How to keep a health journal

Good habits make a good life. And keeping a health journal is one good habit that has myriad benefits and should be at least tried by everyone once. Contrary to what most people think, a health journal is not something that only people with chronic conditions or diseases keep. Health journaling is an amazing self-care tool. Even if you’re a healthy person, you may want to inculcate the habit of keeping a health journal and reaping its multitude of benefits.

Inspired to know more? Keep reading!

What is a Health Journal?

A health journal or health diary is a record of your health. There are many angles from which one can look at a health journal. It can include a history of symptoms or illnesses, your medical records, a list of medications you take, a track of your doctor visits, a record of triggers for physical and mental conditions, your food diary, your body vitals, your vitamin profiles, workout progress, or anything else you might think is essential to track. It is the best way to keep track of relevant information about your health and wellness.

Your health journal can be a place to keep a systematic and objective collection of your work towards your health goals. It can include images, lists, numbers, thoughts, and feelings.

Benefits of keeping a Health Journal

The various colossal benefits of keeping a health journal may include the following.

  • It is an effective way of keeping track of your health. A health journal can be a book of detailed information for your doctor to understand your condition when you’re unwell.
  • It can prepare you for or help you dodge any health crisis that may arise in the future.
  • It allows a systematic structure for you to look back on your records and make important discoveries.
  • It allows you to track if certain medications or lifestyle changes have worked for you or not.
  • It can help you track if you’re giving your body adequate nutrition.
  • It can allow you to notice your patterns which can be easy to miss otherwise.
  • It can offer you a comprehensive view of your efforts towards improving your health and can provide a healthy space to reflect on your health.
  • If you have a fitness or diet goal in mind, it can help you identify loopholes or triggers that may cause you to fall off the wagon.
  • It is a place where you can privately record your opinions about your health and how you’re feeling so that you can be brutally honest with yourself.
  • It lets you take control of your healthcare.

How to keep a Health Journal ?

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you start with health journaling.

  • Write down your basic health information: Start by jotting down your basic health information such as your birth date, height, body weight, your blood type, any allergies you may have, any treatment or past surgeries, any past or present medications, etc.
  • Family’s medical history: Write down your family’s medical history. If there is a history of heart diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, mental disorders, or any other physical or mental health complications, it should be noted down in your health journal.
  • Keep track of your medical appointments: Record details about your doctor appointments and discussions with your doctors. Also, write down about any prescribed medications as well as any positive or negative reactions that you may have had to the medication or treatment.
  • Record your diet: Make a simple list of all the food that you eat every day. If you’d like, you can also go into details about the quantity of food, and the time you ate them.
  • Record your vitamins and supplements: Write down your vitamin levels and any supplements that you may be taking. Record the days you forgot to take your regularly scheduled supplements.
  • Record your sleep: You can record the time you went to sleep and the time you woke up as well as the quality of your sleep and if you feel rested or not.
  • Record your workouts: You may want to record details about your workouts to track your progress. Also, note any other physical activities that you indulged in.
  • Record symptoms: If you feel any symptoms such as pain, fatigue, allergies, skin changes or reactions, mood changes, bad digestion, etc. recording and tracking them is a good idea to find out the root causes or reflect upon your patterns.

If you have never journaled before, I would urge you to give this very valuable habit an honest try. Try journaling for a few weeks and see how you like it. Chances are you might be amazed what this simple habit can unfold.

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