Let me begin by telling you a bit about myself. I am a Canadian CPA, CA, have an MBA from the Kellogg-HKUST program, and am a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors and for the past several months, I have been working as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Zamplo. I am also a certified personal trainer, and am passionate about mental health advocacy and health optimization.
After a false start using Zamplo three months ago, when I struggled to stay engaged and regularly use the app, I took it upon myself to try again and find a journaling routine I knew I would stick to. I am trying to work on my chronic lower back pain.
I talked to Dr. Gord McMorland at National Spine Care and Sports Medicine in Calgary about ways in which I can use Zamplo to track and monitor my symptoms and activities.
Gord’s advice was to: focus on the main problem(s) you are trying to address, start simple until you are using Zamplo consistently, and only then consider adding more complexity. My main problem is engagement. After more than 40 years of lower back pain I know what I need to do (stretching and core strengthening exercises) but I don’t consistently do it.
So here is how I am using Zamplo to create habits and take control of my health journey:
Symptom: Lower Back Pain
Back Stretching Routine (5 min)
Core Strengthening Exercises (15 min)
My goal is to do yoga or back stretching every day, and the core strengthening exercises at least 3 times per week. The first time I used Zamplo, I tried setting up separate morning and evening routines, but found my schedule wasn’t consistent enough to make that work. So now I have a morning routine where I only record my perceived lower back pain when I wake up. Then I record my yoga, stretching and/or core exercises using the "taken” feature on the dashboard, that allows me to quickly record my activities. So far, I am hitting my activity targets and this new routine has made the tracking process more streamlined and efficient.
In summary, to start using Zamplo I suggest:
1) Identify the main problem(s) you are trying to address and
2) keep your daily entries as simple and easy as possible until you get into a consistent routine.
Zamplo is amazingly powerful, and the sky is the limit with what data you can track, record, and monitor. I hope my advice helps you create a Zamplo routine that you can stick to and helps keep you accountable to monitor your health journey.
Tracking your main health concern(s) using Zamplo will allow you to objectively determine if they improve or worsen over time, which is important to share with your health care practitioners. Moreover, creating daily entries that track your current treatments will allow you to assess the changes these therapies have on your health and determine which ones work best for you.
I am also going to make use of the report generation feature on the app, which can summarize my symptoms, exercise activities and therapies, health data and questions into a succinct document that I can share with Gord the next time I see him.
I will report back on my progress in a few months.
Please feel free to share your own experiences in the comments below.