A fitness journey is multi-faceted and nuanced. What works for some people might not work in the same way for others due to lifestyle choices, preferences, and needs. However, one of the most motivating parts of any fitness journey is the ability to see progress. Whether you’re trying to increase your muscle mass, increase your endurance, or lose weight, tracking your progress will help you remain focused. It can also help with regaining focus you’ve lost. Think about implementing some of these excellent ways to track your fitness progress.
A timer might seem like the simplest tool. However, it can be extremely effective when you’re looking to keep track of how quickly you move. When you’re building your endurance as a runner, it’s nice to know how fast you can run a simple mile. Set your timer as you get started. As you finish the mile, turn off the timer. If you’re running on a treadmill, it’ll measure the time for you automatically. As you get faster and trim a few seconds off of your time, know that it’ll make a difference in the long run.
2. Smartphone Apps
Whether you’re looking to meditate before you head to bed, organize your schedule, or keep an eye on your scheduled deliveries, there’s an app that can help you. The same sentiment holds true for your fitness journey. If you’re looking to build your endurance through running for a longer period of time without stopping, there are apps that can track your times and mileage. If you’d like to make sure you’re meeting your fitness goal of 10,000 steps each day, most smartphones come with a health app that will automatically track your movements each day. If you’re working on your golf swing, download a golf swing analysis app to learn more about your current swing and how you can improve it.
It doesn’t matter if you’re tracking your progress with a timer or an app, you’ll always want to write down your progress in a physical notebook. If your phone dies or you get a new phone, you don’t want to lose all of that vital information. When you’re visiting your doctor, you can bring in the notebook with your charted results. Create a spreadsheet, a chart or a checklist in Excel. Print a few copies to keep in your notebook. As you get the new numbers, document them in the notebook. As time goes on, you’ll either see your numbers improve or decline. For many people, seeing the numbers on a piece of paper can really bring things into perspective. Never underestimate the power of manual options.
When you’re first getting started on a fitness journey, it might be hard to feel or see the results. This is especially true when you’re the one who’s waiting for progress to happen overnight. If you’re tracking a visible part of your fitness journey like toned muscles, take pictures and record videos. Pictures are great because you’ll be able to see the progress as time goes on. Use the same lighting and the same outfit each time. It might be helpful to wear a bathing suit in order to see your body clearly. Videos are extremely helpful for catching the angles and various nuances that photos don’t always pick up. Record yourself as you turn around in a circle. You’d be surprised by the difference a video can actually make.
5. Scale/Measuring Tape
When your fitness progress involves bulking up with more muscle, the scale might go up. This is why it’s wise to keep this in mind as you make your goals. If you’re looking to use your fitness journey to get lean and lose weight, you can also use measuring tape in order to track your progress. In many cases, the scale isn’t the most accurate barometer because you have to consider the times you’re bloated, dehydrated, and more. Also if you focus on the numbers on a scale of what you “are” instead what your “goal” is, your program yourself to reach the wrong goal. Using a simple measuring tape will help you track the inches you’re losing. You can also get an outfit of the size you “want” to be and try it on once a week. The day it fits, or you can just get it on, is an awesome moment and a great motivation.
If you’re not used to tracking your progress, it might feel tedious at first. However, it can be so helpful when you look back to see how far you’ve come. If you’re also consulting with a personal trainer or your physician, show them your numbers. Numbers tend to be the most reliable source for tracking progress. With concrete evidence, you can move on to tweaking your process in order to get the results you desire.