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Eat Well and Still Manage Your Weight

Today’s foodie apps take the guesswork out of cooking for your family or eating out on the town. You can check calorie counts, plan a week’s worth of meals, or find healthy restaurants in your area. To track your progress, you could add a high-tech bathroom scale. It can evaluate body fat, check your heart rate, and even link up with your phone.

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Get on Track

Wearable fitness trackers monitor everything from calories burned to heart rate to signs you've been still too long. Sync yours with a phone or tablet to keep up with the info, and to set and meet health goals. Want some friendly competition? Look for a fitness app that lets you join a group and compete against other users.

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Catch Better ZZZs

A restful night's sleep may be a click away. If your phone sits on your nightstand at bedtime, use it to cue up an app that tries to lull you to dreamland with low-frequency sounds. A white noise machine can cover up household sounds that keep you awake.

At some point, you’ll need to rise and shine. Many apps aim to wake you up during your lightest sleep phase -- the best time to get up.

 

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Break the Craving

Want help giving up tobacco or cutting back on alcohol? Stop smoking with an app that helps you set realistic goals and stick to them. When you crave a smoke, use your fingers to tap the app instead. Or sign up for daily text messages that offer tips and encouragement, and set them to start on your quit date. A breathalyzer app syncs with your phone to help you know when you’ve had too much to drink.

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See Your Stats

Check your blood pressure with a smart monitor that links to your phone or fits on your arm. You can keep tabs on your numbers on your mobile device. With blood-sugar tracking apps and web sites, just plug your numbers in after you check your levels. Allergies or asthma? You can check the pollen count or air quality before you leave home.

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Get Organized

Let an app help you organize your day. There are ones to break down tasks into manageable chunks, send you a daily to-do list, or track how much time you spend on social media.

Another app uses a process known as mind-mapping to turn your ideas into a workable, visual plan. Try one out and see if you can finally write that novel.

 

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Check In With Your Doctor

Doctors’ offices are going high-tech. Many have offered online appointment-setting and prescription refills for years, and now many doctors will email you, too. Concerned about a mole? Re-create the look of it with an app, track any changes, and you’ll get a suggestion about when to get it checked.

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Go Back In Time

Want another reason to create a family tree? Your family’s past can hold the key to your health future. Most apps that trace your background offer access to huge databases of historical info, from photos to death certificates to census reports to newspaper clippings. Or you can go to the U.S. surgeon general’s web site, which offers a program to help you trace your family’s roots -- and health.

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Get Ready for Baby

If you're trying to get pregnant, you may want to check out an app to track your ovulation cycles. Already expecting? You can track your bundle of joy's movements, see what size the baby is at any time, watch birth videos to get ready, record your baby's heartbeat, and even get a checklist for what to pack on delivery day. Hang onto this info when your child is older. She’ll enjoy seeing it.

 

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Power Up Your Parenting

You can find trustworthy information about common childhood ailments on computers or devices, or check your child’s vision via tablet. Some apps also turn your phone into a baby monitor -- a great solution for travel. If potty training is a struggle for older tots, you can use an app to track and reward their efforts with kid-friendly graphics.

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Prepare, Just in Case

Some apps let you record your medical and contact information in case of an emergency. Having this info on hand could save crucial time when you get to the ER. You can also find out how to give first aid or CPR, or learn ways to prepare for -- or respond to -- a man-made or weather disaster.

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Hit the Road

Vacations are good for your health! You can plan yours with apps that let you book travel in the U.S. and abroad, manage your spending, and even send texts free of charge, all over the world. Others offer thousands of interactive maps to get you where you’re going. Want to pack light? Use an app to add extra features to your smartphone camera without extra gear.

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Unplug Now and Then

Who is the rudest person in a restaurant or at the dinner table? The one talking loudly on the cell phone. With the online world at our fingertips, it's easy to lose track of real life. Try to disconnect for a while -- even an hour -- and see how you feel. You may stress less and sleep better if you cut back screen time, especially before bed. 

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Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on October 03, 2016

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