Keep Track of Your Fitness Progress – Is it Even Necessary?
If you are like many fitness devotee, you will agree with me that sometimes you struggle to stay motivated, lose weight, exercise and stay fit all year round. Learn this simple secret and I guarantee it will help boost your motivation to exercise and stay fit all year round.
Deciding on losing some pounds is great. What about visiting the gym?
Sure! Visiting the gym or going out for a walk is great as well. So what do you have to say about eating healthy foods?
Well, I would say it's one of the most important elements in your weight loss journey. Knowing what to eat and trying to eat healthy food is also great.
However, combining all three and keep track of them is even greater. Yeah, because I think that's how you can easily stay motivated all year round.
Hmm……. Is that the secret to stay motivated all year round?
Well, it's not an easy question to answer.
But you will probally agree with me that other people have managed to stay motivated, lose weight and exercise all year round.
How do they manage to do it? Do they know some fitness secret that you don’t?
Sure, they do! And I’m one of those people 🙂
So, today I'm going to share with you my preferred fitness strategy of all time.
And that is….
Yes, I am going to show you the importance of keeping track of your fitness progress and how it can help you stay motivated all year round.
It’s important to track your fitness progress because:
It gives you a meaning or a feel for what your exercise and diets are in reality doing to your body.
It gives you more motivations because the little progress every day adds up to your success
It helps track your achievements as well as your awareness of what does and doesn't work
Why Should You Journal Your Fitness Journey
For the past one year, I have been writing about my fitness activities almost everyday and trust me the benefits are profound. It's really a helpful and one of the most fulfilling experience in my life. Because it actually gives me the opportunity to understand my eating habits but also allow me to slow down and reflect on life, especially in relation to my health and fitness goals.
I understand that most people will agree with me that they should journal their fitness activities, but trust me very few of us have taken up the practice, and some even if they do, they usually stop within a few months. But I believe it doesn't need to be like this, particularly when you find out about the startling advantages of journaling.
So, Whether you're trying to add a weight, change your eating habits, doing exercise, or trying to burn fat, one thing is surely needed from you for you to stay motivated and achieve your set goals. And that thing is for you to keep track of your fitness progress. Otherwise, it's easy for you to lose courage and fall off the race within the very first few months.
So, if you're not already keeping track of your fitness progress, here are some thoughtful reasons you need to change your mindset toward that now!
1. It Gives You More Motivations – A Little Progress Everyday Adds Up to Success
By human nature, we are always tempted to do little of whatever we have agreed to do and then take a break or at least relax for longer periods. This is where we normally lose our focus and become dispirited. The same applies to work out or trying to be in shape. After a hard push for shorter periods, we most times tend to relax from regular exercise or stay disciplined with regards to the food we eat.
Maybe, it could be as a result of not getting the expected outcome of our initial effort. Yes, we sometimes try to give up easily because the results are coming too slow. This is normal, it’s always easy to follow the directive of our nature telling us the results are not coming. So without being aware of your accomplishment, it’s usually difficult to stay disciplined. And as a result, we'd just relax from pursuing our goals altogether.
However, by monitoring your fitness progress, you can easily overcome such dictate from your nature. In addition, seeking the assistance of a friend or family member as an accountability partner is vital here. Adopting this approach could easily allow you to see your accomplishment, and also the areas you need to improve. This has helped me overcome regular discouragement and concentrate my effort on the areas I need to up my game. Believe it or not, this will take your fitness journey a long way by inspiring you to push harder towards your set goals.
2. It Helps Track Your Achievements As Well As Your Awareness of What Does and Doesn't Work
Life, in general, is always full of ups and down. Every successful story you heard out there has its own struggles. But in the face of societal pressure, we are always content to share our success and see our struggles as an embarrassment. But I believe it shouldn’t be like this, instead, I would suggest you track your failures as well.
Leave it or take, it’s always a smart idea to monitor your successes and struggles along the way. Tracking and taking notes of your weekly endeavours or even giving yourself a score out 10 can be a truly straightforward approach to keep your inspiration up. I have applied this technique in all aspect of life, and the results are amazingly beautiful. So if you’re going to take one thing from this post, I would suggest you integrate this into your daily life.
