My Favorite Health and Wellness Tracking Tools
They say that knowledge is power and when it comes to wellness, I couldn't agree more. When asked for advice regarding wellness related issues like needing more movement, better nutrition, and more sleep, one of my first questions is usually "Have you ever tracked <insert wellness metric here>?"
Some people track their metrics daily, but if that seems overwhelming, or too much of a commitment to start off with, I encourage people to track for one week. Tracking is a great way to check in on your progress and goals. I use it as a wake-up call when I am not feeling my best. (Especially when it comes to food...a little bit o' this and a little bit o' that can add up fast!)
If you want to start using trackers to measure your goals, there are lots of different ways to go about it.
For those of you who prefer the good old fashioned pen and paper method, keeping a journal is a great way to track. Journals come in all different shapes and sizes and can be purchased at every price point.
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As much as I love writing things down, I also love the convenience that my mobile devices provide. Most people usually have their phone with them at all times (for better or for worse). These days, there are so many health related mobile apps (for both iOS and Android) that allow you to track almost anything.
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1. MyFitnessPal (available online and as an app)- MyFitness pal is a great way to track your food, nutrients, and exercise. A really great feature is the barcode scanner which uses the camera on your smartphone to "scan" barcodes and instantly search for the item. If someone else has already entered the item into MyFitnessPal, it will add all the appropriate nutrition information automatically. You can also add your own recipes and MFP will provide you with the nutrition content.
2. Way of Life (app)- This is a simple app where you can set goals for yourself (up to three in the free version) and track your progress each day.
3. The Five Minute Journal (app)- This is the digital version of the popular hard copy journal. This is a beautiful app which uses positive psychology and cultivating gratitude to make a difference in your day.
4. Habitica (available online and as an app)- This one is for my fellow geeks. Habitica is the app that evolved from HabitRPG and the developers really got it right this time. From their website- "Habitica is a free habit building and productivity app that treats your real life like a game. With in-game rewards and punishments to motivate you and a strong social network to inspire you, Habitica can help you achieve your goals to become healthy, hard-working, and happy." I am a huge fan of gamification (who doesn't like to make things more fun?) and I like the customization options that you get as you make progress on your goals. There is an active forum as well, so you can link up with like-minded users.