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The best holiday apps for your back, sunburn and mosquitoes

10. September 2020 Published by Raphael Doerr

Hardly anyone is spared this trinity of problems when on vacation. Although you’re aware of and prepared for them, you still end up suffering the consequences. Sitting behind the wheel for a long time, lugging heavy suitcases, lying for hours on a lounger or on the beach (on your back, of course), and counting sheep at night on a hotel mattress that’s too hard or too soft – all that is a pretty big strain on your back. The upshot: You try to go easy on it and sit or lie down, this time on your stomach – but the discomfort won’t go away. Backache is one of the most common complaints: Every one-in-three Germans suffers from pain in their back, neck and shoulder region. In our new blog series all about health apps and fitness apps, we are presenting you with a number of selected holiday apps that are a must if you want to relax and recharge your batteries on vacation.

Any exercise is better than none

Moderate exercise is better than remaining completely sedate when your back hurts. That’s the only way to make sure your blood circulation is still stimulated and enable your immune system to keep on supporting the healing process. Swimming, Nordic walking or long walks help when you have back problems, since they don’t involve sharp turns or sudden braking that strain the spinal column. Since all of us take our smartphone with us on vacation, it’s advisable to download the right back app beforehand. We briefly present three of these apps.

The following holiday apps are bound to be an aid for anyone who has “unspecific” back problems (all complaints apart from disc problems) and wants to help alleviate them while on vacation: the Kaia back app Kaia, the ratiopharm Back School or the 5-minute back app. The Kaia app provides more than 300 different back exercises. You don’t need any extra equipment apart from your smartphone, since there are lots of explainer videos on the exercises.

The app is based on holistic pain therapy and has been developed in cooperation with the Center for Interdisciplinary Pain Medicine at the hospital Klinikum rechts der Isar of the Technical University of Munich. You can use the Kaia back app to create a customized training program to combat back pain at any time, even on vacation. Some health insurers, such as pronova BKK or Barmer, offer their members a free subscription for one year. Otherwise, the app now costs €99 a month.

The back app from ratiopharm, however, is free of charge. It offers exercises to strengthen your back, as well as various information on the subject of back pain and how to avoid it. Back training on vacation is supported by 24 different exercises, each of which is explained in a video.

The 5-minute back app

Manuel Eckart is a health and motivational coach trainer and has written various books on the subject of healthcare. One of them is “Das 5 Minuten Rückentraining” (“5-minute Back Training”; German only). The length of time you train is not so important – what counts is frequency and continuity. Short, effective units help and make an impact after just a short time. The app’s back training starts with easy exercises that gradually increase in intensity from week to week. Various training videos explain how to do the exercises correctly. There are also extra videos containing information on how back pain arises and what you can do to counter it. You can track your progress as part of the training plan in your profile in the app.

If your back is restored to reasonable shape, you can head for the beach again and enjoy a wonderful sunbathe on the hot sand. That’s also supposed to be good for your back. But take care: If the UV level on the beach is too high, you might get sunburned. And, as we all know, sunburn is the main cause of skin damage and skin cancer. Sunbathers can avoid it with the right apps.

The UV checkers to prevent sunburn

The UVLens app shows the UV index at your location and offers a forecast for the current and next day. Taking into account various parameters, such as skin type, the app shows you how long you can enjoy soaking up the sun without the risk of getting sunburned. And if you forget to apply sunscreen while dozing under your sunshade, UVLens reminds you.

UVI Mate shows the UV index and the maximum time you can spend in the sun based on your parameters. The interesting feature of this app is that it also shows you the minimum length of time you need to replenish your vitamin D3 reserves. Like UVLens, the app also has an alert function to remind you to apply sunscreen again.

The UV Index Widget – Worldwide app comes in a clear and attractive design. It is a practical aid for checking the current radiation level from the sun (the UV Index), the highest UV index forecast for the current day, and the forecast UV index for the next 7 days anywhere on Earth. The app shows the current UV index at your location in a very intuitive way: If you tap and keep you finger on it, the peak UV value for that day is displayed right away. It also tells you when the sun rises and sets and at what time the UV index is at its highest.

Summer is the season for mosquitoes

It’s painful enough when you’re tossing and turning on your hotel bed at night due to sunburn and backache. But to cap your vacation and make it a true delight, there are the tiny annoying bloodsuckers that pester you at night: mosquitoes.

There are more than 3,600 different mosquito species worldwide. However, there are only 104 that are native to Europe. But that’s enough: Just one mosquito can really get on your nerves – and above all bite you. Of course, everyone takes various sprays with them on vacation to ward off the beasts, but once you’re on the end of a few bites and you start itching, then you need help and advice. There are apps to combat mosquitoes, but they don’t stop the brutes from biting. Bite healers, which relieve the after-effects of bites, are a better solution.

heat_it – the electronic bite healer

A company from Mannheim, Germany, has developed a highly innovative device that is also a certified medical product and helps relieve itching and swelling after a mosquito bite. The design of the product, which is “Made in Germany”, recalls a small USB stick, but the tiny device really shows what it can do when heated to 50°C. Its name says it all: heat_it uses the scientifically proven principle of hyperthermia. Insect bites are treated purely by local warming of the skin. The required duration of use and the treatment temperature can be adjusted to your individual skin sensitivity.

It’s incredibly easy to use: Simply connect heat_it to your smartphone and then hold the device to the place where you’re itching. The emitted heat ensures that fewer histamines, which trigger the itching, are released. In addition, the brief pain means that your brain hardly notices the itching. And the heat is said to decompose the toxic protein from mosquito saliva.

Distancing, hygiene and masking up – for a good holiday

Last but not least, we naturally need to follow the rules for distancing, hygiene and wearing masks on vacation.

It’s difficult to avoid coming into contact with other people when traveling. That means it’s all the more important to comply with the rules of conduct: Keep a distance away from others (at least 1.5 meters), heed hygiene rules (the right way to sneeze, cough and wash your hands) and – where there are crowds – wear everyday face masks.

The right smartphone for a carefree vacation

A battery that keeps going for an extremely long time is important if you use heat_it. “Made in Germany”, the Gigaset seal of approval, guarantees that, and with the Gigaset GX290 you’re ideally equipped for any vacation and to treat hundreds of mosquito bites. You can be reached anytime, anywhere – even when the next power socket is miles away – because the Gigaset GX290 is a real bundle of energy. This reliable helper offers a talk time of up to 24 hours and a standby time of 25 days – so you can always keep in touch on vacation, even from remote locations.

Mosquitoes don’t stand a chance. The GIGASET GX290 provides the bite healer heat_it with enough battery power.

Thanks to its metal frame and reinforced injection-molded, two-component TPU housing, the smartphone is water-proof and resilient to sand and mosquito bites.  The optimized display lets you see everything with complete transparency, even in direct sunlight or when it’s wet, while a battery with a long life and the powerful processor ensure absolute reliability even in harsh conditions. The exterior of the Gigaset GX290 boasts in particular an ergonomic design and a good grip – making it the ideal companion on vacation.

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