7 Ways You Can Use Your Phone To Get Healthier, Stronger, & More Energized
We use our phones for everything these days. Although some people enjoy lamenting about how technology is ruining humanity, taking advantage of what our phones have to offer in terms of entertainment is pretty standard. There are also ways we can use our phones and apps to help us get healthier. This can help get us on the right path to good health, all while keeping costs of extra accessories down.
"Smart phones are a great way for people to track how their daily activities impact their health," Aaron Michelfelder, MD, a physician at Loyola University Health System, tells Bustle in an email. "They give patients instant access to the effects their habits have on daily living, and they are better able to make connections between what they do and how they feel."
Many devices in smart phones contain built-in health apps that help in areas from fitness to food, but there are a variety of other apps you can get to help take you to the next level. Next time you're feeling like you need a boost in your health, and maybe some inspiration, try the following seven ways you can use your phone to get healthier.
1. You Can Track Your Fitness
"Some models have an internal pedometer built in, or you can purchase a Fitbit or other activity, sleep, and fitness tracking device and sync it to your phone," says health coach Darshi Shah over email. Using fitness apps can encourage you to keep up with your workouts and motivate you to make it a regular occasion.
2. You Can Connect To Like-Minded People
Whether it's Instagram, Twitter, or a special fitness app, sites with a community feature allow you to find inspiration with people who share a similar interest. "The social aspect is an enormous motivator for people trying to get and stay healthy," says internist Dr. Roshini Raj to Bustle over email. "Keep up your momentum by connecting with others and building a support community."
3. You Can Inspire Yourself With Music
"I'd recommend making a playlist that inspires you to be the best version of yourself," suggests Victorine Deych, RD over email. "This can be the playlist you workout to or just a compilation of a few songs that make you happy. You'd be surprised how quickly you feel the urge to do something active or make better choices." Studies have found that not only does music help reduce anxiety and stress, but listening to music while working out helps you work longer and harder.
4. You Can Communicate With Your Doctor
Many apps allow face-to-face video appointments, post-op check ups, prescription refills, test results, and more. Even if your doctor is not up-to-speed on technology, many apps allow you to connect with another available doctor for a one-time consult.
5. You Can Access Any Information
If you're not sure if something is good for you or not, you can always quickly look it up on your phone. "There's so much information about your health out there, from sites to apps, that phones improve access to knowledge about your health — a kind of knowledge we've never had this sort of access to in the past," says Lisa Eberly, RD over email. "You literally have millions of doctors, nutritionists, and personal trainers in the palm of your hand."
6. You Can Find Your Cheapest Prescription
With apps such as GoodRx, you can simply enter your prescription and zip code and see a list of local pharmacies and how their prices compare. "The number one reason Americans don't fill their prescriptions is because they can't afford to do so, "says Dr. Sharon Orrange, Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at USC, over email. "[This makes] it easier for patients to adhere to their medications, keeping them healthier and reducing unnecessary medical expenses.”
7. You Can Unwind
We often think of our phones as a means to get connected, but there are actually plenty of apps that can help you disconnect and unwind through meditation. Some can help guide you through a meditative process, while others can be as simple as just playing music to help calm you down.
So open up an app, take a break from social media, and try something a little healthier out for a change.