One benefit of adopting this approach is that it allows you to spend time reflecting on your successes as well as struggles throughout your journey (fitness, weight loss, etc.). In addition, it is a truly a powerful way to stay attentive and be aware of what does and doesn't work. I find keeping track of my fitness journey or any of my goals very important, and I assume it’s the same for you.
In addition to the benefit of being attentive and aware of what does and doesn't work. Tracking your progress also gives you the relevant signals to either stay on a particular fitness program or try another approach. Because the results or feedback you get from your accountability partner or by simply looking at your fitness journal don’t lie.
For instance, if you’ve set a given deadline to achieve a certain fitness goal, you will need a data to help you assess how far you’ve gone. Let’s say you noticed you’re already half way through the program and the result are not coming, at least you have to question why and take a look at what is not working. But if you’re not keeping track of your progress, then you’ll have no data to analyse. As a result, you’ll keep making blind decisions and of course, the result will always be the same. So, to avoid such, I highly recommend you start making notes of your fitness progress.
Again, if we can’t manage the confusion of whether we have progressed or not, we simply help ourselves by quitting or simply put “I’m going to take a break and figure out why it’s not working”. In most situations, such breaks last forever. So, please keep track of your fitness progress to avoid such pitfalls.
What Should A Typical Fitness Journal Contain?
There is no single correct answer to this, as it all depends on what aspect of your health and /or fitness you want to track. I normally say to myself that my fitness journal is all about me.
However, some of the questions you might need to answer could be; what is your fitness journal tracking? Do you think you’re getting it right at all? What did you include and what is missing that need to be added? It all depends on your need and the areas you want to improve.
Nonetheless, to make the process a lot easier for you, I have listed down the most basic and /or common elements I think your fitness journal should be tracking:
- Check MyFitnessPal, it’s an easy and free way to monitor your food and calories
In addition to these, you can add elements like Exercise Pattern, Emotions, Distractions, and Decline in activity level in your fitness journal.
So let’s say your main target is to lose weight, then it’ll be very important for you to start tracking your fat and weight, but also to know if you’re making progress. It could either be on a daily or weekly basis, but the most important thing is for you to weigh yourself and regularly measure your body composition to track your progress.
By this I mean you should weigh yourself regularly on a scale and also try to measure your body parts. This could be your hip, belly, waist, arms, thighs and so on. The value of this process is that it will give you a meaning or a feel for what your exercise and diets are in reality doing to your body.
Interpreting Your Results
An important point to understand is how you going to interpret the result from the scale or other measurement devices.
For instance, if you’re working to improve your strength, then it could be that you’ve done lots of weight lifting and in the process, you will lose fat fast but also gain muscle. In this situation, the reading on the scale could be the same or even increases. But that doesn’t mean you’re not progressing, of course, you’re. You’ve just gained muscle! That’s all.
On the other hand, you could lose fat and muscles if you’ve embarked on cardio workouts, thus the reading on the scale will go down. So, it’s important to understand the meaning you attached to the results and also try to measure multiple parts of your body.
Use of Wearable Fitness Trackers
Another important element worth mentioning in this post is the use of Fitness Gadgets, especially our phones and wearable fitness trackers to monitor our progress. If you enjoy running, walking or doing cardio, then I would suggest you buy a wearable tracker to monitor your workouts. Some of them are really effective and could help push you to your limits during most physical exercises. Most fitness trackers these days will track your steps as well as the number of calories you burn on a daily basis. So, you could easily transfer the data into your journal.
So, Before You Go Let’s Have a Recap
A typical fitness journal should include the following:
Progress photos of you throughout your fitness journey
Measurement / readings of your body composition
Readings of your body fat percentage
Records of the food you eat
Record of your daily calories – check MyFitnessPal
Records of your exercises or workouts
I hope this article helps and if you find it interesting, you're always welcome to share it, leave a comment or suggest new blog content.
Peace and Blessings!