What Health Tracking Is and Why We Need It

A health tracker can be the difference between an uphill battle for a healthy lifestyle and successfully hitting your health goals.

On a scale of completely off-track to nearly perfect, how happy are you with your current healthy lifestyle regimen? Are you constantly trying to make up for a disastrous weekend of overeating and being a couch potato? Or are you a master of calories and royalty at the gym? Chances are, you’re like most people and are somewhere in the middle. Let’s tip the scales to nearly perfect and explore what health tracking is and why we need it.

What Is a Health Tracker?

A health tracker is an electronic application used to record and manage healthy living statistics and measure progress, but what does it really mean? A health tracker is a way to take all your data and put it together to form a meaningful picture of your overall lifestyle, be it healthy or not so. It also makes these numbers actionable so that they deliver real meaning to our lives, rather than just a set of random numbers. Too often we track our activity and meals but don’t turn that data into healthy lifestyle decisions in ways that really matter.

Why Should I Use One?

Tracking your health and fitness is a crucial part of a healthy, active lifestyle. It helps you to measure your progress by gauging the success of your workout regime and meal planning, so you can focus on the methods that work best for you. There are a number of great reasons why you should use one.

Behavior Change

One study by the National Institute of Health found a direct link with behavioral changes in sedentary adults and fitness technology. Heath trackers and smartphone apps offer behavior-change techniques like goal setting, instant feedback and rewards, and social factors like community sharing of success stories that can result in weight loss and more health benefits.

Boost Motivation

Your health tracker app can boost your motivation while you form sustainable, healthy lifelong habits. A health tracker app tells you what you’re doing right and when to give yourself a pat on the back.

Take Control of Your Health

Seven out of 10 adults in America are living with at least one chronic condition, like high blood pressure. Clinical research shows that health tracking apps are a low-cost, effective way for people to participate in their health care. Forty-eight percent of people surveyed said that using a health tracker prompted them to ask their doctor more questions or even seek a second option.

Balance Your Nutrition

Tracking your daily food intake gives you insight into many aspects of your eating habits. When you precisely and accurately record this information in your health tracker, you may see that you are missing enough of a particular food group, like whole grains, or a macronutrient like protein. Each macronutrient, be it carbohydrates, fats, or proteins, provides our bodies with critical nutrients for maintaining optimal health, so choose nutrient-dense foods from all food groups. Use a macro calculator app if you want to be sure you’re making good decisions.

A health tracker’s figures make it easier to understand how healthy lifestyle choices affect the way you look and feel, so you can make more informed decisions and design a new course of action if your current plan isn’t working for you.

All of the content and media on Lifesum is created and published for information purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Users should always consult with a doctor or other health care professional for medical advice. If you have or think you are at risk of developing an eating disorder, do not use the Lifesum app and seek immediate medical help.