Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Organizing your Health

Being healthy is something that is very important to me. I maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious, local, homemade and (mostly) non-processed foods; regularly exercising; seeing my doctor on a regular basis and keeping track of my health and well-being. Organizing my health, if you will, has been something that has really stuck with me and made a big impact on my well-being.

I keep track of a lot of things throughout the day, with regard to food and exercise. I've got this great little tracker where I write down my weight, everything I eat and drink, how I feel that day and what exercise I get. I think that by keeping track of all of this really makes me think about what I'm doing. I want to write down the good choices I make when it comes to my meals, but I certainly don't want to write that I licked the brownie batter bowl - but I write it down anyway. My health tracker is kept in a file folder that I can take around with me to work and also have at home. On the outside of the file folder lists my health goals - some are for fitness, some are for food, some are for overall well-being and some are for maintaining a healthy weight. Did you know there is a convenient application for iPhones where you can keep track of all of this? No excuses now!

In conjunction with my health tracker I use a workout chart that helps keep me motivated to get to the gym, do Pilates or go out for a run or do something active. I create a chart that I can hang up on the bathroom mirror or on the fridge and have one column for each week and one column for the number of days I am striving to exercise. I can make a check or give myself a gold star every time I work out. I love to see the progress I make with charts like this and see how well I am sticking with my fitness goals - even though I completely realize that they're a little bit nerdy.

For those of you on a weight loss kick creating your own goal chart is a great way to keep motivated and see your progress as you move forward and drop pounds. What I love most about these health trackers is being able to refer back to earlier dates and see what I ate and how much I exercised and how much I weighed and then looking at today's entry and seeing the positive improvements. I also think that keeping track of such things is a great way to maintain and achieve goals and is a way to be held accountable for living a healthy lifestyle.

Another element that I feel is vitally important is keeping track of your medical records. I actually haven't done this for myself yet, but I recently had all of my records sent to my new clinic and am hopeful that I can obtain a copy. My goal with maintaining my medical records is to create a file and store any important lab results, immunization records, hospitalizations, records of my normal blood pressure and any abnormal medical history. I think it is very helpful to know your medical history and be able to regularly access and refer to it. This is especially important if you have an ongoing disease or chronic condition that you are dealing with, not to mention if you go to battle with your insurance company over a medical claim or procedure. Going back to my daily health tracker, I think it is important to take note on how you are feeling everyday and if you notice any changes in your health, etc., because then you have a record to fall back on in case you fall ill and need to relay your progressing symptoms to your physician.

Keeping track of what you eat, how you feel, your day's worth of exercise and your weight should really reinforce your personal goals. This should help to keep you on track and monitoring your progress. I hope it works as well for you as it does for me!

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