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Dec

Would’n’t it be perfect if we could all have a personal coach or trainer to help keep us on track with our health and wellness goals? Don’t despair if your wallet can’t stretch to that, we’ve found 9 great apps and gadgets that can step in and do the job for free / or on a budget.

 

FOR THE BODY

 
Runkeeper

Reviewers everywhere are hailing this app as one of the best easy-to-use workout tools. With it, you can use GPS to record a run, walk or bike ride, as well as enter an activity manually. The app has a simple social component and can connect to Facebook and twitter. There is no diet tracking, but you can keep track of changes in your weight. (If you want an app to track your fluctuating weight, see #2 on the list.)

Note: This is often advertised as a “Free” app, and that’s true. There are some personal-training plans that don’t cost anything. But if you really want the most bang for your buck, it will cost you $9.99 per month or $39.99 for a year’s subscription.

 

Lose It!

As mentioned above, this is the app you want if weight loss is your target. It adds your calories in and calories out every day, with an exercise log and food diary. The app allows users to set weight goals and track progress with a simple graph. While it doesn’t provide in depth exercise stats, the diet-tracker will show calories and nutrient information. This app’s success, anchored in the proven principles of calorie tracking, is a godsend for those who want to sustain weight loss through customized plans, goals and accountability.

 

My Fitness Pal

In addition to counting calories, this app is popular for its community component. It ranks as one of the more user friendly apps to journal food. You can add and log recipes from throughout the web and sign up is free.

 

GADGETS THAT WORK!

 

Basis Health Tracker

This wrist band helps you get fit and stay motivated by tracking your activity, fitness, sleep, heart rate and more. It tracks your heart rate day and night. In addition to tracking calories burned, it has automatic activity detection to capture runs, walks and rides without having to press a button. There is an automatic tracking of your sleep duration, stages and quality, so you can gauge your rest. In addition, you can receive notifications for texts, calls, e-mail, calendar events and habit alerts right on your wrist.

 

In Body Band

What makes this wrist gadget stand out is that it’s one of the first wearables to focus on measuring your body composition (your body fat compared to your lean tissue). It’s capable of telling you your fat and muscle mass, body fat percentage, heart rate and body mass index. It does this using its setup of four sensors – two up front and two on the rear. You simply place your fingers on the front-facing sensors and, combined with the data from your wrist, you’ll get a reading.

 

FOR THE MIND

 

My Therapy Journal

There are many health benefits that have been associated with journaling, not only in modern day but throughout history. In addition to having a positive impact on overall wellness, researchers have seen outcomes from journaling that include strengthening of the immune system, reduction in asthma symptoms, blood pressure, depression, anxiety disorders and even PTSD.

Therapy Journal provides a private and secure online environment for both individuals and health care providers who are interested in journaling as well as tracking the progress of personal goals using graphing software based on cognitive behavioral therapy.

 

Headspace

Even if you’re a meditation skeptic, this app can put you in a zen space. The site offers to “Get in the groove with Headspace’s free 10-day challenge where the app’s founder (and Greatist expert) Andy Puddicombe guides you through 10-minute meditations. If his charming British accent doesn’t keep you coming back every day, the app’s adorable animations and vibrant community will.”

Reviews rave about the design which features a slick interface that is user friendly. It offers visually friendly, minimalistic animations which make everything easy on the eye. You can also set reminders so that you don’t forget to take part in the daily lessons.

With celebrities already touting its praises, Headspace’s success is due to making meditation more accessible to the masses, helping every day folk overcome stress, anxiety, and ultimately improve their daily lifestyle. Founder and former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe is present throughout the app, imparting his words of wisdom

 

Calm

It might seem counter-intuitive to calm down by tuning in, but the truth is, we tune into our phones so much anyway. We might as well tune into something that encourages us to manage our stress rather than add more information overload. The meditation exercises on this app focus on everything from releasing anxiety to building compassion to feeling more confident. oad apps. Calm can help you meditate, sleep, relax, focus and much more. By downloading this app, you’ll discover how meditation can improve your mood – and your life.

 

FOR HEALTH BUDGETING

 

SimpleRx

The SimpleRx app helps you save up to 80% on virtually every prescription medication (including pet meds) at over 63,000 pharmacies nationwide including Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Target, RiteAid, Kroger, Kmart, Longs, Albertsons, and many others. You can even find the best deals from your local pharmacies using their Best Price Finder. SimpleRx is 100% free to use with no enrollment or application fees, and no medical insurance required or claims to file. All you have to do is present to your pharmacist with your prescription and you can start saving.

 

We’’d love to hear about apps that make your life easier. Leave them in the comments below!

 

by Andrea Frazer for SimpleRx

andrea frazer

Andrea Frazer is a writer, wife, mom to two Tweens and a rescue dog. Check back for more of her posts and tips on healthy living, healthcare awareness as well as the latest news and ways to benefit from SimpleRx Prescription Discount Program.

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