Apple iOS Health App

My 9 iOS Health Apps to Quantify and Motivate

I don’t know about you, but I think the Health App inclusion in most recent iOS editions for the iPhone is one of the most significant developments for both the iPhone as well as for Bio-hacking your body.

A major tenant of bio-hacking is quantifying yourself, both tracking what you are doing and testing your status with real metrics.

Data, data, data, I cannot make bricks without clay. – Robert Downey Junior as Sherlock homes

Short of keeping a written journal there hasn’t really been a way to track this information and more importantly in a way in which you can analyse this data and turn it into knowledge. The iOS health app changes that because it creates a platform for sharing your health data between other apps.

Below is my list of my favourite Bio-hacking iOS Health Apps.

Jawbone UP – Tracker Required

screen568x568This is the core of my iOS health app eco-system and where I enter the majority of my data either via my Jawbone UP24 band or manually. The app tracks your steps, and your sleep pattern automatically. It also tracks your food intake with a calories estimation along with a quality score where it will tell you if you are on the right track. Plus can also track your weight and with the help of the Jawbone Sync app it will sync the weight into the Health App.

The big element on the motivation side is that it takes the data entered and suggests actions and ask you to commit to things such as going to bed at a curtain time, eating more fiber or drinking more water. Also on motivation there is the team function where you can compete against other Jawbone UP users.

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Jawbone UP – Free Fitness Tracker

screen568x568 3Before buying the Jawbone UP24 arm band I started out with this app. It features all the functionality of Jawbone UP Tracker App but doesn’t require the tracker. I found it helpful to get into the groove of tracking my life, I tend to have my phone on me all the time so it kinda worked out well. This will also be the App I use when I upgrade to the Jawbone UP3.

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UP Coffee

CoffeeThe UP Coffee app is great for those that fire better with caffeine. It can be easy to get carried away with coffee and tea resulting in a restless night of sleep. The UP Coffee app tracks your caffeine intake and lets you know if you are going to get a good nights sleep or not. It’s also a bit of fun in the way that is presents the caffeine. Try it out.. it is free after all.

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Jawbone Sync

Jawbone SyncOne of the draw backs of the Jawbone UP app is that it doesn’t sync all the data to the health app. I believe it is going to be in a future update to their app. In the mean time there is Jawbone Sync for things like Weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), Lean Body Mass, and Heart Rate. For the $3 price I think it is totally worth it to be able to enter your data once. While you might not think having this extra data is so important, it is especially when all the apps start to use it to work out how to guide your healt.

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Instant Heart Rate

heartrateUntil the release of the new Jawbone UP3 which will feature a bio-impedance heart rate monitor I am logging my heart a number of times a day using the Instant Heart Rate Monitor from Azumio. The great thing about this app is you don’t need any gear because it uses the iPhones camera and flash. It’s totally worth it for $1.50 upgrade to sync the heart rate to the health app.

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Respiratory Rate

respA great little free app the uses the accelerometer in your iPhone to count the resting respiratory rate. It works by placing between your stomach and your rib cage. It doesn’t sync with the health app but it is simple to input the details. It’s not an essential app but good to know when your are discussing your health with your local bio-hacking GP.

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My Medical

mymedA recent addition to my bio-hacking app eco-system, the My Medical app fills the gap on recording some health data that the Health app doesn’t do yet. It’s more for recording the kind of data you would get from blood and urine tests. There is also an iPad and Mac OS version. All three of the applications can synchronise.

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7 Minutes

7min

While this a free app with paid upgrades, paying for the upgrades is totally worth it. 7 Minutes is a High Intensity Interval Training app that becomes your personal trainer. All the exercises are body weight only exercise, so there is never any excuse to not workout and with 7 minute iterations time shouldn’t be a problem. With this app not only does it provide a visual cue to each of the exercises it provides audio cues and a little training video you can watch before doing the workout to ensure your form is well… on form. On top of that the app syncs your effort to the Health App.

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Wokamon

wokamonSo this one is a bit of fun. It combines your exercise stats with a game to motivate and entertain. The Wokamons are like Tamagotchies but with the Wokamons you must keep exercising in order to grow and keep it alive.

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Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth

There is an old idiom that you should ‘Never look a gift horse in the mouth’. I say that in life you should always look at a ‘gift’ to see if it is a true gift or a liability. You should be conscious of what you are getting yourself into. Many people who own a horse can tell you that the wrong type of horse can be much more a liability then it can be an asset. As you know, you can discover a lot about a horse’s condition by looking at its teeth. The health of a horse is also a big factor to discovering how much a liability it could for you, there are vet bills to pay… a liability.

This concept applies to other ‘gifts’ in your life. The idea that you are being disrespectful if you are investigating what you are getting into is crap.

People are often very lazy or ignorant to what a liability a ‘gift’ can create in someone else’s life. It is not that people are doing it intentionally to be malicious, they are just not aware of what they are doing.

For example, for my birthday one year I received a heartfelt gift of a coffee machine. I like coffee, why not. Well it was one of those propriety coffee pod machines which means that in order to use the machine I had to change my purchasing habits for a more expensive  coffee option that can only be purchased from a store that is out of my way, it also consumed more energy in it’s idol state then my current boil to size kettle that I use currently to brew my coffee.

So it created a liability for my money (extra expense and electricity) and for my time (extra time to get the proprietary coffee pods). Now don’t get me wrong, it was wonderful gift, just not for me and my situation.

Free always comes with a price and we also need to consider when we give gifts.

I have some rules that I keep to when giving gifts to others that requires a bit more thinking, but in my mind is about being a respectful gift giver.

In no particular order.

  • Will it bring a holistic benefit to their life. For example will it save them time, money and hassle both in the short term and long run.
  • Give quality not quantity. Something small of good quality is 100 times better then a lot crap that will break.
  • If you don’t know them well enough don’t be afraid to ask someone who does, even if that person is the recipient of the gift.
  • Try with all your might not to give ‘Stuff’ to horders. People who do that are just cruel and inconsiderate. Give an experience instead. It will add joy to their life without the pain of extra stuff contributing to their problem.
  • Experiences will always mean much more to people. Stuff can break.
  • Giving your time is one of the best gifts you can give in this time short world.
  • Avoid waste in your gifts. Don’t buy new wrapping paper, recycle something or try using a reusable box with a ribbon or packing twine around it.
  • Always have a part of a gift that makes them feel special in someway. Something pampering.

What rules do you use when giving gifts both in professional and personal life?

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Status: What I Ate for Breakfast

I often hear from people who don’t really get social media a rant of resentment about users publishing updates about what seems to be menial and mundan. With regular rants about them not wanting hear about what people are having for breakfast or similar things.

When it comes to social media, if you are not using it be social, you are not using it correctly.

Being social is about shared experiences, whether those experiences are in the physical moment of  now or the shared experiences of the types of things we do. These are the things that make us realise that we are not alone, that we are a part of a much larger tribe.

But there is another aspect to this that I want to talk about and that is how we celebrate and show gratitude for all that we have.

Celebrating what we have can be in the way in which we experience and savour what we are doing. The time and effort we put into preparing a meal as well at the people that we are sharing it with. The way in which we enjoy and  engage in the flavours as it swirls around our mouth. Taking a picture and posting online is like celebrating your meal and inviting others to share in the experience. It shows gratitude for what we have.

Complaining about a meal is a first world problem and not something many people in the third world have the luxuary to experience.

If you are not able to show gratitude for the small things, what makes you think you deserve the big things in life.

For me I find joy in knowing that others are showing the gratitude for the things they have and not what they don’t have. Maybe you can to.

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