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5 Scary Health Numbers You Should Know

Don’t be a statistic. Start tracking your habits today.

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Just by tracking one or more aspects of your health—from blood pressure to alcohol consumption—you’re on your way to being healthier. “When people log what they're eating, they eat better. When they track their movement, they tend to move more,” says Sharecare chief medical officer Keith Roach, MD.

Considering that at least 90 percent of cancer cases are attributable to lifestyle and environment factors, isn’t it time you started tracking? Use a wearable activity tracker, a smartphone app, a simple pedometer or online health trackers to avoid becoming one of the next scary statistics.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

Track Sleep to Boost Mood

2 / 5 Track Sleep to Boost Mood

Maybe tossing and turning at night and not your (spouse, job—you fill in the blank) is to blame for your grouchy moods. Research shows that roughly 45 percent of adults who sleep less than eight hours a night feel irritable or angry. Track how long and how well you sleep to learn if you’re really getting enough shuteye.

Related: Top Reasons to Track Your Sleep

Track Stress to Eat Better

3 / 5 Track Stress to Eat Better

Nearly 50 percent of stressed-out adults have bad eating habits, such as overeating or gobbling up junk food, according to the American Psychological Association. Tracking your stress gives you information about what sets you off—so you can do something about it instead of mindlessly heading to the freezer or vending machine.

Track Alcohol to Live Longer

4 / 5 Track Alcohol to Live Longer

Excessive consumption of alcohol accounts for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The grim statistic covers more than alcohol-related vehicle crashes. Deaths were also due to conditions caused by too much drinking over time, breast cancer, liver disease and heart disease. Track your alcohol intake—and limit yourself to one drink per day if you’re a woman, or two per day if you’re a man. Besides potentially saving your life, it can also lower your RealAge.

Related: Take the RealAge Test

Track Diet and Exercise, Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

5 / 5 Track Diet and Exercise, Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

About 347 million people worldwide have diabetes—more than the entire US population—and it’s largely due to too much weight and not enough activity. The good news: With diet and exercise (which tend to get better when you track them), you may be able to reverse your type 2 diabetes.

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