My Favorite Apps to Support Healthy Living

dreamstime_s_49076988If any of you are like me, you enjoy a little camaraderie when it comes to working on a healthy eating or fitness program. Studies have shown that social media is a great way for people to receive informational and social support when dieting. Three of my favorite apps that help promote fitness and a healthy diet, and allow you to share with other like-minded folks are FitBit, MyFitnessPal and YouFood. All 3 are available for IOS and Android mobile phones.

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Badges you can earn using the FitBit app

Badges you can earn using the FitBit app

FitBit activity “trackers” are wireless-enabled devices worn on the wrist that measure data such as the number of steps walked, quality of sleep, steps climbed, along with other activities. What makes the accompanying app fun is the ability to connect with other friends that also use the device, following along with their daily step count. You can also compete with your friends in a FitBit Challenge, earn badges, and send either a “cheer”, a “taunt” or a text-like message to your buddies. The FitBit mobile app syncs wirelessly with your device using Bluetooth. The most recently added feature to the app is called Exercise Sharing where you can take a selfie using your phone’s camera when you add an exercise to your day’s activities. The image can be shared with your friends on the social network of your choice.

fitbit

MyFItnessPal food diary sample entry

I’m a firm believer in calories in, calories out, so I think it is important to check on the total calories I typically eat in a day on a regular basis. MyFitnessPal was first launched in 2005 and has been improving every since.

MyFitnessPal makes it very simple to add your favorite foods in order to total up the day’s calories as well as other important macros like carbs, fat and protein. You are invited to add your own foods and calorie/macro counts. Other users can confirm that your food stats are accurate and verify your entry. Not only can you track your daily eats and exercise, but you can also share your logs with friends and followers, which, for some of us, helps provide encouragement and accountability.

Another popular feature of MyFitnessPal is the ability to link it to your FitBit account, if you have one, and easily see how many calories you are allowed and have burned on your FitBit mobile app.

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A delicious salad shared on YouFood

A delicious salad shared on YouFood

A more recent addition to the healthy app scene is YouFood, previously known as TwoGrand. Imagine Instagram filled only with pictures of delicious, usually healthy, food. You can upload pics of your favorite meals, follow other users, read their recipes and ingredients and add your own recipes, comment, follow a variety of topics, and save your favorite photos to your “fridge.” It’s a lot of fun to peruse the photos, but beware…I guarantee the app will make you hungry.

All, or any of these 3 great apps in combination, can help you reach your health and fitness goals. Plus, it is a lot of fun to share info with your current pals and make new connections as well.

What are your favorite healthy living apps?

Do you enjoy social support when dieting or undertaking a new exercise program?

Leave a comment.

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