Making healthy life choices isn’t always easy. Even when we want to make changes, we don’t always know how to go about getting started. How are we supposed to know what foods to eat? What workouts should we do, and when? How do you curb your sudden craving to light up a cigarette? Now that I’ve started, how do I keep track of my progress?
Below is a list of FREE tools dedicated to help you live the healthy lifestyle you want. These websites and mobile apps are designed to motivate you, give you advice, and help you track your progress.
Million Hearts Easy Meal Plan – Million Hearts offers a calorie-controlled, 28-day heart healthy meal plan. The Easy Meal Plan is based on your weight and weight loss goals, and provides four weeks of nutritionally balanced meals, delicious recipes, shopping lists, and customized calorie intake. (Website)
MyPlate SuperTracker – The SuperTracker was made to help you plan and track your diet and physical activity. It helps you set goals, journal your progress, and provide online coaching and food dictionary. You can also use it with a group of friends, coworkers, or whoever else wants to join you! (Website)
Dairy Council of California– This website provides a three step Healthy Eating Planner. It is a very user friendly and fun to use. You can also sign up for weekly emails to help you stay on track, and print off the physical activity and food diaries to use. (Website)
HealthWatch 360 –HealthWatch 360 offers a variety of tools. You can use this to keep a food and fitness log, track your health conditions, and check out new health trends. (Mobile App, Website)
BodySpace – Bodybuilding.com’s free online fitness community. Set goals, select a plan, and start tracking. (Website, Mobile App)
Text4Health – The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids created the Text4Health campaign with the goal of getting people to eat more fruits and veggies, and increase their physical activity. Sign up to have health tips sent to your phone.
Livestrong MyPlate Calorie Tracker and Fitness Program – This program uses the MyPlate Calorie Tracker combined with a workout program. You get personalized meal plans, community support, and daily motivations and tips. (Mobile App, Website)
Record – This is one of Under Armours health and fitness trackers. You can log any kind of workout and get real time stats on your progress. It also is great to do with your friends, as you can send each other challenges to stay motivated. (Website, Mobile App)
Running2Win – This is an online community for runners. You can use different tools to log your runs, share your stats, and more. (Mobile App, Website)
MyFitnessPal – MyFitnessPal is one of the best online tools out there for tracking your diet and exercise. It can be used with many apps, has a huge food and workout database, and you can use it with your friends. (MyFitnessPal also has other free apps including MapMyWalk, MapMyRun, MapMyFitness, MapMyRide)
MapMyRun – This is one of the most popular running apps around. It lets you network, find nearby routes, and a keep a training log. It is a good device to use if you want to run a certain distance but don’t know where to go. (Website, Mobile App)
Zombies, Run! – Need something to spruce up your runs? Give this app a try! Zombies, Run! is a running game. Put your headphones on to be placed in your own zombie adventure story, where the only thing you can do escape the undead is run. (Mobile App)
Charity Miles – Charity Miles isn’t exactly for tracking your runs. However, it is an honorable mention because for every mile you run, money is donated to a charity of your choice. So not only are you getting in a workout, but you’re making a difference. How awesome! (Mobile App)
Smokefree U.S. – Smokefree.gov was designed to help you or someone you love quit smoking. The website has many different tools that you can use:
a. A personal Quitplan made just for you.
b. The Quitstart App that use information about your smoking history and gives you personalized tips
c. Smokefree.gov also has a HealthyYouTXT program to send healthy living tips to your phone.
SmokefreeTXT - Smokefree.gov’s mobile service that provides encouragement, advice, and tips through text to help young adults quit smoking.
SmokefreeTXT: For adults and young adults. Text the word QUIT to 47848 or sign up online.
SmokefreeMOM: For mothers. Text the word MOM to 222888 or sign up online.
SmokefreeVET: For military veterans. Text VET to 47848 and VETesp to 47848 for Spanish, or sign up online.
*Note: Some apps may have in-app purchases. You do not need these to use the app for it’s main purpose, although some features can’t be used unless purchased.
These are only some of the many, many tools and apps available for helping you live an active, healthy lifestyle. Although we have provided this list to you, it does not mean you have to use all of them! Try a few, and pick the ones that you enjoy the most or find the easiest to use. Remember, this is about YOUR health, so make use of the resources that you like and feel will benefit you the most. If you know of any other tools for healthy living, please comment below.