4 of the Very Best Preventative Maintenance Apps for Healthy Living for any Budget
This day in age we rely on smartphones for everything. Aside from using our smartphones to stay socially connected, we also use them to keep track of our diets, vitals, relieve stress, and any and everything under the sun – there are countless apps for Healthy Living.
However, not everyone sees smartphones as being an important utility for keeping our lives in order and staying mentally and physically healthy. In reference to urging Americans living in poverty to make “smart choices” on the way they spend, Jason Chaffetz recently remarked, “Maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and that they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on, maybe they should go invest it in their own healthcare.”
The rise of Apps for Healthy Living
Jason Chaffetz is a Republican Representative who currently serves as Chairman of the House Committee for Oversight and Government Reform. Needless to say, this statement caused a little bit of negative backlash. In fact, if you’d like to see how many iPhones you can buy with your yearly health insurance premium there is a website that was designed to calculate those figures for you here.
Maybe it would be sensible to go for a smartphone that fits your budget, but regardless Jason Chaffetz might still be missing the point.
People become dependent on their smartphones
A lot of people, no matter what tax bracket they may fall into, rely on the daily use of various apps for healthy living in order to provide healthcare professionals with pertinent information pertaining to their individual lifestyles.
Many individuals use specific smartphone apps to help assess, maintain, and treat possible health conditions to the best of their abilities in lieu of paying huge deductibles.
Smartphones really should be considered more of an investment rather than just a luxury, considering most people rely on practical uses of popular applications as functional tools. Let’s take a look at four important health-related apps that that are excellent examples of useful utilities to see how one would be able to use them to gauge their overall physical and mental well-being.
My Fitness Pal:
MyFitness Pal has been around for several years now. It has even been the number #1 app in the health and fitness category in the app store for four years straight. It has a database of over 5,000,000 different food items that include information on calorie count, nutritional content, and more.
This isn’t just a tool for people who are trying to lose weight either. This is a tool that provides detailed information that can be easily exported to a format that healthcare professionals can use to help improve the diagnosis of certain health issues.
Preventative measures based on this data can be used to treat certain deficiencies often caused by poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle, before those poor habits lead to the development of diseases.
The user scans the bar-codes for various food items consumed throughout the day where the nutritional information for those food items auto-populate into a convenient food diary for easy reference.
The food diary contains information such as the amount of calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients that are consumed by that individual with measured serving sizes.
- MyFitnessPal links with several different types of wearables, apps, and peripherals that work to help keep track of progress in an easily digestible format. Here is a list of their partners.
Sleep and Physical Fitness Trackers
2. Jawbone Up:
Jawbone Up: Jawbone was the first manufacturer (Even before Fitbit. I remember I ended up with both, but I ended up getting my original Jawbone Up band for free because of a recall) to combine advanced sleep-monitoring technology with a built-in pedometer in the form of automated devices called wearables for general consumption.
They carefully designed a series of wearables that were capable of providing an in-depth analysis of light, deep, and REM sleep cycles. Over time, they even managed to improve the overall accuracy of this technology with a built-in heart rate monitor to include a robust application capable of helping its users track detailed information on daily activity, vitals, and sleeping habits.
- The Jawbone Up app syncs with MyFitnessPal to show how the amount of calories that are burned from daily activity, stacks up against the amount of calories that are consumed by an individual on a daily basis.
- MyFitnessPal is also cross-compatible, as far as syncing with the Jawbone Up app, to provide additional data in the form of graphs and charts to show a simplified food-rating scale. MyFitnessPal populates information, along with an in-depth sleep analysis and the intensity of physical activity that all records in the Jawbone Up app.
Counseling and Therapy Apps
There are several different therapy apps for healthy living available for people who really need them. There are also a considerable number of apps now that provide access to trained professionals who give helpful advice on a variety of topics; all available at the touch of a button for anyone with a smartphone.
Professionally accredited counselors and therapists are available to assist with just about anything from drug and alcohol counseling to suicide prevention.
Talkspace is one of the most popular on-demand subscription-based therapy apps available. Talkspace provides easy access to over 1,000 licensed therapists who are available to help provide counseling on anxiety, depression, stress, PTSD, relationship issues, eating disorders, and more.
Although it is not free and is not necessarily the type of app that measures vitals of any kind like previously mentioned apps, it does provide access to affordable counseling that could help prevent the potential burden of more expensive forms of therapy and treatment.
Counseling apps like Talkspace have the potential to prevent the development of negative coping mechanisms that could end up requiring expensive treatments to remedy and could also go as far as to save lives. It may be safe to say that investing just a little bit of money into a smartphone and accompanying app that provides access to on-demand counseling might be worth the investment if it helps to ease anxiety and ultimately saves a life.
Guided Meditation Apps
It is another useful tool that provides access to guided methods for relaxing, clearing the mind, and can be used to develop effective meditation techniques and habits.
This app may not provide an attractive dashboard with easily quantifiable measures relating to health habits. It may not necessarily be an app that produces data such as self-maintained vital charts that can be exported and shown to doctors or other health professionals either. It is, however, the type of app that can be used anytime the subscriber is feeling stressed and its use is especially recommended at the end of each day to help the subscriber to decompress.
Just these few preventative maintenance apps and tools, that anyone with a smartphone could have access to, seem like a better investment than spending that money on expensive health-care premiums.
This is not even considering the money saving apps, rebate apps, career apps, or anything else smartphones are capable of being used as for a tool (like for getting a job) that could easily outweigh the cost of the average healthcare deductible alone.
Regardless of whether or not someone has invested a little more money in a brand new phone, that they hope will last them for a few years or not, smartphones have become an affordable option that everyone and anyone should be able to have access to no matter what their level of income is.
“It does not matter which tax bracket anyone falls into because mental and physical health issues do not discriminate based on income.”
Anyone can see that this is just the tip of the iceberg for what smartphones provide access to. There is a good chance that managing a healthy diet, being aware of sleeping patterns, concentrating on physical fitness, and practicing mindfulness with guided meditation techniques, should greatly increase anyone’s chances of being able to maintain an elevated mental well-being and a healthy overall physical state.
On-demand counseling options and therapy appear to complete the general necessity for help with facilitating necessary balance for those who struggle with maintaining their own mental health.
It does not matter which tax bracket anyone falls into because mental and physical health issues do not discriminate based on income.
Everyone and anyone can benefit from these services that are made readily available to those with access to a smartphone. To tell people that they should choose between access to these tools and investing money into healthcare is a gross oversimplification of the problem that exists in our society in relation to the unavailability of affordable healthcare for anyone who needs it.
Being able to have easy access to affordable preventative maintenance tools as well as tools that will help to assess and correct current health conditions are absolutely necessary for anyone trying to live a healthy stress free lifestyle.