Personal Fitness Monitoring – Useful Tools for Tracking Progress

If you are starting a personal fitness program, you may wonder how you are ever going to stick with it. Until your workout becomes a routine, it may seem a little overwhelming.


A Fitness journal

Having a fitness journal can help you keep track of everything that you are doing and help keep your goals in mind.
Fitness journals in many styles are available. You can purchase a pre-made book or set up an account online to monitor progress. Or, if you are an organized person, you can come up with your own at your home computer or in a notebook.
Some things to consider are what you are going to use to track your progress. Are you simply monitoring weight loss or will you be keeping track of your diet as well? Are you going for time or distance when jogging? Are you going for the number of repetitions or the amount of weight when strength training?

Track of your Weight
One of the favorite things for people to track is their weight. To do this most effectively, you will want to check your weight daily. For the most accurate results, weigh nude or just in your underwear at the same time every day. Having a scale in your bathroom means that you can step on it right before stepping into the shower if that is a good time for you to remember.

Weighing daily allows you to keep an eye on your progress. If your weight starts creeping up, it is easier to make a small adjustment to what you are doing than to have to try and drop another 5 pounds at the end of the week. Keep in mind that your weight will have some minor fluctuations from day to day as well.
For some people, keeping track of their weight may not be the most accurate. Muscle weighs more than fat, so if you have a good strength-training regime you may not notice the pounds dropping away yet you could still be slimming down. For these people it may be more efficient to take measurements of the body parts that they are working on, for example hips or waist. There are also tools available that can measure the amount of fat that you have on your body as well.

Eat a Good Diet-Monitor Calories
For all workout programs, it is essential that you are eating a good diet. We all know that candy bars are bad and vegetables are good. But you may not know if you are meeting or exceeding your caloric needs for the day. Keeping a food/nutrition journal can help you do this. Keep track of everything that you eat throughout the day and at what times.

Then you can monitor your intake of calories, fats, sodium, or vitamins as desired. There are many books and websites available with nutritional information for foods that do not come in a plastic wrapper. Try to get as balanced of a look as possible. For example, if you are careful to eat only 2000 calories a day but it all comes from chocolate you are going to be low on the nutritional side of things and sky high in the fat side.
If you are doing an extensive weight training program you may need to take in extra protein but have to watch your calories. Talk things over with a doctor before starting any new nutritional program. He or she can give you specific daily requirements based on your age, health, and workout routine.
A third thing to consider monitoring is your workout itself. Things to consider watching are your heart rate, work out times, work out distances (for cardio activities like walking or jogging), and weight amounts and number of repetitions for strength training. Depending on your fitness goals, you can track your progress.

For example, if you are a beginner jogger, your goal may be to run a mile in under ten minutes. Each day you can see your progress to your goal. A strength trainer might try to do an increasing amount of repetitions each day to tone his body. Everyone can benefit from keeping an eye on their heart rate to make sure that they are not overdoing it.
For whatever monitoring you decide to do, make it visual. Plotting a graph of your progress can help you see a definite progression of your success. Do not get discouraged if you slip for a day or two, instead, use that as motivation to continue to improve yourself. If you find yourself reaching plateaus, consider altering your routines to get them closer to your goal. For the most accurate results, remember that you have to fill out the information daily. Keep your journal in plain sight where it is easy to remember.
With a little monitoring, you can reach your fitness goals as smoothly as possible.

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