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Healthy Habits: How-Tos

8 Best Health Apps for Your Summer

We’ve done the legwork for you: Here are the 8 best health apps to improve your mental, physical and emotional well-being this summer.

Dr. Holly Phillips, a general internist and women’s health specialist in private practice in Manhattan, doesn’t currently prescribe smartphone apps to her patients – but, says Phillips, she could see herself doing so in the near future. “They can be useful for people aiming to lose weight or improve their fitness.” We sorted through the plethora of options out there to find these eight great apps to help you reach your health goals this summer.

Get Paid to Hit the Gym

Download: GymPact

This app will ensure you put that gym membership to good use: You get paid each time you check into the gym (the money comes from users who bailed on their workouts). GymPact’s records show that people who use the app follow through on 90 percent of the sweat sessions they commit to.

Cost: Free for iPhone; an Android version is in the works

Eat Healthier

Download: Fooducate

A recent Nielsen survey shows that 59 percent of people around the world are confused by nutrition labels. Take the guesswork out of grocery shopping with Fooducate. Simply scan a product’s barcode, and the app tells you the food’s nutritional benefits (and downsides), along with some better alternatives. You can even compare two products to see which is the healthiest.

Cost: Free for iPhone and Android

Make Exercise Fun

Download: Zombies, Run!

The Zombies, Run! app turns running into a zombie apocalypse game. In the immersive action-adventure, you hear zombies attacking -- and audio instructions on how to avoid them. The app includes over 30 missions and more than 40 runs worth of game play to keep your runs exciting every time.

Cost: $7.99 for iPhone and Android

Avoid Jet Lag

Download: Jet Lag Rx

Summer travel can literally be a drag when you’re changing time zones. Luckily, Jet Lag Rxis here to help. Input your place of origin and destination, and the app gives you a schedule based on circadian research that explains when to eat, sleep and restrict light so you don’t end up totally exhausted when you arrive.

Cost: $9.99 for iPhone

Check Out That Mole

Download: Skin Scan

Snap a picture of any suspicious looking freckles, and use Skin Scan to analyze it. This app will tell you if it warrants a trip to the dermatologist -- or if it’s a harmless spot that doesn’t require a doctor’s visit. You can even use it to monitor moles over time or to find a derm doc near you.

Cost: $4.99 for iPhone

Be More Zen

Download: The Relax and Rest Guided Meditations

This soothing app is great for beginners. It gives you instant access to three meditations of varying lengths that will help you focus on your breathing and relax -- even if you only have five minutes.

Cost: $.99 for iPhone

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Download: Sleep Cycle

Select a range of possible wake-up times, and then place your phone on your bed so Sleep Cycle can track your movements mid-slumber. This app analyzes the information and then sets off an a.m. alarm when you’re in your lightest sleep phase -- so waking up is as painless as possible.

Cost: $.99 for iPhone

Keep Your Mind Sharp

Download: Brain Trainer

This challenging app, from Lumosity.com, gives you a mental workout. It has dozens of games designed to help improve your memory, increase alertness and awareness, and boost your creativity.

Free for the first five games on iPhone

Robin Hilmantel is an associate editor at Food Network Magazine. Her work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, USA Today and Maxim, among other publications. She is a frequent contributor to Completely You.

Also read: The Surprising Way You’re Making Yourself Fat and Stress Relief Methods for Every Occasion [Video Included]

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