A key to better health is in your pocket (or bag)

February 06, 2017 | by Gary J. Cianci, MD
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

It’s almost shocking these days to encounter someone who isn’t carrying a smartphone.

They’re pretty standard equipment in our connected society. This fact presents some pros and cons.

The pros: you’re always available, never bored, and probably ultra-organized with your schedule at your fingertips!

The cons: you’re always available, probably checking your email or social media too often, and might skimp on sleep to spend more time staring at that tiny screen.

But there are ways to put that smartphone to work improving your health, from tracking your workouts and food choices to scheduling doctor appointments. Browse this list by Greatist.com of the best health and fitness apps of 2016, or this one by Active.com of the best health and fitness apps for 2017.

These apps may be just what you need to live healthier. As Active.com points out, a 2015 study found people who use fitness apps end up exercising during their down time more often than people who didn’t use fitness apps.

These apps come highly recommended:

  • MyFitnessPal offers a free calorie counter and a journal to record your weight and daily meals. You’d be surprised how quickly calories add up when you’re not paying attention! MyFitnessPal offers an easy way to track them.
  • C25K is an app that offers beginning runners an 8-week program that will get them in shape to complete a 5K. Anything that increases your fitness level is a plus for your long-term health.
  • Fooducate will guide you toward healthy food that will help you reach your health, weight loss and fitness goals.

Food and fitness apps are one way to use your smartphone to improve your health, but now you can stay on top of your medical care too.

MyChart is a free, secure website and app that gives you direct online access to information from your electronic medical record (EMR). With MyChart, you can do things such as request appointments with a doctor, see your test results, request prescription renewals and communicate with your doctor’s office medical care team.

Take advantage of the coaching and information available at your fingertips! You could be in for a much healthier life.

Edward-Elmhurst Health provides you with MyChart, a secure and convenient way to directly access your health information anytime, for free. Learn more.

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