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Health & Wellness Articles  ›  Healthy Lifestyles

4 Easy Ways to Assess Your Well-Being

Wellness Measures You Can Track on SparkPeople

-- By Jen Mueller, Certified Personal Trainer
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You're committed to a healthy lifestyle. You hit the gym every day when they open their doors, ditch soda for water, and brought healthy fruits and vegetables back to the center of your plate. Then you step on the scale, only to find that you haven't lost a single pound after all your hard work. Is it even worth it?

Of course, the answer is yes. Although weight loss can take time, there are other changes happening in your body—and mind—that you can't ignore. After just a few days of sticking with your healthy lifestyle plan, you might start to notice a difference in your energy level, stress level, quality of sleep and overall feelings about yourself. By tracking your progress in these areas, you can stay motivated and learn to appreciate all the little improvements you are seeing, regardless of what the scale tells you.

Taking a daily stock of your energy level, stress level, sleep quality and self-esteem is important for everyone who is trying to live a healthier life. It will help you notice trends and patterns (you tend to eat more on high-stress days or sleep better when you exercise in the morning) so that you can tweak your plan for optimal results. And it can help you appreciate the small achievements—like feeling more confident when you exercise regularly. That's why we recommend recording these wellness measurements on a daily basis. Here are some tips for assessing your daily wellness in each of these four areas.

Energy Level
On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the highest), how is your energy level today? Do you feel full of vigor and ready to tackle the challenges of the day (5), as if you can barely drag yourself out of bed (1) or somewhere in between?

Many factors can affect your energy: how much you slept the night before, how stressed you are, whether you're exercising too much or too little (both of which can zap energy), and the quality of your diet (too many sweets and not enough nutrient-rich foods can both be culprits). Serious health conditions like depression or anemia can also affect your energy levels, so talk to your doctor if you notice a long-term trend of tiredness.

Stress Level
On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the highest), how would you rate your stress level today? Do you feel like you're about to bite someone's head off (5), like everything just rolls off your back (1) or something in the middle?
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About The Author

Jen Mueller Jen Mueller
Jen received her master's degree in health promotion and education from the University of Cincinnati. A mom and avid marathon runner, she is a certified personal trainer, certified health coach and advanced health & fitness specialist. See all of Jen's articles.

Member Comments

  • JCOOPER47
    I am trying to get to 124 lbs. where I should be at 5'2". I started at 148 and I went to 143 now I am up to 146. I try to exercise everyday and eat right. I have so many stomach issues that most food makes me sick so I don't always eat the allotted calories. I am so discouraged. - 7/14/2014 10:51:17 AM
  • ANADSEWIL
    DebbieFou - Don't be down on yourself! You lost 28 lbs! Have you ever picked up 28 lbs.? It's definitely noticeable! Keep it up! You can do it! - 6/24/2014 2:52:22 AM
  • DEBBIEFOU
    On November 2013 I my doctor recommended the Bariatric surgery. I am well over 100 pounds over my recommended weight. I went up for the review. I went to the nurses pre op in February and in May 5 I was up for blood test and appointments with a medicinal internist, a psychiatrist, a Dietitian and a Behavioral nurse. At the beginning I had the support of my family after all this now they are changing there mind. Anyway I am trying to follow the rules and steps for diet. (they want to make sure you will be able to follow the rules for after the surgery). The first week I lost 10 lbs. This week I only lost 1 which really makes me feel very discourage. I have to go back in August to show them how I am doing. My family is hoping I will be able to loose the weight before the surgery so I won't go through with it. I so want to get off so many medication. I have high blood pressure, i'm a type 2 diabetic , I have a whole slew of medical issues along with Fibromyalica . At the beginning I started at 240 lbs back in November at my appointment in May I was at 212lbs now I set at 202lbs. My goal is 140lbs even though I should be at 110 lbs for my small bone frame and 5'1" height . I feel that since I just turned 60 yrs of age i will be happy at 140 don't want to look to old . But I am really down on my self - 5/18/2014 9:04:36 AM
  • AUNTIEALAMT
    I weigh 193 pounds. I need to follow doctor's orders to lose 20 pounds but have tremendous limitations because of serious surgery and I don't know where to begin. However, I will begin walking on the treadmill. - 5/3/2014 4:06:41 PM
  • Don't Quit. You just keep doing your best...change things up a bit if you have to,..but never ever quit, Rome was not built in day. We need to remember there are no quick fixes. You can till get to your target goal soon enough. Stay Strong. - 4/10/2014 4:44:44 AM
  • GRAMMARIA3
    I'm discouraged
    I've been logging in been working out and staying on track with calories. Since Jan 15 and i weighed in heavier today! I was down to 145 now I'm back to 150
    I'm not going to meet my goal of 135 by march 15.
    What to do? - 3/3/2014 9:08:18 AM
  • RHAN0435
    I think Sparkpeople is wonderful. I followed another weightloss website for a couple of
    years, this is far better, more comprehensive and it is free. I have told a lot of my friends. - 1/12/2014 4:39:26 PM
  • Relieving cramps: when I mentioned to my doctor that I was sporadically getting cramps at night, she recommended that I take magnesium at night right before I go to bed. Some recommend taking potassium, but she said my potassium level was good. Now that I take magnesium each night, I rarely have nighttime cramps. I would suggest that you talk to your doctor to see if you need one or both of the supplements.

    Maybe 1 hr of using the gazelle in the evening is too much; perhaps a shorter workout would keep you from getting cramps. - 10/26/2013 11:41:34 PM
  • I thought I had commented on this article before but I would like to say I find it frustrating to use the scale as I seem to vary a great deal for whatever reason. I know that for me a more accurate way of gauging any progress is by how clothes fit and also by how well I am able to perform tasks at work and at home. - 10/24/2013 8:48:52 PM
  • HTOWNDEB
    I actually just saw the video with Brendan Blazier here about the Mango energy treats and went right on to Amazon and ordered two of his "Thrive" books. I like the fact he explains what each ingredient does for you. On another note, I have been getting on my "Gazelle" and working it for 1 hour each night but last night my calves were cramping up so bad...does anyone have any suggestions on what might help that so it doesn't keep waking me up through the night??? Arrgghhh!!! - 10/24/2013 4:03:37 PM
  • VELVA04
    I just started this a couple of days ago and love all the tips and recipes. Hope this will help me with healthier choices. - 8/12/2013 4:10:07 PM
  • Hi- my 1st time here and info is overwhelming. I am hoping to catch on through other's comments and look forward to new trials. Lots of great info already. - 7/11/2013 9:52:38 PM
  • Great article. I don't get on the scale because I just put on something to wear snd that let me know I have lost. - 5/17/2013 5:32:38 PM
  • Just started the Challenge today :) I am stresse due to changing jobs after 10 years and being "NEW" all over again....Even though I know my job duties and can perform them well...its a different hospital, different people, and different doctors to learn. I am taking a deep breathe as I write this! I CAN DO IT! Whew...I feel better ! - 4/2/2013 1:25:25 PM
  • KILKENNYCAT
    just started the challang on sunday. try to stick to the same bed time. have no trouble falling asleep i put my ipod on so i don't have to listen to ourside noises, teenagers and hubby asleep in about 10 minutes but come 2.30 eyes pop wide open. would love to be that awake at 7 when i have to get up - 3/29/2013 8:17:36 PM