Do you think you’re healthy?
If you’re like us, we thought we were (somewhat) healthy, too—until we saw the Mayo Clinic’s definition of a healthy lifestyle. Their experts say that to be considered healthy, you need to:
- Exercise moderately or vigorously for at least 150 minutes a week
- Earn a diet score in the top 40% on the Healthy Eating Index
- Have a body fat percentage under 20% (for men) or 30% (for women)
- Not smoke
Whether you’re lagging on the exercise qualification, diet, or both (we’re guilty), we’ve found three notebooks that will help you get on track to achieve your health-related goals.
Keep Track of Workouts With A Fitness Journal
The first step to living a healthy lifestyle is getting out the door. Literally.
Exercise is pretty much a miracle drug. Exercise can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancer by up to 50%. It can even lower your risk of an early death by up to 30%.
How much exercise do you have to get to see these benefits? Just 150 minutes a week. That’s a little over 21 minutes a day. As long as you are “raising your heart rate, breathing faster, and feeling warmer,” you’re getting exercise. (So walking totally counts.)
Once you’ve decided how you’ll fit in those 150 minutes a week, the hard part is actually sticking to your plan, which is where the workout journal comes in.
One of these bad boys is small enough to stick into your sweatshirt pocket as you head out for a short walk around your neighborhood and durable enough to last if it gets knocked around your gym bag.
Whether you’ve decided to walk 5,000 steps a day or squat your body weight, keeping track of your exact progress in a fitness notebook will ensure you’re making gains—and not distracting yourself with the oh-so-tempting Facebook app that you open nearly every time you use your phone.
Certain workout journals have space for you to record sleep and nutrition, too, so you can see if carb-loading really does help your endurance or if that night you got nine hours of sleep really led to a PR the following day.
The best part of fitness journals? Flipping through previous pages to see how far you’ve come.
Feeling inspired to track calories or even take up Crossfit? Grab a health and fitness notebook today to help you achieve your goals.
Count Your Calories With A Daily Food Intake Journal
We all love to eat. Food—especially when there’s a lot of it—is delicious.
Unfortunately, eating less comes with some impressive benefits. According to the Molecular Aspects of Medicine medical journal, restricting caloric intake can lead to:
- Longer lives
- Higher levels of physical activity
- Lower rates of cancer
- Less age-related degeneration of the brain
- Improved reproductive performance
If you’re interested in these benefits (a longer life sounds pretty cool, for example), you’re simply going to have to start tracking what you eat.
After you determine what your daily calorie intake goal is, there’s no other way to know how many calories you have eaten in a day than to count them.
Happily, tools like daily food intake journals make it easy to track the foods you’re eating and how many calories they contain. Writing down your caloric counts instead of, say, typing them, is especially beneficial: the physical act of recording your calories helps you retain the information and will (hopefully) prevent you from overeating.
Light and small so you can take them out to dinner or to the mall (just in case a certain pretzel company catches your eye), these notepads make it easy to ensure you’re keeping an eye on your intake.
These food journals have plenty of room to record breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks—because even though you’re trying to watch what you eat, snacks are vital to any diet.
Keep Track Your Blood Sugar, Blood Pressure & Prescription Medication Intake With A Personal Medical Notebook
If you or your loved ones have to take prescription medication, it should be monitored very closely.
According to the American Journal of Nursing, recording our basic health data is “essential in identifying clinical deterioration...these parameters must be measured consistently and recorded accurately.”
Blood pressure, blood sugar, and your drug intake can give you the first warning that your health isn’t faring so well and that you need to go to the doctor—especially if you already suffer from any kind of health condition.
Even if you only record your vital signs twice a year when the nurse reads them out at the doctor’s office, you can still take that small amount of information to a new doctor if you ever move or change health insurance. (And get copies of your bloodwork while you’re at it.) Even with electronic records, it’s astonishing how little information jumps from state to state.
This kind of monitoring can seem like a real hassle, especially if you haven’t been able to keep track of these things regularly in the past.
But really, it’s not so hard once you establish a regular routine for recording your vital signs. Choose a personal medical notepad that is portable so you can stow it with your lancet, daily medicine tools, or in your purse as you head out for your yearly checkup.
Soon, tracking these vital parts of your health will be second nature.