Mobile phones have taken over nearly every aspect of our lives these days. Their task is helping us communicate, storing our music libraries, tracking our workouts and so much more. In fact, app developers have become particularly effective at honing on specific issues and designing top-notch apps to help people live simpler lives, so it should be no surprise that apps are also coming in handy when it comes fighting obesity epidemic in our country.
Hiring a personal trainer can be an extremely costly investment. For many people, this option is off the table due to cost and availability combined. However, there are tens of thousands of free and low-cost workout apps available on the app store today. For less than $5 you can download a complete workout tracker that sets up customized routines based on your weight loss goals, encourage you through your workout, and even demonstrates how to perform particular exercises if you are unsure of yourself. Some of these apps also include premium features that hook you up with a virtual personal trainer to monitor your progress over time. This has made the weight loss journey more accessible to many people and allows them to find a program that is just right for them without spending hundreds of dollars on trainers.
Some of the top performing apps today are actually gamified workouts that encourage the user to get up and move without the harsh attitude that usually comes with working out in a gym. Many of these exercise games are made for use at home, or outside in nature so that users can enjoy stress-free workouts away from prying eyes. This has been particularly effective for those who are too self-conscious for mainstream gyms.
Meal Tracking Apps
A close companion to the workout apps mentioned above is meal tracking apps. There is also a huge array of meal trackers available, ranging from very simple to very complex. Some are designed specifically for counting calories, while others are designed for healthy eating on-the-go, allowing you to search for fast food menus and add your meals instantly. These apps add up your daily intake, give you feedback on your macro and micronutrients, and alert you if you have taken in too much during the day. Some of these apps also have tools to track your water intake or offer you helpful recipes if you are coming up short in one area of the food pyramid. Obviously, making healthy eating as simple as opening an app has been a dream come true for advocates working to prevent obesity.
Meal Planning Apps
Meal planning apps have also had a big impact in the fight to end obesity. By planning healthy meals in advance, users are more likely to stick to a diet and see it through. Meal planning apps have become extremely popular as consumers seek ways to make eating at home as simple as going through the drive-through. These apps offer menu selections based on different dietary needs, as well as complete recipes and tips for creating your own plans.
Behavior Modification Apps
All of the above apps play a role in reducing obesity, but they are also used by the general public. However, there is a new class of app that is designed specifically for modifying behaviors related to obesity itself. These apps are gathering intensive data on the user including everything from calories to blood sugar. In addition, they track the user’s eating trends to identify red flags that indicate over-eating and what triggers it. These apps are combining mobile phone data with smartwatch data and other user activities to build a complete health picture of the patient and provide individualized solutions. Once this information has been gathered and compiled, the app can go to work, alerting the user when it believes that there is a risk of over eating or diverting the user’s attention to some other activity that will help them form a more productive habit. This method of forming healthier habits is the best way to prevent a patient from gaining weight in the future and seeing positive long-term results.
All of these apps show that mobile app developers are seeking ways to merge their technology with better health outcomes. We are at the cutting edge of innovation, and the healthcare industry is seeing a huge boost in patient-oriented apps that help users take better care of themselves between appointments. This trend has been especially empowering for those who have struggled with lifelong obesity and now have a pocket-sized mentor to guide them through their weight loss journey. App developers all around are jumping at the chance to change the world and leave a lasting impact on family health.