Wellbody Blog

At Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness, we understand there's only one thing harder than making healthy behavior changes: Sticking to them! We all need a little help from our friends, and that's the purpose of the Wellbody Blog, a friendly online gathering spot--a community well--where you can dip into health news; wellness tips; recipes; latest research about nutrition, exercise, sleep and hygiene; plus, real stories from virtual neighbors who are also trying to change their lives for the better. Start from wherever you are; share ideas, information, inspiration. At Pacific Science Center, we believe each of us can do something everyday to improve our health and well-being.

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cheesecake200Whether you’re trying to eat healthier or get more shut-eye, science supports the importance of engaging friends and family in behavior change. Recent research shows human social networks have a vital influence on phenomena as diverse as obesity, smoking, emotion, altruism and happiness.

Here’s a fascinating TEDTalk by Dr. Nicholas Christakis of Yale University about how traits can spread from person to person and how your location in a social network might impact your life in ways you don’t realize.

Keep reading to learn about the science of temptation and social networking. Plus, check out free apps that use social networking to help you stay on track with healthy goals.

HabitAppTrying to walk 30 minutes daily? Sleep 7+ hours nightly? Meditate? There’s an app for that!

If you’ve embarked on the journey to a healthier you (and who doesn’t want to upgrade life?), you may have already made a S.M.A.R.T goal that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.

But how to keep with it after the initial enthusiasm wears off? 

For some people, sticking stars on a paper chart – or using an app that’s the digital equivalent – is helpful for motivation and tracking progress. Though the greater goal may be to avoid cancer, diabetes and stroke, the daily satisfaction of giving yourself a star sticker or digital click may be just what you need to get your new habit rolling.

Keep reading for a short list of free habit-tracking apps plus instructions (and .pdf printouts) for good, old-fashioned star charts favored by kids and those who prefer paper.

Please share tips, your favorite habit apps and your progress with us by commenting or emailing professorwellbody@pacsci.org. In thanks for your contribution, we’ll hold a drawing to give away a pair of passes to Wellbody Academy and our other regular exhibits.