How to Monitor Your Fitness Progress
You’ve started your fitness journey, but how do you know if what you’re doing is even working? Monitoring your progress will ensure you’re actively working towards your goals and help give you peace of mind. The journey will be easier if you know your hard work’s heading you in the right direction: towards a fit, healthy body. Read on for some of the best ways you can monitor your fitness progress.
The most obvious way of measuring your weight loss is the bathroom scale. It can be a great tool, but it doesn’t always present an accurate picture. The number may sometimes stay put or even go up — even if you’re doing everything right. Why? Many people gain muscle and become stronger while they lose fat. Therefore, you’re best using the scale in conjunction with other methods of measurement.
At the beginning of your journey, record your measurements along with the date in a notepad. Your waist, hips, chest, abdomen, and upper arms are all good areas to measure. Repeat this process periodically. You’ll get an idea of how many inches you’ve lost, which will tell you you’re on the right track.
Keep a journal
Writing down your calorie intake and your workouts each day may be tiresome, but it will help you stay motivated and organised. When logging your workouts, focus on which part of the body you worked and any weaknesses you noticed. Be sure to work on those weaknesses at your next session to ensure full-body strength. When recording your food intake, track the calories, the time, where you were, and your mood to figure out whether your eating’s driven by emotions or actual hunger.
Go by how clothes fit
Going by how your clothes fit is a clever way of measuring your progress without calculating your body fat or stepping on the scale. Maybe your goal is to fit back into your old jeans or to look good for an upcoming wedding. Make a note of how your clothes fit now, where they’re tight, and leave it a few months before you try them on again. If they’re now easier to put on and have a little more give on them, you know you’re doing things right.
Use fitness trackers
Anyone looking to get fit will find a fitness tracker invaluable. Simply strap one around your wrist and it can track your steps, caloric intake, distance traveled, and even your heart rate and sleep. If you’re a swimmer, you’ll want to get a hold of a waterproof smart watch. It will help track calories burnt, duration, laps, and lengths, so you can get the most out of your workouts.
Sometimes you may look in the mirror and not see any change even though you know you’ve lost weight. That’s why photos are a great way to objectively see your progress. Take your first set of photos at the beginning of your fitness journey. Men should wear shorts and no shirt, while women should wear shorts and a bra. You want your stomach to be on show as that’s the area likely to see most change. Either take the photos yourself or get a family member to help you. One month later, put on the same clothes and take the photos again. You’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come.
The bottom line? Keep monitoring your fitness progress! As long as you’re focusing on becoming fitter, stronger, and faster and staying on top of what and how much you eat, you will get the results you deserve.