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Top 10 Health Applications for the iPhone

Top 10 Health Applications for the iPhone

updated

If you have an iPhone, you're in luck! A handful of cleverly designed health and fitness applications are available exclusively to iPhone owners. Armed with these new tools, you will be able to track your weight, evaluate the nutritional value of what you are about to order at a restaurant, and even quit smoking, all from your iPhone's touch screen. Following are ten of the most useful and intuitive such programs that you can get your hands on:

1) WeightTracker

WeightTracker is a simple yet powerful iPhone application for tracking fluctuations in your weight. The process is simple and straightforward: install the application, set some weight loss goals, and WeightTracker will assist you in charting your progress day to day. At the user's option, WeightTracker can also synch with a number of other weight loss websites (such as ThisCityIsGoingOnADiet.com or thePHRnetwork.com) and update those sites with your progress as well. All in all, WeightTracker makes for a very handy way to keep track of your weight while on the go.

2) Quitter

Anyone who has tried to quit smoking knows that some of the toughest moments come when you are out in a social situation where other people are smoking. Luckily, a neat little app called Quitter makes it possible to keep up the good fight on the go. At any time, Quitter can tell you how long you've been smoke-free and how much money you have saved by not smoking. All you need to do is key in the cost of a pack, how many you smoked each day, and how long you've gone without. After that, a quick glance at your iPhone is all it will take to say "no thanks" next time someone offers you a smoke!

3) Calorie Check

Calorie counting is a big part of today's fitness craze, but let's face it: it can get pretty annoying to manually scan the nutrition labels before you eat anything. Fortunately, iPhone users need never do this again! Enter Calorie Check, a 99-cent application that lets you call up detailed nutritional information from over 7,500 foods at the touch of a button. The information comes straight from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is stored locally, so you don't need an Internet connection to use it.

4) Food IQ

Dubbed by one user as "the most useful app I've installed on my iPhone," Food IQ functions similarly to Calorie Check, but provides more information. In addition to being able to access nutrition stats on individual food items, Food IQ lets you get a quick read on meals from fast food chains and grocery stores. The program's creators are also in the process of building a nutrition tracker into the next update which will allow you to chart your eating habits over time.

5) Absolute Fitness

Absolute Fitness is like a personal trainer that sits in your pocket. Based on the dietary goal(s) you set and your exercise and food intake, this program charts your day to day progress in a quickly checked, visually appealing way. Through continued use, you will eventually be able to review weeks or even months of your living habits right on your iPhone. Capabilities like these are why one reviewer called Absolute Fitness the "best all-around fitness app for the iPhone."

6) aSleep

No healthy lifestyle is complete without 7 to 8 hours of sound, restful sleep. If you've ever found this hard to achieve, a 99-cent application called aSleep could be just what the doctor ordered. Complete with lifelike nature sounds such as beach, forest, wind, and rain, aSleep can soothe you into a peaceful slumber using an easily programmable timer. Operation is a breeze: simply tap a sound to start or stop the music, and tap the timer button to set your timer. When the timer is up, aSleep shuts down and your iPhone goes to sleep as normal.

7) All of Zero

This nifty little tool makes tracking your eating habits as simple as possible. By simply keying in the foods you eat as you eat them, All of Zero will graph your food consumption over time and score you on how healthy you have been eating. One happy user remarked that "this program does everything I've been doing manually for the last three and a half months," concluding that it helped him lose 55 pounds!

8) Restaurant Nutrition

The applications so far listed are great at tracking foods where you have easy access to nutrition labels, but what about when you don't? Restaurants don't always make it easy to find out how healthy their food really is. Fortunately, Restaurant Nutrition comes pre-loaded with a database of info on foods from chains like Arby's, Burger King, Chili's, and A&W. Simply key in what you are ordering off the menu and Restaurant Nutrition will give you the nutritional lowdown.

9) PointsCalc

Judged by one user to be "perfectly designed and implemented," PointsCalc is quite possibly the simplest way to know whether or not you should be eating something. Instead of waiting for charts or graphs to accumulate over time, PointsCalc assigns a number of "points" to a food based on its calories, fat, and fiber. Go over a certain number of points, and you probably shouldn't eat it.

10) DistanceMeter

If you enjoy cycling, walking, or running, and have thought of buying an expensive pedometer, save your money. According to one satisfied user who "tried almost every pedometer out there, ranging from 10 dollars to 1,000 dollars, this little program beats all of them." The magic lies in the iPhone's built-in GPS receiver, which DistanceMeter utilizes to track how far and fast you are traveling by bike or foot. Using the information provided, athletes can adjust their routines accordingly and break through to new plateaus of strength and endurance.

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