When starting your fitness journey, it is important that you continuously track your fitness progress to keep you motivated and returning to the gym. By tracking your progress, you will see just how far you have come over the course of your journey, which is helpful when daily changes are likely very small. At Plunkett Fitness, we know that there are numerous ways to track your fitness progress, and we want to share them with you.
1. Step on the Scale
One of the easiest ways to track your progress is to do weigh-ins. Body weight can help you see if you are shedding pounds, but it doesn’t really show you other things that are occurring in your body. For example, a lot of people who are trying to lose weight will lift weights at the gym. Muscle weighs more than fat, so if you are concerned with weight loss, you may think you aren’t doing as well as you are because you only see part of the picture.
The hardest part about tracking your fitness by weight is keeping the measurement consistent. Weigh yourself at the same time every day to get the most accurate reading. Be sure that you choose first thing in the morning or right before bed. You should also make sure you aren’t wearing bulky clothing or heavy shoes. In fact, you might want to step on the scale in the nude.
2. Measure BMI
BMI stands for body mass index. Your BMI is a ratio of your height to weight. The number you get will tell you if you are considered underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese. Much like stepping on the scale, your BMI doesn’t tell the full story, however. BMI doesn’t account for muscle mass versus fat mass, so people with a lot of muscle tend to end up in the overweight and obese categories, which isn’t accurate. BMI shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when tracking your progress.
3. Take Progress Photos
Taking progress photos can show you how your appearance has changed since starting your journey. While photos won’t give you numbers or measurements to show changes, sometimes the best motivation is seeing how much different you look. It will be very difficult for you to see these changes as they occur, because the changes are so slight, and you are used to seeing yourself every day. Photos are the best way to see these changes in your appearance.
If you decide to take progress photos, you should take at least two photos. Take one showing the front of your body and another showing the side. You should also take these photos in the same place in the same clothing with the same camera so that you can be as consistent as possible.
4. Take Body Measurements
Taking body measurements is a good way to track progress whether you are trying to increase muscle mass or lose weight. You will want to take measurements of all parts of your body to fully track your progress. Measure your biceps, waist, hips, thighs, and other areas that are problematic for your body. Using body measurements will give you the ability to track your body fat percentage unlike many of the other tracking methods. You can also see the places where your body is best-responding to your current routine.
When used with scale measurements, you can get a pretty accurate picture of how your body is changing over time. For example, if your weight hasn’t changed much, but your waist is three inches smaller, you can assume that you are burning fat but gaining muscle.
5. Use a Fitness Tracker
Fitness trackers can do a lot of different things. While these tools are generally used to track workouts and meals, you can also use them to remind you to stay active. A lot of these trackers can also track your weight and monitor your sleep, which can be a key factor in weight loss.
Fitness trackers can be a wearable device that you use like a watch, or you can use an app only approach. Either way, you should be able to see all of your stats via a mobile app.
There are so many different ways that you can track your fitness progress, but these trackers aren’t doing all of the work for you. If you need motivation or help establishing a routine, Plunkett Fitness can help.
Located in Overland Park, Kansas, Plunkett Fitness’ team of expert personal trainers can provide you with meal and workout plans that are tailored to your body, lifestyle, and goals. To get started on a fitness journey and have help tracking your progress, contact Plunkett Fitness today at 913-390-3360.