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Best Health Apps for 2022 (DNA, Fitness, Nutrition, & More)

Written by Jim Duncan, MSW | Last updated:

The best health apps offer you focused recommendations to improve your health from the convenience of your phone. They can focus on one category like exercise, nutrition, sleep, and mental wellbeing, or have a whole-body approach to health, encompassing one or more health topics.

For example, SelfDecode takes a personalized, whole-body approach to health. It gets down to the root causes and addresses health issues from the bottom up and offers insights into different topics such as anxiety, heart health, and others.

A vast number of companies have created apps to help you narrow the focus down on specific categories and personalize your efforts to your specific needs. Whether it’s a fitness app to help monitor and tailor your exercise routine or a nutrition app to get your diet honed into just the right combination of calories and nutrients, there is an app out there to fit the bill, some better than others.

Choosing A Health App

So, how do you decide which health app is the best for you? You could google the “top 10 fitness apps” and it’s guaranteed that each site you go to will have a different list. Are their criteria the same as yours? Maybe. Most don’t offer much insight into how or why they chose the way they did. And let’s face it, unless you actively use the apps, it’s difficult to compare one to another.

Just because someone says they tried it and it “kicks butt”, doesn’t mean it will for you. Like any purchase, you do your research, talk to people, compare features, ratings, see what experts have to say, and in the end, you make an educated guess that it’s the best decision for you.

With that in mind, some things you might want to consider when perusing the app market sea are as follows:

  • Credibility. Do the people wanting to tell you how to create those 6-pack abs or eat the optimal diet know what they’re actually talking about? Find out if they have legitimate accreditation.
  • Goals. Does the app meet the goals you have set for yourself? If you aren’t sure about your goals, is it structured to help you figure that out? We often go into these kinds of situations not knowing exactly what we want to do or what we need, so a good app will accommodate for this.
  • Budget. You can find apps that are free all the way up to $100+ per month. You often get what you pay for here, but any app asking for your money should give you something up front before taking your money. This could be a free trial period or free basic services that allow you to see what they’re about before you invest.
  • Reviews. These can be invaluable or useless, it all depends. Did someone give the app 5 stars because they were paid to do so? Did someone point out something that would’ve made you not invest in the app? Read with caution, but reviews can provide you with useful information, and be what tips your decision one way or the other.

With the ability to test most worthwhile apps out for free, if you are at all in doubt about which to try, try several! What you were told was ‘the app’ to use for exercise may have been perfect for your friend, but not for you. We all have our own special combination of needs, wants, and abilities that will make one app more applicable than another, even if they are both great apps.

DNA Health Apps

In general, health apps cover just about anything you could wish to utilize for your overall health. They do a great job of personalizing your health efforts, but they all fail to take into account one important and unique element. Most of them consider your DNA when it comes to making recommendations about your health. This means that none of them are as personalized as they could be!

Everyone has their own unique set of DNA. This informs everything about how your body responds to and deals with the environment, both on the inside and out in the world. The special combination of variants in your DNA can have positive or negative effects on the health efforts you make.

You might be predisposed to be less active and want a workout app with more built-in motivation. Or, you might not have the TCF7L2 gene variant that lets you more easily process starchy foods, so this might direct your nutrition efforts in another direction.

The point is, your genes affect everything about you. So does your environment. The set of DNA you were born with gets altered and manipulated by the environments you live and age. It’s an interactive system, which you have the ability to alter and manipulate yourself, with the proper information at your disposal. Knowing your DNA is a cornerstone for that, and there are a number of apps out there striving to bring it to you in a way that makes it easily usable.

SelfDecode

SelfDecode is a comprehensive DNA health app utilizing an advanced AI that figures out more of your genetic variants than any other comparable app. It applies this information along with lab tests to all of the major health categories, providing reports with recommendations that help the user augment health, fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle improvement efforts.

Best health apps

The key to providing the most accurate and thorough results is in the advanced AI. Machine learning and the growing banks of genetic data that have been collected allow for SelfDecode to examine small sections of DNA and piece them together into bigger sections with 99.7% accuracy. Thus, what starts out as 750,000 variants examined, gets mapped into 83,000,000! SelfDecode’s AI is the best in the direct-to-consumer market, allowing it to provide the most comprehensive and accurate results!

These results generate a predisposition score for the user for health issues they want to consider, such as anxiety, inflammation, and others. Research on the genetics related to that issue is then analyzed to arrive at a list of prioritized, actionable recommendations for the user to improve their health.

You can download the SelfDecode app and get started for free.

