What You Need in a Fitness Journal and the Importance of Keeping it

How does one have a successful fitness regimen? For some, all they do is start working out and have no control over what they’ll do. Whether it’s lifting random weights at the gym followed by cardio, or just eating less and exercising a bit, this is the reason why people give up. After seeing no results after a week they’ll throw away the towel and then they’ll be back to where they started. This is the reason why a fitness journal is so important. With a little bit of guidance, you can set realistic goals and accomplish them, eventually moving onto even bigger ones. But what does a fitness journal need?

Food Consumption

If you want to stay lean, you need to count your calories and make sure you set up a maximum you can eat every day. For some, it may be their weight times ten, and for others, it may be more or less depending on their fitness. Regardless, you should record what you eat, how many calories it has, and how much nutrition the foods contain. There are many fitness apps that can do just that, or you can just write it down.

Of course, it’s not just how many calories, it’s what you eat as well. You can eat the same amount of calories in fast food as you can with a healthy, home-cooked meal, but your body will favor the latter. Processed foods that aren’t nutrient-rich tend to do more bad for your body. You may lose weight by eating fewer empty calories, but you need to think about the body’s performance besides how it looks. Track what foods you eat and make a gradual change towards having a healthier diet. Eating junk food every now and then is fine, but make sure you set up a special day to do it and don’t do it any other day.

Cardio Progressjournal_fitness_22

If you’ve never gone running before, it may be difficult for you to do a marathon on your first go. Running is something that requires plenty of practice and endurance. Therefore, you should always create a tracker seeing how far you’ve ran and how much you can do the next week. For instance, try running a few minutes the first week, then add a couple more when you feel like you can do so. There are charts online that are good measurements to how much you should run every week, but you should do it at your own pace. Write down how far you’ve ran, how long it took to get there, and how much you’re planning on going for the next day. Also, measure your performance on different inclines. See how you perform on a hill versus flat land, or see how fast you can run down a path. There is a lot you can do with tracking cardio, and there are pedometer apps you can use to look at every step.

Muscle Progress

Not everyone gets fit to lose weight. Some want to bulk up and have bulging muscles. If that’s your goal, then keep track of how much your muscles grow during your workouts. Track your body fat percentage and how many reps you can do, and adjust accordingly so that you can work out at an even higher intensity. Even if you’re not working out to bulk up, lifting weights is a good way to lose the pounds and keep your body lean and toned, so you may want to track your reps regardless.

Weight Loss

This one is obvious if that’s your goal. You have to keep weighing yourself if you want to make sure that you’re losing the weight. Do it around once a week, not every day. Sometimes, your weight can fluctuate, and if you weigh a bit more one day than you do yesterday, you may get discouraged and think you’re doing something wrong, when in reality, that’s normal. Make sure to weigh yourself first thing in the morning.

If you’re trying to see the loss in body fat, get a checkup for that every now and then, around once a month or so. Remember that your body fat is the most important measurement, as you may gain more weight when you first start building some muscle. Your weight does not reveal all, so don’t let it be the deciding factor. You can’t be told that enough. The scale is not infallible. Measure your entire body before you quit because the scale says you’ve gained weight.

Those are just a few ways that you can make sure that you’re on the right track to achieving your fitness goals. Exercising is something that is important to everyone, and by tracking these few factors it will guarantee that you’re successful.

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Mary Goforth

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