Think Technic - Mood Tracker Apps
Every Fitness App And Wearable Should Have A Mood Tracker
Along with its many other benefits, regular workouts contribute to better
moods and energy levels. As a result, I am constantly surprised to see how
many fitness tracking apps and wearable devices lack a mood tracking
My interest in this is personal. When I was teenager, I was diagnosed with
major depressive disorder. Since then, I’ve had recurrent episodes, including
a couple that were severe enough for me to be hospitalized. –
Over the last two decades, I’ve tried a wide range of treatment regimens. Some
included therapy, others included medication, and most included a combination of
both. My doctors rarely recommended regular workouts, however, even though there
have been a multitude of studies showing its effectiveness for alleviating the symptoms
of mood disorders, including depression and anxiety, since 1981.
Finally, about two years before my 30th birthday, one of my doctors told me that if he
could, he would make regular exercise a requirement before agreeing to work with a
patient, because he believed so strongly in its effectiveness. That struck a chord and
since then I’ve tried to keep up a workout routine, even when I’m struggling with a
depressive episode. Some days all I can do is walk around the block, but that’s better
than staying in bed all day.
To be sure, several of the most popular fitness tracking products, such as the Jawbone
Up series, Nike Fuelband, and Fitbit, do have basic mood trackers. There are also
several mood tracking apps available, including OptimizeMe (it can integrate with
Move, which does not have its own mood tracker), Lift, and the T2 Mood Tracker, that
help you find correlations between your workout frequency and mood.
Not just the best-selling ones
believe, however, that mood tracking should be seen as a basic option for every fitness
tracking tech product, not just the best-selling ones. Furthermore, mood-tracking features
should move beyond the rudimentary emoticon or number-based scale that most use.
If you are coping with depression, anxiety, or another mental illness, it can be hard to muster
the motivation to exercise, even if workouts were once a part of your daily routine.
But just as regular exercise helps prevent heart disease, obesity, and a host of other
ailments, it can also ease the symptoms of anxiety and depression. The Mayo Clinic suggests
that people workout 30 minutes day three to five times a week, but even just 10 to 15
minutes of exercise at a time can make a positive impact by encouraging the release of
neurotransmitters and endorphins. Making exercise into a habit also helps people gain
confidence as they meet daily goals and distract from negative thoughts.
Furthermore, a followup to a 1999 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found
that exercise’s positive effects lasted longer than antidepressants.