Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Health Apps and Websites for Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers are typically more tech savvy than previous generations of retirees, although some older senior citizens are also beginning to be comfortable using their smart phones and computers.  Regardless of your age, technology now makes it possible to have easy access to the most current information on health, safety, fitness and disease information.

Whether you want to keep track of your diabetes, lose weight, get more exercise, investigate a medical diagnosis or learn to live life to the fullest, it can be very helpful to turn to our phones, tablets and computers for information and support.  Below is a list of some of the apps and websites which a large number of people, including myself, have found to be most useful.  Please feel free to share your own favorites in the comments section so readers can discover even more useful resources.

Websites to Improve Your Health

WebMD.com - Whenever a friend or family member is diagnosed with an illness, many of us turn to WebMD to learn more about the condition and possible treatments.  In addition, I subscribe to their free daily email which always includes interesting information about a variety of health related topics.  I learn something new nearly every day and the information is completely free!

Hazeldenbettyford.org - If you or someone in your family has an alcoholism or addiction problem, Hazelden and the Betty Ford Center have put together a helpful, informative, free website.  You can also sign up to receive an email with their "Thought For The Day," which is a brief daily excerpt from a variety of books dealing with addiction issues.  Very few behaviors can damage your health more than alcoholism or an addiction problem, including addiction to a prescription medication.  Addictions and alcoholism also destroy careers, relationships and marriages, so you want to deal with them as soon as possible. 

Bluezones.com - The Blue Zones are areas around the world where people routinely live active, productive, healthy lives well into their 90s and even after the age of 100.  What is interesting about the Blue Zones is that the people who live long lives in these communities appear to benefit more from their healthy lifestyles than from having good genes.  Best of all, people do not need to live in remote corners of the world in order to benefit from the Blue Zone lifestyle.  In fact, one of the Blue Zones is in a suburb on the inland side of smoggy, crowded Los Angeles, California. Check out the Blue Zones website and sign up to have their free weekly newsletter emailed to you. You, too, can learn their tips for improving your health and adding years to your life, whether you live in a Blue Zone or not.

Health Apps for People of All Ages

In addition to the websites above, if you have a SmartPhone, there are a number of apps which will help you stay healthy.  Below is a list of some popular ones.

MyFitnessPal - This app is often used by people who are trying to lose weight.  It even has a barcode scanner so you can get detailed nutritional information about commercial food products before you buy them.  One aspect of the app which I particularly appreciate is that it lists far more than just the calorie count for a wide variety of food items.  The app also lists the amount of carbs, fat, protein, fiber, potassium and sodium.  Since my husband has kidney disease and we have to watch his sodium, potassium and protein intake carefully, this app has made it much easier to keep track of what he is eating.  Even if you are not trying to lose weight, this app can be helpful to anyone who needs to follow a special diet for their health.

Other dieting apps which will help you track what you eat include GoMeals (iPhone only), Lose it!, and Fooducate.

Fitness Buddy - Need some new exercise ideas?  This app contains over 1700 unique exercises and a system to track your workouts so you stay motivated.

Other fitness apps which will help you track your workouts and challenge yourself include Nike Training Club, Strava Run and Strava Cycling.

Blood Pressure Companion - This app is currently available only for the iPhone.  It helps you track your blood pressure, heart rate and weight. The newest iPhone is also capable of even more advanced heart monitoring.

Breathe2Relax - Do you have trouble relaxing?  This guided breathing app will help you manage your stress with diaphragmatic breathing exercises.

mySugr Diabetes - If you have diabetes, this app will make it easier for you to log your blood sugar levels, set your target blood glucose ranges, view your history and use graphs so you can quickly recognize when your numbers are out of their normal range.

Major News Source Apps - You may also want to add at least one news app to your smart phone, such as Google News, SmartNews or your favorite network affiliate like ABC or NBC news.  Most news sources will keep you informed about the recall of dangerous products, food poisoning outbreaks in your area, new treatments for diseases, and other health related topics.  In some cases, learning about a recall or food poisoning incident could be life-saving.

Try out some of the above websites and apps which are designed to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep you educated about health related topics.  Thanks to modern technology, you can always have these useful tools at your fingertips!

If you are interested in more information about how to maintain your health as you age, where to retire, financial planning, Social Security, Medicare and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional articles.

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