Mother’s Day is the day to thank Mom for all she has done for you all of these years. Sure, you get her flowers, or maybe take her to brunch, but how about giving her some advice this year that could be life changing. Like what her women’s health app should be tracking for her?
Health apps are a good addition to any phone. They can keep tabs on everything from the calories you’re taking in to the amount of steps you take from day to day. In fact, studies are finding many benefits to having a health app on your phone, especially for children.
But not all health apps are created equal, especially for women, so let’s take a look at what a women’s health app should be tracking for you, and for mom.
Women’s Health Apps: Step Counter
Your women’s health app should know how to count—steps, that is. You’re typically told to try to get 10,000 steps each day. That’s because 10,000 steps will typically get you about 5 miles of walking. It is not a magic number, it’s a goal to keep you motivated.
If you’re just starting out, 10,000 steps will be too much, so use a typical day as your starting point. Check your app to see how many steps you’re getting, and build up from there. Adding 500 steps every day or two is reasonable.
Some of the benefits of walking include:
- Weight Loss
- Decreased risk for disease
- Improved mood
Walking has also been shown to reduce arthritis pain and stiffness. All good reasons to make sure your women’s health app is counting your steps.
Women’s Health Apps: Minutes of Activity
All of the good women’s health apps will let you know how many minutes you’re active each day. The American Heart Association recommendations include:
- At least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week
- 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise
- A combination of moderate and vigorous activity
Thirty minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to remember. Even if you can’t reach your goal, something is better than nothing, and having a women’s health app keeping track of your minutes will help you to reach your goal.
Women’s Health Apps: Calorie Counter
Walking briskly for 30 minutes will burn 200 calories. Now stay with me, because we’re about to do some math. Since 3,500 calories is a pound of fat, it would take you 17.5 days to lose one pound. You’d be making progress, but if you have an app that’s tracking calories for you, it’s a little easier to comprehend.
A women’s health app that helps you track the calories you’re taking in and the calories you’re burning up is optimal. This will help you put together a sensible meal plan and let you know how many calories your burning off, which can help you reach your weight loss goals sooner.
Just don’t fall into the trap of “I just burned 500 calories at my spin class, so I can eat 500 more!” Remind yourself: calories in, calories out. Keep your caloric intake under what you’re burning to see results. Some apps may also help you keep track of things like:
- Body Measurements
You may even get help with meal and exercise planning. Your app will help you do the math.
Women’s Health Apps: Sleep Tracker
Studies show sleep disturbances and disorders are common among women. Researchers say important biological events commonly impact and often cause dissatisfaction with sleep. They include:
Trouble sleeping is often tied to hormones and physiological changes related to these.
According to a study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, even one night of sleep deprivation can reduce your body's insulin sensitivity by as much as 25 percent. That means it’s harder for your body to process sugary foods, which often leads to weight gain.
The good news is there are women’s health apps that will track your movement and sleep patterns. Some will even provide tips on how to get a better night’s sleep. Sleep apps and trackers are great for providing big-picture data. They can provide insight into your sleep patterns and whether you’re getting enough sleep. If you see something in the data that looks off, you can bring it up to your doctor.
Women’s Health Apps: Where to Look
If you are interested in women’s health apps, talk to your doctor. Or you can get some good information from a website called Wellocracy. It is run by the Center for Connected Health and provides tools and information to help you find apps and personal fitness trackers that suit your personal needs and motivational style. Always talk to your doctor before starting any exercise regimen.
You can also download our guide: “Healthy Heart, Healthy Life: A Quick Guide for Women.” In it you’ll find recommended screenings for women, heart disease facts and how you can recognize the symptoms of a heart attack.