13 Apps to Help You Start Quantifying Your Health

We are the sum of our parts. I’m referring to more than the bones, organs, joints and other bits that come together to form the human body. On a larger scale, we are made up of the actions we take from one day to the next. When we sleep, when we move, when we eat, etc. — and how long we do all of these things — are what come together to form our lives.

That’s why they can’t be ignored. These components are quite significant when gathered and pieced together, hence the basis of the new movement “quantified self.” The growing concept of self-quantification consists of measuring and then analyzing the components of one’s life: calories burned, hours slept, dollars made, emotions experienced, etc. Not only does quantifying allow people to really hone in on the decisions made day to day, but, more importantly, it also sparks improvement.

13 Apps to Help You Start Quantifying Your Health

Anand Sharma, for instance, started documenting every aspect of his life: heart rate, steps taken, Instagram uploads, you name it. What he’s found is his documentation allows him to make better, healthier decisions. “My Vitamin D is low right now,” he said, giving one example. “So I know I need to spend more time in the sun and not forget to take my vitamins.”

Don’t worry. Self-quantification can be approached at different intensities. You don’t have to keep track of every single little thing in order to reap the benefits of the movement. If you’re interested in trying quantified self to improve your health, here are some apps to help you do it:

Fitness & Movement Tracking

Fitness apps have grown in popularity, as have the devices associated with fitness quantification. Luckily, there are numerous programs that require only a smartphone, and can assist in measuring steps, distance, exertion, etc. Here are a few I like.

Moves

Free; Install iOS Version

Free; Install Android Version

If you do a lot of walking or running throughout the day, Moves could be the app for you. Leave your phone in your pocket or purse and the device will automatically track your steps and document your routes. It also stores places visited and can be connected with other apps.

Map My Fitness

Free; Install iOS Version

Free; Install Android Version

Similar to Moves is Map My Fitness, which tracks and records distances traveled and routes taken. What’s more, Map My Fitness also calculates calories burned and lets users connect or share profiles, allowing for competition and comparison.

GymBook

Free; Install iOS Version

$3.99; Install Android Version

Running and walking aren’t the only forms of exercise to be tracked; strength training and weight lifting are the main focus of GymBook. Enter the reps as well as the pounds or kilos. The app will store this information and display it the next time you perform the same exercise.

Weight & Consumption Tracking

Knowing what goes in and out of your body is essential in monitoring your weight. Sometimes relying on memory alone isn’t enough, hence the need to quantify. While the following apps may not get you an exact measurement of caloric intake or burn, they will get you very close.

MyFitnessPal

Free; Install iOS Version

Free; Install Android Version

A highly rated, well-renowned diet tracker, MyFitnessPal allows users to count calories in a simple, accurate way. With over three million foods in its database, MyFitnessPal is one of the best calorie counters out there. Users simply find what they’ve eaten in the database, add it to the log, and see how many calories they’ve eaten.

Weight Watchers Mobile

Free; Install iOS Version

Free; Install Android Version

We’ve all heard of Weight Watchers. Now, smartphone users can access the tried and true diet program on their phones. Not only can members track meals, movement and weight loss, but there is also 24/7 chat, Weight Watchers meeting locator and thousands of recipes to try.

BMI Calculator

Free; Install iOS Version

Free; Install Android Version

There are a number of apps out there that calculate BMI (body mass index), but this one is appreciated for being simple and straightforward. Android’s version allows users to calculate BMI, body fat percentage, calorie consumption and more.

Mood Tracking

A positive mood, like a negative one, is impacted by diet, exercise, sleep, interactions — all the components that make up the day. By documenting what you consume, what you do, etc., you can discover patterns that lead to feeling great.

T2 Mood Tracker

Free; Install iOS Version

Free; Install Android Version

Created for individuals suffering from mental health issues, this app helps to track emotional experiences. Specifically, users rate their current mood based on six factors: anxiety, stress, depression, brain injury, post-traumatic stress and general well-being. Custom scales can be created, notes can be recorded and the information can be easily shared with a health provider.

iMood Journal

$1.99; Install iOS Version

Simply rate your mood on a ten-point scale, ranging from “couldn’t be worse” to “insanely great.” The iMood Journal will record your responses, create a bar graph and help you to pinpoint the causes of your ups and downs.

Moodlytics, Smart Mood Tracker

Free; Install Android Version

Like a diary for your moods, Moodlytics allows users to track and journal about current emotional states. The app creates a bar graph representing your past and current moods, allowing you to hone in on what’s causing happiness, sadness and everything in between.

Sleep Tracking

Tapping into your sleep patterns can change your life. Sleep tracking, particularly with certain tools, allows you to see not only how long you slept but also the quality of your sleep. By detecting heart rate, for instance, wrist devices can tell you when you were tossing about restlessly and when you were sound asleep. Because sleep tracking is so important, I’ve put together the ultimate guide to sleep tracking — check it out and reap the benefits of sleep logging.

Collective Tracking Dashboards

These apps are for when you want to track absolutely everything.

Gyroscope

Free; check it out

Remember Anand Sharma? The guy who started documenting every little thing about his life? Well, his project, April Zero, has been expanded, and now everyone can access the same dashboard to collectively document the different categories being tracked.

Argus by Azumio Inc.

Free; Install iOS Version

Free; Install Android Version

Argus Tracking by Azumio Inc. is a one-stop shop for tracking. Users enjoy easy tracking of steps, calories, meals, heart rate, hours of sleep and more.

Google Fit

Free; Install Android Version

Google Fit was designed to help individuals achieve fitness goals. Users can easily track calories burned, distance traveled, time spent moving and steps taken, all by simply keeping your phone in your pocket.

Apple HealthKit

Free; Install iOS Version

This comprehensive dashboard is not only easy to navigate, but also very effective in tracking health and fitness data. Connect all the fitness and health apps on your phone to get the most detailed collection of personal data possible.

With all of these apps at our fingertips, and with most of them being so simple to use, there is really no excuse to at least give self-quantification a try. Who knows? Maybe it will change your life.

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