APP REVIEW: S HEALTH
With the purchase of a new Samsung phone and some minor health issues for all three family members we decided to give this free app a try to see if it could help us work through getting better organized with our efforts to live a healthier lifestyle.
The app has many segments and you can use or not use as you want. It allows you to track/monitor the many categories from water, food and caffeine intake to activity levels to restful sleep and more.
Let’s start with your profile. In this section you enter your name, sex, height, current weight and indicate your activity level. I recommend doing this first so the app can calculate other items for you as you move from section to section in setting it up.
To do so you go to the top of the main screen click on the prompts for the profile (the more button) and fill in the simple choices. You can also add a photo at one point if you would care to. The photo will show up next to your name.
Each section is just as easy to set. You can set personal goals for items like eating healthier, getting more exercise, getting more rest, controlling your caffeine intake etc. I suggest exploring each segment thoroughly along the way as you are setting it up. Pay particular attention to the “more” and info buttons, because by clicking on these you will find how you can set up each segment with more detail and trigger automatic calculations for you.
An example of this is the body mass index or bmi. I had ZERO idea on how to calculate this, but by filling in the various blanks the app calculated it for me automatically. Let’s just say that number needs to go way down.
When I set my current weight, age, height and weight goal it calculated my daily calorie intake to either maintain that weight (not happening) or what I should eat maximum daily to lose weight. Both are shown on a chart that helps you see how you are progressing.
By clicking on the trends or track button in each segment you can compare how you are doing in previous days. By setting your location it automatically rolls over every section at midnight each night, so you are always current.
Tracking your calories and more important your nutrient intake is VERY simple because they include not only your basic apple, milk calorie recording, but by brand and restaurant name. So if you eat a chicken taco salad from Taco Bueno you can actually type in that term and it will bring up your choices of eating it with or without the tortilla bowl. You click your choice and it brings up the calorie count for you. This is very helpful when trying to decide what to eat.
If you have already consumed it you can simply click it then add your next item, and repeat until you have your whole meal consumed then you click next.
On the next screen you get the option of changing the serving size. I tend to eat only half of any meal consumed away from home, I can adjust the number of servings by .5 increments easily either up or down. You know sometimes you have to have just one more cookie.
You can also set what time you ate the meal/snack. This could be helpful if you are trying to adjust when you want eat the higher calorie items during the first part of the day.
One drawback I have found with this section is it says “per serving size” and some items do NOT have what a serving size is. An example would be my cereal breakfast did not have how much cereal was a serving size, so I had to check the cereal box to see how much it was, then adjust the consumed amount accordingly.
Most items will tell you what they consider a serving size on the first screen where you enter it.
Once you have your meal/snack (spaces for three meals and three snacks a day) entered it will show that meal or snack total as well as your daily total.
If you have set a “eat healthier goal” it not only keeps the total but will show you how you are doing toward your goal. Clicking on that chart will bring up not only the weight and calorie but all your nutrient intake for the day showing you what you have consumed, what you should consume daily by your height and weight, and age. It is also color coded for low, average, and high levels of each nutrient. This is very helpful if you are trying to control various items like sodium.
Want to increase your activity level? There are segments for daily steps (my favorite to check constantly), walking at a quick pace, or even running—not this old fat woman.
Each one tells you how you are doing, how many calories you have burned, and how far you have gone. For all this to work you may need to allow it to gps your location.
The walking and running segments also will play music, should you desire, from your play list through your phone.
One caveat about this section. Like I said the steps is a very important part for me, but it wasn’t working properly on my phone. It was on both men’s, but of course not mine. I became VERY frustrated about this and set out on a web search on how to fix it. I found a simple fix that required uninstallation and re-installing the updates. It took dh less than five minutes to do the steps and it works perfectly now. Absolutely loved seeing that my shopping at Wal-Mart for good for me foods actually burned a lot of calories and included over 3,000 steps.
Speaking of that, when you do good, you get rewards. Little congratulatory statements and trophies will suddenly appear on your phone. Who doesn’t need an ‘atta girl/boy every now and again.
If you have more than one goal set you will have to scroll either right or left to see your goal charts for each goal. Not a big deal, but it did take me a couple of minutes to figure this out.
As an added bonus there are periodic tips on helping you achieve your goals. Some of these are very helpful.
All in all I highly suggest if you have this free app on your phone you explore and use it. If your phone doesn’t have it, I found that you can download it from the Google Play Store.
Because of the few minor failings like the lack of serving size and having to uninstall and re-install I give this app a b+