Today’s the day—start logging your notes and celebrating your progress
Keeping a record of your exercise can be motivating, it can help you measure progress and much more. All it takes is setting aside a time to write down a few notes.
Why keep a fitness journal?
Whether you work out on your own, with friends or with a Personal Trainer, there are benefits to planning and tracking your exercise in a fitness journal. Kirk Erickson, Director of Healthy Living at the Forest Lake Y says, “You can’t measure what you don’t track. A fitness journal helps you know when you’re making progress.”
It can also help you:
- Clarify your goals and what you want to work toward
- Plan out specific times during your schedule to set aside for exercise
- Keep you motivated
- Help your workout time be focused on working out, instead of thinking of what to exercise
- Notice any patterns—about what you like, when you’re successful and more
What should you put in a fitness journal?
There are lots of different things you might put into a fitness journal—the key is adding the things that will be most helpful for you. While there are several pre-made options you can buy, it’s just as effective to make your own in a notebook or keep track in an online document or app.
Your journal might include:
- Inspirational quotes or images
- A list of your fitness goals (check out these tips for creating goals)
- Planned workouts (try this core workout if you’re looking for ideas)
- Actual workouts, including things like miles, reps, length of time, time of day
- Notes on what you eat before and after a workout
- Notes on how you’re feeling before, during and after your workout
Tips for using a fitness journal
- Be honest—this is a tool for you and only you
- Try to remember to use it regularly
- Keep it in view—it can be a visual reminder to do your workout, and add to the journal
- Review it on a regular basis to track your progress and shift your goals, if necessary
- Celebrate your successes
Kirk suggests you give yourself some leeway when getting started with a fitness journal. “It’s a new task, so keep it simple at first so that it’s easy to stick with it. You can add more details once you’re in the habit of using a journal.”