Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Just For the Health of It...

For those of you whose New Year’s resolutions to get healthy are flagging…a program I’ve found most helpful is Prevention’s “My Health Trackers”. It’s free; you just need to sign up and input some basic information about yourself and your base activity level, and then you can track your daily calorie and nutrition intake, activity level, weight, mood – you can even develop your own charts for measurements of special interest to you, like your daily hours of sleep or blood pressures.

A caveat that this is not a program for persons with an OCD-ish need for precisions – the food database, for instance, is not comprehensive and is frustratingly user-unfriendly in general, so expect to deal in equivalencies and outright guesstimates at times. And you’ll have to give yourself about 10 or 15 minutes a day total to do your reporting. But if you can benefit from the discipline of keeping a food journal – and I’ve found this to be one of the few positive motivators for me to watch what I eat – and make a deal with yourself to be scrupulously honest and somewhat skeptical of your own virtue in eating and exercising – it’s kind of cool to see your habits and progress rendered graphically over time.

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