just telling you to stop.
Lightning Bug - Sleep Clock (Free)
Bad things happen when you don't get enough sleep. Whether you're an insomniac or working around the clock, when you're sleep deprived, you're inviting some serious health risks. If counting imaginary sheep isn't doing it for you, Lightning Bug-Sleep clock plays soothing sounds that lullaby you to sleep. If that doesn't work, I find a glass of wine always helps. After all, they do say that a glass of red wine per day is good for the heart.
Apps to help you unwind
Relax: Stress & Anxiety Relief ($2.00)
When I'm ready to rip my hair out, I'm lucky that I have someone who reminds me to breathe. If you're a student, an insomniac or someone with a hectic job, you may not always have a roommate or a cubicle buddy who's nice enough to encourage deep inhales and exhales. Enter Relax: Stress & Anxiety Relief. This app is designed to help you de-stress with guided breathing exercises and calm, soothing music. It's a form of relaxation therapy that can improve your focus, reduce anxiety and stress, manage panic attacks and even help with pain reduction.
Ever pretend to be seated in the beach chair on your work computer's desktop background? You just might need a vacation. And there's nothing wrong with that. I've always heard that it's good to travel and get away from the monotony of everyday once in awhile. TripAdvisor allows you to book your airfare and hotel accommodations from within the app. It's also a great resource to have while you're traveling. You can be very specific when searching local attractions and exactly what kind of of cuisine you'd like to eat. You can also sift through the app’s database of reviews to find out about local best kept secrets and avoid seedy establishments.
Participating in activities and staying socially active can help to keep your brain sharp. Not only that, but laughter is also good for you. Goby is a location-based search engine that gives users listings of fun things going on locally. By prompting you with many different genres of fun, you can find exactly the kind of activity you're looking for. You can either grab some of your close friends and go check out the happenings, or you can choose to go in blind and maybe make a few new friends.