TORONTO – In between playing Angry Birds, making grocery lists or paying bills, Canadians are tracking their health, such as weight, exercise, or blood sugar levels, with smartphone apps.
Mobile health is quickly gaining in popularity as Canadians download and use apps to track their daily routines. Some studies estimate that there are already more than 40,000 health-related apps floating around.
Global News spoke with Canadian doctors and nutritionists for their pick of favourite health apps:
1. MyFitnessPal – Handfuls of doctors readily recommended this app. It’s free, boasts the largest food database of any calorie counter with more than two million foods, and it helps track exercise.
2. Fitocracy – Obesity expert Dr. Yoni Freedhoff suggests this app for exercise bunnies and gym rookies trying to get the hang of the gym. You can add friends to your network and track workouts, post results to your Facebook and Twitter and browse profiles of other exercisers. Online dating for the extremely fit?
3. GluCoMo – Global National health specialist Dr. Ali Zentner recommends this app to help diabetics keep track of their blood sugar levels and insulin intake. Data can even be sent straight to the doctor.
4. Day One – Toronto-based nutritionist Marisa Falconi tells her clients to download this app to keep track of their eating habits and their mood, keeping in mind that your feelings may be what’s hurting your diet. “You’d be amazed at how many people find out that what they thought was their favourite food is actually causing their migraines or energy loss,” she said.
5. Canadian Cardiovascular Society – Queen’s University cardiology professor Dr. Chris Simpson says this app helps users calculate their cholesterol levels and other statistics and compare them against the average.
6. Sodium 101 – Zentner also recommends this app to help consumers watch their salt intake. A neat feature allows users to look at how much sodium is in some fast food and prepackaged foods. It also helps you think before you eat by letting you know how many salt shakes are in your next meal.
7. Zombies, Run! – Lace up your shoes, put on your headphones and run. Within 100 yards, you’ll hear the zombies moving in on you. Freedhoff recommends this app as your running companion. The sounds of the zombies’ dead groans motivate you to keep on running. There are eight different zombie escape missions to complete.
9. MyNetDiary or Lose It! – These apps help users track their calorie counts, so they can responsibly decide if they can have a snack lunch or dinner or if they need to hit the gym to work off excess calories.
10. My Heart and Stroke Health – Zentner also recommends this app for users interested in seeing where their heart health stands. The app also offers recipes that are low in sodium and good choices for Canadians who may have cardiovascular issues.