25 Killer iPhone Apps to Help You Live Longer and Healthier

by Kyle Tuttle

Jogging girls

Photo by Mike Baird

Who said technology makes people soft? Thanks to the miracles of modern science, the path to health and wellness is as vast as the information superhighway. There are countless resources for information, guides, and even aids to improving the quality of your life available, and a pretty good number of them can be found right inside your iPhone. Apps that help you achieve a healthier lifestyle are being made and updated every day, giving you a wealth of choices for ways to live better and longer. In fact, deciding which ones to use can get pretty overwhelming without a little help to guide you. Here are 25 of the best health and wellness iPhone apps available for download:

Nutrition and Dieting

  1. Nutrition Menu -- Need to know more about the food you eat? Nutrition Menu's enormous database of nutritional information gives you a convenient resource for the facts on over 81,000 foods, including grocery and restaurant items. Even better, the database is completely offline, allowing you to proteins, and sugars your meal contains, as well as how much sodium, fiber, and cholesterol you'll be taking in. As if that wasn't enough, the app comes with numerous exercise and weight tracking features to help you keep yourself in tip-top condition.
  2. 5 A Day -- We've all heard of the food pyramid, and how it tells us that a balanced diet involves roughly 5 servings of nutritious fruits and vegetables a day. Remembering that information is one thing, but following the advice is something else entirely. This handy tool teaches you tasty ways to get that goodness into your system, with delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and even for snacking. With this app, you won't have any trouble getting your "five a day" at all.
  3. Restaurant Nutrition -- If you're the type that likes to eat out, but watch what they're eating at the same time, then this app is just for you. Restaurant Nutrition allows you to access the menus of countless restaurants and learn the nutritional value of each item. You can then track what you've eaten to keep count of the carbs, calories, proteins and fats you've been putting into your system. With constant updates and an option to operate online, you'll know exactly what you'll be getting the next time you have a meal out.
  4. Portion Control -- Learning about the proper portions of the food you eat can be a drag. Fortunately, this app throws a little bit of fun into the mix by turning things into a quirky little pop quiz! By helping you figure out your portions by comparing sizes to real-world objects rather than hard-to-picture measurements, portion control becomes a lot easier. At the end of the quiz, you'll be graded on your eating style and rated accordingly; what you do to improve your score is all up to you and how you use the valuable information this app can give you.

Fitness and Exercise

    1. iMapMyRun -- The great thing about iPhone apps is that they provide features that help you cut down on the number of gadgets you need. iMapMyRun, for example, almost obsoletes the need for a pedometer. This helpful little app uses the iPhone's GPS technology to the distance you jog, how long you do it for, and the pace at which you do it. Feeling proud about your latest fitness accomplishment? The app also allows you to Tweet for fitness regime and achievements to your followers.
    2. iSpinning -- Sometimes, the most helpful thing you'll ever see during a workout is a bunch of numbers. The ability to keep track of your progress as you exercise adds that final bit of motivation, that last push you need to accomplish your goals. This app shows you the speed, distance, and power of your workout, as well as your heart rate and calories burned.
    3. 4 Minute Workout -- Exercise isn't always about quantity; in fact, it's possible to work out too much. This app provides you with an incredibly efficient 4-minute routine designed to a day's worth of exercise in a tiny fraction of that length. Focusing more on working your full range of motion rather than isolated routines, the 4 Minute Workout provides a new exercise every thirty seconds, keeping the workout fun and dynamic.
    4. Tai Chi for Enlighteners -- Tai Chi has long been known to improve one's flexibility, balance, strength, and overall well-being. It's a great low-impact way to stay in shape for anyone of any size. This app contains 45 minutes worth of video on the ancient Chinese art, including guidelines on how to do the many poses. As anyone who's ever done Tai Chi before will tell you -- the slow movements might not look like much, but Tai Chi is really quite a workout!
    5. Traveller Workout -- An app co-written by an actual fitness trainer, the Traveller Workout is designed specifically for people who can't make it to the gym. Exercises for the on-the-go fitness buff included in the app require only a chair to keep you in shape. The full-video demonstrations are contained in the app itself, so you don't need to worry about going online to see them. In addition to the exercises, you'll receive motivational messages to keep you going. The regimen requires only 20-30 minutes of your time per session, at only 2-3 sessions per week, making physical fitness much easier to achieve.
    6. Shake It Double Time! -- Sure, it'd be nice to be able to exercise whenever and wherever you want to, but lugging around your gym equipment isn't really a good idea. This app gets around that by transforming your iPhone into an exercise aid! By adapting several exercises to involve the use of your iPhone, you can easily sneak in a few extra minutes of exercise during your lull moments of the day. Although the workouts aren't enough to account for your daily exercise requirement, they certainly ad up, nonetheless!
  1. iWorkout -- Who needs a personal trainer when you've got this app in your iPhone? Watch over 100 different exercise videos for toning and strengthening your body, including cardio, core, and free weights workouts. Each video also contains helpful tips from professional fitness trainers. With metronomes to properly time your workout, as well as an exercise diary to help you keep track of your process, you've got all the fitness coaching you'll need, all in your pocket.

