Cell phones tend to get a bad rap. They’re blamed for keeping us up at night and interfering with our relationships. But contrary to what the Internet may lead you to believe, that tiny screen is helping us with a whole heck of a lot these days when it comes to wellness. According to Jennifer Haythe, MD, a New York City-based board-certified cardiologist (who also happens to be an avid marathon runner) it’s the most important piece of tech for fitness that she relies on every day.
“I love to run and my favorite tech is pretty simple: My iPhone equipped with the RunGo and Strava apps,” she says. “RunGo lets me map out a run wherever I am with mileage and even suggests routes that work for my desired distance, and Strava lets me know my pace, splits, and elevation.” These apps are both easily available in the iTunes store, and make logging miles a cinch—once they’re downloaded, all you have to do is keep your phone with you while you run. RunGo gives you the option of being voice coached through your route, so you never have to worry about getting lost, and Strava measures your performance and allows you to share it with a community of other runners using the app.
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In addition to the data that these running apps deliver, the iPhone puts some other pretty important health intel in the palm of your hands. Its built-in Health app allows you to track your daily activity (aka your steps), your menstrual cycle, and your bedtime. For more intensive information, you can connect it to an activity tracker—like an Apple Watch or FitBit—or to third-party phone apps that transmit their data directly into your health dashboard, giving you a full picture of your nutrition (MyFitnessPal), sleep (SleepCycle), and mindful minutes (Breathe). In other words, from the same screen where you can stalk your exes, you can also gain a full picture of your health metrics.
So while doom scrolling in bed when you should be sleeping isn’t great for your health (Seriously! Turn on the Bedtime function immediately), there are plenty of other ways to use your iPhone for the sake of your wellbeing. A cardiologist says so.
Dr. Jen is also a fan of the Apple Watch. Check out the video below to see what she has to say about it.
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