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Physical fitness is a journey for those who exercise constantly, and requires time and effort to remain proficient in our workouts. To ensure that we make sufficient progress, we need to track our exercise so we may compare results and find areas that need improvement. There are different methods to track our workouts to help us determine where we could improve to achieve our fitness goals.
This classic method of training involves simple note-taking anytime you exercise. The more detailed you make your entries, the more data you have to compare as you work towards your fitness goals. You may note whatever you want, whether it’s written or drawn; diagrams will help you understand what's happening in your body.
When making journal entries, it's helpful to note the entry’s date after your workout. The time and date will help you find a pattern in your workout results that may lead you to understand certain habits you have while exercising. These timestamps could also act as critical points for finding the best times to work out during the day, and when you feel the most energized.
Just as the 'when' is an essential aspect of your journal entries, the 'what' is necessary; writing down the exercise will tell you how specific workouts affected your body the most or least. Categorizing the activities will organize your journal in patterns that you can analyze and determine the best exercise to reach your goals.
To further the time aspect, you should measure the amount of time it takes to finish a workout. Timing yourself from start to finish will help you keep track of your progress, and reveal if you are taking more time to complete something minor. If the workout time is long, you may have slowed down, and your progress could reverse. If the time is short, your body is getting used to the exercise, and you are closer to achieving your fitness goals.
Fitness trackers are a modern way of tracking your fitness progress. This technology offers different apps and systems to help you track and measure your fitness goals. These tackers come in various forms, such as apps and smartwatches, for optimal accessibility.
Many people have a smartphone with downloadable fitness trackers apps. Using the fitness tracker on your phone offers multiple features that sync with other apps, such as the clock app.
Fitness tracker apps have note sections where you can set reminders to do certain activities. Some trackers have graphs and charts to show how many calories you burned from the measurements made with the pedometer and speedometer synced to your phone's sensors.
The smartwatch fitness tracker has most of the application's capabilities on your phone. It has different downloadable features and apps for itself, condensing its computer system to the quaint form of a wristwatch. A key difference from the app version is the watch's ability to monitor heart rate and record the data, which will help you measure the amount of work your body puts in to keep your body sustained. Some versions can upload data to your phone through wireless or wired connections, allowing you to store data to access later.
To check your progress as you continue exercising, create tests for yourself to evaluate how far your training has come. Depending on the exercises you've done, you should make a test with a goal that sums up the work you've done.
If you do cardio, you could run for a mile; if you practice endurance, you could do exercises using a resistance band; if you work on strength and weight lifting, you should test your maximum bench press weight. If you do not pass this self-assessment, it shows that you need to train more. Take another test later to ensure you're continuously getting better. Check out exercise equipment in the Lansing DMA if you want something more for your fitness journey.
Taking your body measurements at specific periods is a great way to track and measure your fitness goals. Our muscles become toned and defined with shape and mass as we work out. Measuring these muscles at specific intervals spanning weeks or months will help you better understand how effective your workouts are.
The size of your muscles results from the constant tearing and repairing that they go through during exercise. Lifting weights and performing higher intensity workouts will increase muscle mass. Taking measurements of the size as you progressively exercise will help you track the amount of progress you've made, and if the results have shown improvement.
Working out in specific ways will lower body fat and increase muscle mass. If you are an individual who is trying to lose weight, and you have stayed consistent with your diet and exercise, then you should see a change in your weight. Keeping track of your weight measurements will help you achieve your fitness goals, and learn more about your body's metabolism and how diet and exercise affect your weight.
On any exercise journey, you'll have a final goal in mind that you wish to reach. To make that goal more achievable, milestones will help you to progress. Ensure that each milestone is an achievable checkpoint that measures your capabilities, while also pushing you forward to the next milestone. Your milestones should act as rungs on a ladder that get you closer to your end goal at an equal pace, so track your progress and set realistic goals that won't push you too hard.
Taking photos to show progression has been a helpful fitness method for decades. Before starting your workout routine, take full-body pictures of yourself from the front, back, and sides; you should photograph yourself relaxed and flexed to see more detailed results later. Then, after a set amount of time, take a picture of yourself with the same angle and poses that you made initially. Compare the photos to each other to measure the results you've made over time to gauge if your exercises are effective.
Working out requires diligence and focus to see results. Measuring these results and tracking what you do will benefit you in the long run and help you attain the fitness goals that you set for yourself.