Can applications help us stay healthy?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| May 11, 2012


Do applications make us lazy? I asked you that question not too long ago, based on things that I had been seeing around the 'net, and in my own personal day-to-day adventures. While it may be easy to count our laziness on any number of things, I do believe that applications can play a big part in the way that we engage the world around us. For people who used to go outside to get something, and who can now get it on their phone instead, that's just a bit more exercise that we've removed from the equation.

I don't think we can start saying apps are evil, though, so no worries there. After all, while there certainly are applications that remove the need to actually go outside in some situations, there are other apps that actually try to get us to go outside. Or, at least, to get some kind of exercise.

This is one reason why the digital application stores are such a great creation. The fact that we have apps that actually promote the need to go do something, to stay healthy, is one reason why I think that we could never say apps are evil, or unnecessary. They do indeed fill a gap. I know several people who actually go out and work out, or jog, or just go for brisk walks, because they have an app on their phone that promotes their efforts.

For those of you out there who like to run, or even just walk, there are apps like Runkeeper and Nike+ GPS, which will allow you to track all sorts of data while you go out on your trek. For those who keep their exercises to a run at any given point in the day, these two apps are some of the best at what they do. Plus, you can add your favorite social networks and share your experience and goals, which is a huge bonus for those who love to get encouraged for their daily routine.

I find that it's the applications that are coupled with devices that offer some of the best experiences. Taylor actually just received his Nike FuelBand in the mail, and so far from what I hear he loves it. The picture above shows the FuelBand itself, with the Nike+ FuelBand app running on his handset. The level of depth you can get, and the way that the FuelBand and app work together to track your data, and show you your progress on a daily, weekly and monthly scale are pretty awesome.

There are other applications and devices out there, though. Jawbone has their similar device, the UP, but it currently isn't available at the moment. There's an email sign-up page, for those of you interested. The UP is different than the FuelBand in that it tracks your food, and sleep, which just adds another level to those trying to stay healthy.

Are there some apps that help us be lazy? Yes. But there are also applications out there that help us stay fit and healthy. The applications are just tools, the way that they are meant to be, and we have to make the decision to be healthy or lazy. It's ultimately up to us. The apps just make it fun, either way we lean.

Do you have any fitness applications on your phone? If so, which ones, and why? Which ones would you recommend? Let me (and everyone else) know.