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8 Health Habits You Should Track

Learn how tracking your daily activities can help boost your health.

Updated on December 7, 2023

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One of the best ways to embrace and establish a healthy lifestyle is to track your habits. When you keep tabs on your starting point and your subsequent steps, you can get a better sense of where habit change is working—or where you need to make adjustments.

Change takes time, and you usually don't see results overnight. But with a health tracker, you can see the benefits of taking brisk walks after dinner or resisting Friday happy hour. The more you see how well you're doing, the more likely you'll stick with it—which can make you healthier and lower your RealAge.

The best news: Tracking doesn't have to be hard, time-consuming, or expensive. Here are eight things you should consider tracking, plus easy ways to do it.

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Exercise

Taking a 20-minute walk every day can make your RealAge as much as 1.9 years younger if you're a woman and 1.2 years younger if you're a man. 

How to do it: Download the Sharecare app (available for iOS and Android) and start tracking your steps and fitness level today. You can sync the steps tracker to your wearable activity monitor or let the app track steps directly from your smartphone.

woman sleeping peacefully
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Sleep

Getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night—but not more than 9—can make your RealAge as much as 1.5 years younger if you're a woman and 0.9 years younger if you're a man.

How to do it: With the Sharecare app, you can log your bedtime and wake time each morning—plus grade your sleep quality—to measure your improvement. You can also purchase wearable devices that track your sleep features, including how long you sleep, how often you wake up, and if you tend to toss and turn.

older man measuring blood pressure
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Blood Pressure

Keeping your blood pressure below 120/80 mm HG can make your RealAge as much as 8.9 years younger if you're a man and 7.1 years younger if you're a woman.

How to do it: Whether you have a blood pressure monitor at home or you go to the pharmacy to get a reading, check your blood pressure regularly and enter your numbers into the Sharecare app to see trends over time. Be sure to keep your healthcare provider (HCP) posted about your blood pressure numbers.

young woman reading tablet
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Food and Calories

Eating a diverse diet that includes five servings of veggies a day can make your RealAge as much as 6.1 years younger if you're a woman and 4.4 years younger if you're a man.

How to do it: Many apps make it easy to track your meals, drinks, and snacks and tally up the calories, carbohydrates, fat, and other nutritional info. Some apps also let you scan barcodes from packaged foods. The Sharecare app enables you to track the quality of your diet and even take photos of your food to help you log more accurately.

And don’t forget alcohol: The Sharecare app lets you track your alcohol intake to help you stay below the recommended limit of one drink per day for women and two per day for men.

two overweight young women, a Black woman and a white woman, chat amiably as they exercise by walking up stairs holding light dumbbells
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Weight and BMI

Maintaining a healthy weight and body mass index (BMI) can make your RealAge as much as 3 years younger. 

How to do it: Step on a "smart scale" and your weight number gets sent to an app or website via your smartphone's Bluetooth connection or your home WiFi. Some scales also measure your heart rate and BMI. With your weight data and goals logged into the Sharecare app, you can stay on track.

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Chronic Pain

Staying mindful about your health can make your RealAge as much as 7 years younger.

How to do it: Keep a detailed record of your pain and other symptoms by journaling about your pain intensity, description, location, and duration, as well as possible triggers and any medication you took. Share the notes with your HCP and loved ones so they can better understand your condition and needs.

young woman looking out of window
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Stress

Taking care of your emotional health and well-being can make your RealAge up to 1 year younger.

How to do it: Track how often your feel stressed at home or work using the Sharecare app. If stress is a persistent concern, it may help to record more details in a journal. For each instance of stress, note where you were, the people or situations that affected your mood (such as coworkers or neighbors), any medication you took, and any therapies you tried (such as meditation). Those details can help you make more sense of your triggers and provide important talking points should you choose to reach out to an HCP or mental health professional for help.

young woman writing notes
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Personal Goals

Tracking personal goals is fun and is one of the best ways to turn ideas and motivation into effective habit change. When you take the RealAge Test through the Sharecare app, you can see how your goals correlate with your customized RealAge recommendations. That might mean getting more exercise, improving your diet, or taking steps to reduce stress.

How to do it: Set up and commit to your customized goals. Then, log your activity and numbers each time and get the positive encouragement you need to keep going.

Slideshow sources open slideshow sources

Hobbs WR, Fowler JH. Prediction of mortality using on-line, self-reported health data: empirical test of the RealAge score. PLoS One. 2014;9(1):e86385. Published 2014 Jan 17.

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