5 health apps for stroke prevention
10 people suffer a stroke every hour in South Africa. Here are some health apps that could help lower your risk.
Common controllable risk factors for stroke include obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, stress and hypertension. Delaying treatment and regular screenings also increase your risk. Here are five nifty health apps that can help you track your health and lower your risk. Talk to your doctor before trying any of the tools provided in these apps.
1. Risk factor: obesity
When there’s excess fatty tissue in your body it could lead to difficulty with blood flow and an increased blockage in the arteries. Both of these put you at risk of stroke.
The app: My Diet Coach
User rating: 4.6 stars (out of 5)
Download on: Google Play and the App Store
Price: Free; in-app purchases apply
If you are lacking the motivation to lose weight, this app can provide support with helpful resources and a progress tracker.
- Panic button for food cravings
- Food and exercise log
- Inspiring quotes
- Tips to help you move more
- Words of encouragement
- Motivation through before and after photos
2. Risk factor: smoking
If you are a smoker, kicking the habit is in your health’s best interests. The tobacco found in cigarettes contains toxic chemicals, which are transferred to your lungs when you smoke. From there the chemicals move to your bloodstream, damaging cells around your body. And these changes to your cells increase your risk of stroke.
The app: Quit Smoking
User rating: 4.8 stars (out of 5)
Download on: Google Play
Price: Free; in-app purchases apply
The Quit Smoking application will help you to stub out that last butt. One of the most endearing features of the app is that it shows you everything you could gain by quitting.
- Tips on how to quit for good
- Details on how much money and time you’ve saved by quitting
- Updates on how much you’ve increased your life expectancy by quitting
- Goal-setting tool
- Tips to monitor cravings
- Pop-up informative videos on the harms of smoking
3. The risk factor: sedentary lifestyle
Not getting enough physical activity means your risk of hypertension and obesity is increased. Both of these are major risk factors for stroke.
If the gym isn’t for you, then the Daily Workouts app is a great choice. This fitness tracker app can kick-start your motivation with free exercises that you can do at home. Get started with exercises as short as five minutes or choose longer workouts up to 30 minutes.
- Hundreds of workouts certified by personal trainers
- On-screen timers for workouts
- Step-by-step instructions
- Fun audio, music and videos to motivate you.
4. The risk factor: hypertension
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke; hypertension can damage blood vessels by rupturing or narrowing them, or causing leaks. Blood clots may also form in the arteries that could end up in the brain.
CareClinic is a symptom tracker app, which can assist in the management of blood pressure levels.
- Medication reminders
- Prescription dosage log
- BP measurement record
- Lifestyle (diet and exercise) tips to manage your BP levels
5. The risk factor: stress
Stress has been linked with stroke risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking and obesity.
If you are always in stress mode, the Breathe2Relax app can help you learn stress-management skills. The main offering is diaphragmatic breathing (belly breathing) lessons, which can assist with mood stabilisation.
- Length-varied breathing exercises to lower stress levels
- Anger-control and anxiety-management tips
- Detailed information on the effect of stress on the body
- Log to record stress levels
Visit your GP or book a consultation at a MyLife Healthcare Centre to assess your health and find out how you can lower your risk.
The information is shared on condition that readers will make their own determination, including seeking advice from a healthcare professional. E&OE. Life Healthcare Group Ltd does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage suffered by the reader as a result of the information provided.