Self-track Your Life: Change Your Future
Self tracking, or “personal informatics”, is a growing trend of keeping a log of data surrounding the events in your life, and the avenues are expansive. From monitoring weight, heart rate, and blood pressure, to geo-tracking using GPS receivers, to genome profiling and Internet meetup groups, there are a wide variety of people and interests involved in this new fad.
Tracking your daily activities has become easier than ever with automated tools, mobile connectivity, and the online community. Mechanical and electrical devices such as pedometers have scaled down in size and cost, removing much of the associated hindrance involved in using them as a daily habit.
Self-tracking doesn’t have to be complicated at all. Wearing a pedometer is a simple way to track the number of footsteps you take each day. You can start as easily as putting it on when you wake up and get dressed and taking it off at night before bedtime. Record your daily steps in a log or notebook. By the end of the week you will know your average daily steps. You might be surprised how many (or how few) steps you get in each day.
There are a number of emerging companies getting involved in the movement. Take DailyBurn for example. You can download their 99 cent iPhone app for scanning bar code labels on everything you buy at the grocery store, taking the burden of tracking your caloric intake a breeze. FitBit has a device similar to a wrist watch that keeps track of your exercise and sleep habits in one.
I have a hard enough time tracking my fitness routine at the gym, so anything that takes the manual labor out of tracking my statistics is a plus to me.
HealthyWage takes things a step farther and claims to pay you to lose weight. If that’s not an incentive to track some metrics, I don’t know what is.
Other self-tracking related sites: