Yes, your little smartphone, often thought of as a time-wasting toy, may actually be the key to a healthy retirement.
Over the past few years, hundreds of companies have created powerful mobile applications to help with every aspect of staying healthy — from tracking fitness and nutrition to finding a doctor. Most are free, or cost under $5, and are available for many types of phones.
Here are 10 of our personal favorites, in no particular order:
Perhaps one of the hardest things about exercising and eating healthy is keeping track of it all. My Fitness Pal makes the task much simpler by letting you easily log your workouts and monitor your caloric intake by selecting from a database of millions of food items.
Wish you could have a personal trainer for free? Just download this app. After quizzing you on your goals and preferences, the program will build a customized workout plan. It’ll also help you track workouts with a built-in calendar.
This is a great tool for anyone who wants to eat healthier but feels overwhelmed by the choices in a grocery store. Just scan items using your phone’s camera and the program will tell you the pluses and minuses of that particular food. If you want, it can also suggest healthier alternatives.
This nicely designed little app helps reduce stress by guiding you through a series of relaxation sessions. Pick the length of time you have and then sit back for some inner peace.
Health, of course, is just as much about mind as body. This Luminosity application helps you keep your brain sharp with games. It’s a fun way to challenge your memory, attention span, and creative thinking.
If you’re looking to lose weight in retirement, this app is a great starting point. Input your goals and it’ll create a customized plan. The program also offers great tools for tracking progress and a community of other participants who’ll help keep you going.
Want to do more yoga but don’t feel like trekking to a gym or studio? This popular application guides you through a session wherever you are. It has options for all skill levels and can provides definitions for common terms.
This app looks to take the pain out of making a doctor’s appointment. Using its simple interface you can see reviews of local doctors and even book a time directly.
This app provides access to an extensive database of information on clinical, generic and over-the-counter medications. It also allows you to check for potential interactions with other drugs.
This app is great for diabetics. You can record glucose levels, when you take medication, and food intake all in one place — reducing the chance of losing vital information.
Photo by merfam via Flickr.