The Best Health Apps

May 7, 2013

9:00 am

This post is part of Tech Cocktail’s “Healthy Entrepreneur” series, bringing you insights on food, exercise, and sleep throughout May. The series is presented by Coromega (more info and a giveaway below).

At the end of a long workday, with 30 minutes to squeeze in for a workout or a healthy meal, entrepreneurs often turn to technology to do the thinking for them. Especially when you’re pushing your body and mind, making healthy choices is hard – harder than grabbing a burger, flopping on the couch, and lingering in a semi-comatose state.

But healthy choices are actually good business choices.

“The development of a healthy mind, body, and soul is the foundation for all great success and will give you the resilience to face your challenges,” says psychotherapist Heather Hans of HeatherHansTV.

“Why not treat your body like your startup?” asks Eric Schlissel of GeekTek. That is, treat it as something that requires work and small improvements to reach your goals.

The following are devices and apps for your health, exercise, food, and sleep goals that have been tested and approved by entrepreneurs.


Nike+ Fuelband and app

Nike+ Fuelband

  • Fitbit ($59.95-$99.95): A suite of devices (Zip, Flex, and One) that track your steps, distance, and calories. You can input blood pressure and food for a full picture of your health. Fitbit also makes the Aria, a smart scale that measures body fat and tracks your progress over time.
  • Nike+ FuelBand ($149): A wristband that counts steps and exercises and converts them into a NikeFuel number. You can set goals and, as many users enjoy, compete against your friends.
  • BodyMedia FIT ($119 plus subscription): An armband that tracks activity and sleep. Used by contestants on The Biggest Loser.
  • Jawbone UP ($129.99): A wristband that tracks movement and sleep. You can use the iPhone and Android apps to add your meals and mood.
  • HAPIfork ($89): A smart fork that registers how many bites you take and how fast, and lights up when you eat too quickly. Now raising money on Kickstarter. Comes with iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone apps.

General health



  • HealthTap (free): An iPhone and Android app where you can ask questions and get answers from real doctors. They claim to have saved over 5,300 lives (measured by people writing to thank them for saving their life).
  • Fig (free): An iPhone and Android app with suggestions for activities to improve your health and wellness, including everything from drinking lemon water to breathing deeply to calling your mother. Set goals, track your progress, and cheer on your friends.
  • Lift (free): An iPhone app that lets you set and track any goal you want. Common goals include exercising, drinking more water, reading, and flossing.
  • Beeminder (free): “Reminders with a sting!” Beeminder gives you a financial incentive to meet the goals you set: if you fall off the wagon, you have to pay real money starting at $5, $10, and $30.
  • Water Your Body for iPhone ($0.99): Figure out your ideal water intake, track your drinking, and get reminders to drink more.
  • Water Your Body for Android: (free): An app that tracks your water drinking and reminds you to drink more water.


Health - apps Fooducate


  • Thryve (free): An iPhone app that tracks how much you eat of different food groups (grains, dairy veggies) and how you feel after meals. You can either take a photo or enter the food you’re eating.
  • Fooducate (free): An iPhone and Android app for scanning food at the grocery store. It gives a grade to each item and, if necessary, recommends healthier options.
  • Lose It! (free): An iPhone app for weight loss. Set a goal weight, log the food you eat by scanning barcodes or entering items, and input exercise from apps and gadgets like RunKeeper and Nike+.
  • MyFitnessPal (free): A calorie counting website with a database of over 1 million foods. Available on iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows phones.



  • RunKeeper (free): An iPhone and Android app for tracking speed, distance, and routes for exercises like running, walking, and cycling.
  • MapMyRun (free): An iPhone, Android, and Blackberry app with similar capabilities to RunKeeper, with a focus on creating maps and routes. The company also makes MapMyRide, MapMyFitness, MapMyWalk, and others.
  • Obstacles XRT ($1.99): An iPhone app that directs you to do a series of exercises using only your body weight, like jumping, punching, and jogging. “XRT” stands for extreme reality training: you do these moves to escape quicksand, fight off attackers, etc.
  • Fitocracy (free): An iPhone and Android fitness social network. You can track your activities, earn points and compete against friends, and take part in challenges. Users say it’s great for video game addicts.
  • Sworkit (free): An iPhone and Android app that creates a series of random circuit training workouts. Just select a time, a muscle group, and yoga moves, and go – no equipment required.
run tracking app


  • GAIN Fitness Cross Trainer (free): An iPhone app that creates random strength-training workouts based on your goals. The basic pack includes 277 exercises, and you can buy others to target different areas of the body.
  • myWOD ($1.99): An iPhone and Android app for logging daily Crossfit workouts.
  • Moves (free): An iPhone app that automatically tracks your walking, running, and cycling – no need to press start. At the end of the day, you get a snapshot of your activity. Users say it does go dormant sometimes, so open it up once in a while.
  • Strava (free): iPhone and Android apps that track your running and cycling without a device. You can also import data from a Garmin watch.
  • Nike Training Club (free): An iPhone and Android app where you pick workouts, watch videos from a personal trainer, and earn NikeFuel (if you have a Nike+ FuelBand).


  • Sleep as Android ($3.00): This app keeps track of your sleep history and sleep deficits, wakes you up gently, and records snoring or talking in your sleep. Users are very happy with the continual updates and improvements to the app. Costs $3 after a two-week trial.

sleep apps for android

  • Sleep Cycle ($0.99): An iPhone app alarm clock that monitors your movements to wake you up at the ideal time. You can track the quality of your sleep, factors that might have influenced it (like caffeine or exercise), and even fall asleep to soothing sounds.
  • SleepBot (free): An Android app that tracks your movement, records snoring or talking in your sleep, logs your sleep debt, and offers tips to fall asleep faster. Users report some problems with the recording function.

That’s 28 apps and gadgets in total – what’s your favorite?

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact