The Essential Guide to Health Tracking
Health, focus, and fitness can be significantly improved by tracking aspects like sleep, activity, and meals. The majority of common chronic diseases are rooted in poor health habits or lifestyle-related diseases. This is a modern phenomenon that emerged as we developed medicines for infectious diseases and ensured food abundance. Diseases such as heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory illnesses, and stroke account for almost 80% of all deaths in the U.S. These illnesses are 40% to 80% preventable with better health habits.
- Negative Health Habits: The majority of Americans do not meet the basic qualifications for a “healthy lifestyle.” The criteria include:
- Moderate or vigorous exercise for at least 150 minutes a week.
- A healthy diet.
- A body fat percentage under 20% for men or 30% for women.
- Not smoking.
- Health Tracking: By tracking our health, we can identify how our lifestyle choices directly impact our health. This creates a feedback loop that fosters rapid learning and adaptability.
- What Does Health Tracking Entail? Health tracking can range from monitoring sleep and heart rate to recording food intake. The primary intention is to understand the unique impact of individual health habits on one’s body.
- Benefits of Health Tracking: Continuous health tracking can help personalize health planning, catch irregularities early, optimize health habits, and determine what makes an individual feel healthier and more energetic.
- Health Tracking is a Lifelong Behavior: Just like in a job, consistent efforts and tracking can lead to better health, performance, and fitness. Health metrics keep us informed and proactive about our mind and body’s state.
- To Track or Not to Track: While health tracking provides valuable data, it can also become a source of anxiety for some. It’s essential to find a balance and not become overly fixated on numbers.
- How to Track Your Health:
- Step 1: Identify your goal.
- Step 2: Decide which metrics to track, such as heart rate, sleep, activity, nutrition, HRV, blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, and glucose.
- Step 3: Choose the best tools for you, including smartphones, wearables, devices, and health apps.
- Enhanced Health Tracking: Beyond basic tracking, individuals can log caffeine intake, mobile phone usage, food intake, workouts, and more.
- Managing the Data: Once you’ve started tracking, the data can be overwhelming. Platforms like Basis help aggregate this data, providing a comprehensive picture of your health and suggesting actionable habits.
Health tracking is not just about the tools; it’s about understanding how the data can lead to personal self-improvement. By collecting personal data and using tools to apply these insights, we can see our life in new patterns. Health is a dynamic state, constantly changing and modifiable. With real-time feedback and actionable planning, simple, informed decisions can be made daily to improve health and fitness.