Starting a fitness journey can be very exciting as you create a routine, make healthier choices, and see changes to your body. However, eating healthier and staying on track with your fitness goals is harder than it sounds. Motivation tends to be high during the beginning of your journey but slowly depletes, so the challenge comes with staying on track and monitoring goals that will lead to a sustainable lifestyle over time.
If you have set your exercise goals and created a fitness strategy, then you’ve taken the first step towards transforming your life and physical and mental wellbeing. However, getting from A to B will not be linear; therefore, it is vital for success that you monitor your progress along the way.
To help you stay on track, here are a few tips for monitoring your fitness goals:
Set a ScheduleBy establishing a scheduled plan, you are more likely to stick to your training as it has become an integral part of your daily routine. This will help change your outlook on exercise. Instead of looking at it as a chore, it becomes an essential part of your lifestyle. Consider downloading a workout & fitness app for tracking and planning to help stay on track.
Keep a Workout LogIn order to make your workouts more effective, it’s essential to keep track of sets and reps. By regularly logging your workouts, you’re ensuring that you can properly plan your next sessions according to your previous ones so you can increase the weight you lift and the reps you do. This is a great way to monitor your fitness goals because seeing that your sets and reps have continued to increase is proof that your strength is increasing as well.
In addition, consider mixing up your workouts to avoid boredom and prevent you from reaching a plateau in your training. Try going on a run one day, doing a HIIT workout, pilates, or yoga. Whatever the case may be, switching up your exercises will keep your fitness schedule fun and your body challenged.
Take Your Body MeasurementsMeasurements will help you understand how your body is changing over time. You can use a simple measuring tape to measure areas like your abs, arms, waist, thighs, and hips. It’s recommended to take your measurements first thing in the morning before eating or drinking. Record your measurements every four weeks to keep track of fat loss in specific areas of your body. This tends to be more accurate than a scale because a scale fluctuates and is not precise enough.
Maintain A Food LogDiet is one of the most important factors when it comes to weight loss. Keeping a food log can make you more aware of what you’re eating to help you stay on track and avoid mindless eating. Consider adding plenty of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet and avoid highly processed foods. Not only will eating healthier help with weight loss, but it will also help lower your risk of developing heart failure, diabetes, cancer and improve your overall mood.
Take Progress PicturesTaking progress pictures is a great way to stay motivated to hit your fitness goals and give you visual proof that your hard work is paying off. This gives you the opportunity to look back on where you started, where you are, and where you’re hoping to go. Be sure to take photos from the front view and both sides to see your progress from all angles.
Take pictures once a week, in the same position, at the same spot, and always wearing the same outfit (a bathing suit or the same sports bra & training pants will do). And then, after a month or so, start comparing the photos. You’ll be surprised at all the work you put in without even noticing!
Calculate Your Body Fat Percentage ProperlyYour body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. This is a good way to understand what percentage of body fat you have. However, it’s important to learn how to calculate your body fat percentage. Keeping track of your body fat percentage is much more accurate than trusting the scale because a scale doesn’t tell you how much muscle you have built, only how many pounds you have shed.
There are numerous ways to track your fitness goals, and ultimately you need to choose which strategies are best suited for you. The most crucial part of any fitness journey is to stay consistent and keep yourself accountable for the work you put in. It’s also important to be kind to yourself – if you slip up and fall off track for a day or two, don’t give up! Use it as fuel to be more determined and hit those goals you set yourself. Remember, it’s not about the destination; it’s about becoming mentally and physically stronger during the journey.