Other DNA Apps

  • 23andMe. Focused on ancestry with some health information.
  • CircleDNA. A broad-based app covering health, fitness, and nutrition.
  • DNAFit. Focused on fitness and nutrition, with some added health information.
  • Genomapp. Focused on genetic variants related to diseases. Limited health information.
  • Genopalate. Nutrition and recipe-focused. No health information.
  • Invitae. Medically focused on disease risk and reproductive testing.
  • MyDNA. Focused on nutrition and fitness with plans for each. Limited genetic information.

Best Health Apps For Overall Health

Once you have analyzed your DNA and have a better sense of where your predispositions lie due to your genes, you can make more refined decisions about your fitness, health, and mental wellbeing. Below are some of the more popular apps in the related categories. With knowledge of your DNA at your disposal, you are more likely to make a choice that better fits your needs.

Fitness apps

You have a lot of options here, allowing you to create almost any kind of exercise regimen you can come up with. They can be general, whole-body workouts, running apps, or weight lifting. There really is something for everyone out there if you look.

  • Nike Training Club. Broad range of free workouts.
  • Obe. An app for those who like group workouts.
  • Strava. An app for runners and cyclists
  • Glo. A yoga app for more low-impact workouts.
  • LeSweat TV. For those who like a personal trainer.
  • Fitbody. Workouts designed by and for women.
  • Seven. Based on seven-minute workouts.

Nutrition apps

Much like exercise, the app that appeals to and works best for you is really going to depend on what your goals and needs are. They can be narrowed down to a specific diet, general weight loss, or as simple as tracking what you eat.

  • MyFitnessPal. A food tracker, calorie counter, and food analyzer.
  • Lifesum. A food tracker, calorie counter, and meal planner.
  • MyPlate Calorie Counter. Covers nutrient intake, meal planning, and calorie counting.
  • Noom. Nutrition education, meal planning, virtual coaching.
  • Carb Manager. A carb and calorie tracker good for the Keto diet.

Sleep apps

Of the five categories, this is probably the least accessed by most people, as it is often the most overlooked element of overall health. However, because it is a major source of mental and physical recovery, it has an impact on all of the other categories. Apps in this category may not make that initial list of apps to look into for overall health, but healthy sleep makes every other category more healthy.

  • Sleep Cycle. Helps to track and interpret sleep data.
  • Headspace. A mindfulness and meditation app to promote sleep.
  • Yours App. Stories, yoga tutorials, meditation, and stress management to help sleep.
  • Calm. Stories meant to calm and soothe, for adults and children.
  • Pzizz. Stories, music, and soothing sounds to promote sleep.

Mental health apps

This category is often ignored or at the very least sidelined by people as they face the continual push to achieve and succeed. Poor mental health, however, can limit one’s success and efforts in every other aspect of life. There are numerous apps out there directed at helping you address mental health.

  • Headspace. A meditation app to help calm and soothe.
  • Moodkit. Based on cognitive behavioral therapy, helps change negative thinking.
  • Talkspace. A virtual therapist app.
  • iBreathe. Breathing exercises to help reduce anxiety and stress.
  • Happify. Mood-boosting games and activities to help boost mood.

Medical apps

Sometimes a health issue is beyond eating the right foods, getting enough sleep, or working out more often. Overall health includes not only improvement efforts but maintenance and repair and a number of apps out there can help you keep on top of those things that should be checked out by your doctor.

  • WebMD. An app version of the website, with medical information and resources.
  • Medisafe. A medication reminder app.
  • Healow. Health records management app.
  • Maven. A ‘digital clinic’ designed for women’s physical and mental healthcare.
  • Healthtap. A virtual medicine service for non-emergency medical issues.

Best Health Apps: Final Thoughts

Finding the best health app can be difficult, and there are so many to choose from. They can potentially focus on one particular need you have while poorly addressing another. Starting on the ground floor with your DNA can help you better figure out where you need to go and the most effective and efficient way to get there.

SelfDecode helps you discover your genetic predispositions and gives personalized diet, lifestyle, and supplement recommendations based on your DNA. Upload your DNA and get started for free.

About the Author

Jim Duncan

MSW
Jim completed his M.S.W. in Social Work Administration at Portland State University. He has always been interested in analyzing social issues, and he helped fund and start a program against domestic violence. He has also conducted many public speaking sessions about violence against women, and published 3 fiction novels. Inspired by SelfDecode’s mission to make precision health a reality, he decided to use his natural writing ability to help teach the world about the power and promise of genomics. His areas of interest include science-based writing,  astronomy, and genomics.

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