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U.S. Cellular offers apps and accessories to keep users heart healthy

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When it comes to the health of yourself or a loved one, it's important to know that mobile devices can assist in monitoring health issues. Today's mobile devices, along with health and wellness apps, can help simplify and enhance our lives. As February is American Heart Month, it is a great time to familiarize yourself with what your mobile device can do for you and your health.

With the appropriate smartphone, users with a Samsung Galaxy S5, an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus can access critical medical data, monitor their heart rate, calories consumed and burned, as well as their steps taken throughout a day - all on one device. According to a recent U.S. Cellular survey, 34 percent of smartphone users have used a phone to help lose weight or improve their health. Of those, 66 percent have used an app to keep track of exercise or other fitness activities.

In addition to monitoring your health, smartphones also can play a vital role in getting medical attention within one hour of the onset of cardiac symptoms, as recommended by the Cleveland Clinic. You can store personal medical information on your smartphone that family or medical personnel can access during an emergency.

In the spirit of American Heart Month, the experts at U.S. Cellular suggest the following apps to help you keep vital health and wellness data at your fingertips.

Microsoft Health: (Available free on iOS, Android, Windows Phone) This handy app enables users to collect and store fitness data right on their phones. With the corresponding cloud-based Microsoft Health platform, users can also combine health and fitness data with compatible fitness devices, like the Jawbone. See your current body weight, calories burned and track workout progress with one app.

Health: (Available free on iOS) Apple's Health platform provides a comprehensive dashboard to view health and fitness data on one easy-to-read screen. This tool features the unique ability for health and fitness apps to talk to each other. For example, the app that tracks your blood pressure can be automatically shared with your doctor and you can allow your nutrition app to tell your fitness apps how many calories you consume each day.

Dropbox: (Available free on iOS, Android, Windows Phone) Does your son have a drug allergy? Does your father take a specific medication? Create PDFs of your family's medical history and store them on your smartphone for immediate access at critical moments.

Nike+ Running: (Available free on iOS, Android) Whether you're on the trail, treadmill or street, the Nike+ Running app uses a smartphone's GPS to accurately track your distance pace and time. Share your run data with friends via social media for a little healthy competition.

MyWOD: (Available for $2.99 on both iOS and Android) This popular app lets users easily log their cross fit workout of the day (WOD), keep track of records, and easily share your accomplishments on Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter. Create graphs of your WODs to track your progress. On the road? The Find a Gym feature locates cross fit gyms nearby and provides location and contact info.

Anyone interested in exploring the topic further can stop by an area store to talk with an associate or attend a free Device Workshop. The next device workshops will be on Saturday, Feb. 21 from 9 to 10 a.m. at 403 Wilson Street in Brewer and Saturday, Feb. 28 from 8 to 9 a.m. at 33 Mid Mall Boulevard in Bangor.

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