General Information

  1. WebMD Mobile -- This handy app contains information on many common diseases. Get an idea of what could be wrong by going through the app's symptoms checklist. Learn what your next mode of action could be with the information provided for the different treatments for many conditions. In an emergency situation? The app also comes with a list of first aid techniques to help prevent any major health problems from occurring. Please note, however, that the app should not be used as a source for recommendations; it only purpose is to provide the health information you want.
  2. Epocrates -- Taking medications can be scary business. After all, how sure are you about the chemicals entering your body? Epocrates gives you information thousands of drugs regularly being sold in the market. In addition to this, the app shows you drug interactions for up to 30 different drugs at a time, helping you find out just how that pill cocktail will be affecting your system. The app also comes with several health calculators, such as a Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator and a Glomerular Filtration Rate computer for monitoring your kidneys' health.
  3. SymptomMD -- A doctor won't always be around when you need some answers. If you feel like something's wrong, or some unfortunate accident happened, you can never be sure that a trained medical professional will be there to give you advice. In these times of uncertainty, you can always refer to this app. Based on actual protocols used by nurses and physicians, SymptomMD serves as a guide on what to do regarding certain symptoms. Hit your head? Perhaps an ice pack is all you need. Did things go black for a bit after the hit? Then you'll need something else entirely. Whatever your concern is, the app will walk you through the appropriate course of action.
  4. Remedies and Prevention -- Feeling under the weather, and too weak to venture outside for medication? You won't be needing a drugstore with the hundreds of home remedies accessible through this app. Solve problems like acidity, hemorrhoids, food poisoning, and even urinary tract infection with items found in your own kitchen. The app also comes with a guide on wellness and the prevention of major illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.


  1. Heartbeat -- Tracking your heartbeat just got a lot simpler. Instead of trying to count the number of beats in ten seconds, all you need to do is tap your screen in synch with your pulse, and the app will compute everything for you and give you your beats per minute with ease. This is great for those who are starting out with a healthy lifestyle and aren't used to simultaneously counting their heartbeats and keeping track of the time just yet.
  2. 101 Power Thoughts -- Wellness isn't all about physical health. Words of wisdom can often brighten up a person's day, or provide that little bit of motivation to get him through a rough patch. 101 Power Thoughts is a collection of thought-provoking sayings narrated over music. With words to affirm who you are and what you're doing, you'll feel empowered to make the most of your life and improve its quality.
  3. Pest Control -- Household pests like mosquitoes aren't just an annoyance; they can turn into serious health risks, too! These creepy crawlies can bring disease into your home and spread it like wildfire. This unique app helps you get rid of those pests by emitting hypersonic noise that repels them. Additional tones for additional pests, such as dogs, are also included in the app.
  4. Posture Coach -- Remember how mom always used to tell you to "mind your posture"? Turns out that her advice was actually pretty sound. Not only does proper posture improve what other people think of you, making your social and professional life a lot better, but it also eases any strain on your back, relieving and preventing any back pains you might have. This simple app works just like mom, too -- by nagging! All you have to do is keep your iPhone in your shirt pocket, and the app will vibrate or sound off every time you slouch. It might be a real pain in the neck while you're still getting used to it, but at least it'll take away the pain in your back.
  5. 101 Stress Busters -- With the daily grind of making a living, we all need a reminder once in a while to tell us to relax. This simple app does that in 101 ways, providing tips on what you can do to sit back and take a break from all the stress. You may have never realized it, but being told to "watch a movie" or "listen to your favourite song" makes a world of difference in this hectic world. A little me-time and some R&R, and you'll find that your life becomes a whole lot better.
  6. Actually Quit Smoking -- It's been said before that, for every cigarette you smoke, you shave off an hour from your life. Few things do more for a smoker's health than quitting the habit. Unfortunately, it can be really hard to stick with quitting when there's no real motivation to do so. This app will give you all the motivation you need by providing you with daily reminders on why quitting will improve the quality of your life. It'll also help you keep track of the days you've been going without cigarettes, urging you to keep that healthy streak running.
  7. Social Gym -- Motivation can spell the success or failure of your workout regimen. Exercises take time and effort, and a bit of friendly encouragement can go a long way towards keeping you on track. This innovative app allows you to track your gym progress, and then relay the information to your friends and family via Facebook. Not only will the sight of your improvement keep you going, but your loved ones will be piping in with some encouraging words as well!
  8. Japanese Massage -- Stress can get you down, both emotionally and physically. One good way to relieve both burdens is to pamper yourself with a nice, good massage. This helpful app teaches you the basics of self-massage, as well as the fundamentals of Shiatsu. With its handy guides on self-massaging and soothing music playing in the background, you can turn any given time and place into a relaxing personal massage session.
  9. myBiorhythm -- According to biorhythm theory, a person's quality of life is affected by three distinct rhythmic cycles -- physical, emotive, and intellective. These cycles each have periodic ups and downs, and the interaction between all three will dictate the state of your overall well-being. This app will help you calculate your biorhythm and predict your three cycles. With this information in hand, you'll be ready for any bad day that might come and deal with it perfectly.
  10. Live Happy -- Living healthier and longer can all be a matter of your disposition. It's been found that happier people tend to enjoy an overall better quality of life, as well as live longer. This app helps you boost your own happiness levels by engaging in simple activities psychologically-proven to be effective in improving a person's psychological well-being. With a sunny outlook towards life, you'll not only feel better, but have the energy to do better, too!
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{ 2 comment… read it below or add one }

Mark December 16th, 2009
Just to add to the list and from personal experience and usage, I like the LoseIt app. Cheers!
Sal December 19th, 2009
Great list and a good complement to the list that we assembled. http://iphonemedicine.blogspot.com/2009/09/iphone-consumer-health-apps.html

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