Five Health Apps Every Nomad Needs
I felt pretty invincible up until age 25. If I was on some new health kick, it was purely out of vanity or curiosity. But the more time I spend in this body, the better I know it and the more I understand the importance of taking care of it.
Like most of the things on my to-do list, I use an app to help me achieve my goals. If you’re like me and also use your phone 200+ times a day, here’s a roundup of the best apps right now to help you live your best life, even when on the road.
1. Sleep Cycle (Free) www.sleepcycle.com
Sleep is so important to our overall health. The quality of our sleep can affect our mood, productivity, and even our weight. When we sleep, our bodies go through five stages within a 90-minute cycle. When you place your phone next to your bed, whether you’re camping, in a hostel, or in a hotel, the Sleep Cycle app listens to your movement and uses that information to identify what sleep phase you’re in and for how long. By turning your sleeping patterns into graphs, you can see how well you slept. If you set an alarm on Sleep Cycle, the app will start to wake you slowly when you’re in your lightest sleep phase. Like waking up naturally.
2. Health Tap (Free with in-app purchases) www.healthtap.com
Health Tap is like having a doctor on call, right on your phone. You can search your symptoms and get input from thousands of healthcare professionals. Find out what you have, what medication or treatment you need, whether you might be contagious, or need to rush to the closest hospital. Whether you’re in a place with subsidized healthcare or not, wait times to see doctors can be really long. For a few dollars, you can pay to text or video chat in real time with a doctor. This can be especially useful when you’re in a foreign country where the healthcare system might be hard to navigate.
3. MyFitnessPal (Free with in-app purchases) www.myfitnesspal.com
This app is the perfect tool to track your calorie intake and expenditure. For people who want to keep a close watch on what they eat, this app offers a robust database of food calories to help you estimate how many calories that pumpkin risotto was. You can also input your activity levels and share your progress with a community of people just like you. Maintaining a diary of your exercise and what you’ve eaten will help you stay on track, even when your trip includes restaurant after restaurant.
4. Calm (free with in-app purchases) https://www.calm.com/
In the chaos of our lives, especially while traveling, it can be hard to stay calm and collected. Calm is an app that teaches mindfulness, helps you carve out space for prayer and meditation, and gives you tools to manage fluctuating levels of anxiety. You can choose the plan that addresses your particular needs and let a soothing voice talk you through the program. Fight stress and give yourself the tools to stay centered wherever you are.
5. Clue (Free) www.helloclue.com
Clue is the best app for women to track their reproductive health. Track your period, your fertility, and your sexual activity all in a beautiful and not-overly-girly interface. The app helps you know your cycle better and be able to predict your next period, so you’re (almost) never caught unprepared. Document everything from mood swings to pain and compare your stats month-to-month. If you’re trying to get pregnant, Clue can help you determine your ideal fertility window for you.
As an unofficial addition to the list, don’t underestimate the power of your phone’s built-in reminder and calendar apps. They can be awesome tools to remind you to take your vitamins, stretch, drink water, or anything else!
Andrea Zoellner is a web content consultant and founder of The Capsule Suitcase www.capsulesuitcase.com, a travel and fashion blog for the stylish nomad.