Toss the Scale: 5 Other Ways to Track Fitness Progress
While tracking progress is a proven way to meet fitness goals, many people mistakenly think that watching the numbers on the scale is the only way to see how they’re doing. Even though it’s important to track your pounds, scales don’t always give the whole story. That’s because they don’t tell you how much fat you’ve lost, muscle you’ve gained, or water you might be retaining. Instead, toss the scale and track your fitness progress using one of these other options.
Tracking your workouts will give you a good indication that your strength and stamina is improving. Whether you make a note of how long it takes you to run a mile every week or you write down how many reps you can complete with each workout, you’ll soon start to see your numbers improving. Plus, tracking your workouts gives you a goal to beat. If you were able to do 10 reps this week, push yourself to do 15 reps next week. As you continually challenge yourself, your workouts will get better, and you’ll see improvements.
Monitoring Calorie Consumption
Tracking how many calories you consume is just as important as tracking your workouts. You always need to make sure you’re burning more calories than you take in to get the results you want. Plus, it’s not just how many calories you consume that’s important. The quality of those calories also counts. While some processed foods might be low in calories, they don’t have the beneficial vitamins and nutrients that unprocessed foods can give your body.
Taking Body Measurements
Taking your body measurements is important because even if the number on the scale hasn’t moved, a lower measurement shows you’re losing fat and gaining muscle. A few of the best places to measure are the fullest part of your chest, around your waist where you would wear a belt, the widest part of your hips, and the widest part of your thigh.
Using an Exercise Tracker
An exercise tracker lets you monitor a variety of activities related to health and fitness, such as calories consumed, calories burned, heart rate, and even your quality of sleep. Choose a wearable exercise tracker, and you won’t have to guess at how many calories you burned or how far you ran because the device calculates an accurate number. Exercise trackers will also keep a record of your workouts to help you improve your results.
Taking Body Pictures
Weight loss and muscle gain are slow processes. It’s hard for the human eye to see the small changes that occur from day-to-day. However, if you take progress pictures, you’ll be able to get visual confirmation that your work is paying off and you’re making progress. For an accurate view, take your pictures from the front and side, wear the same clothing, and make sure everything from the lighting in the room to the pose you do is the same.
When you’re trying to track your progress to meet your fitness goals, skip stepping on the scale and go for one of these alternative tracking options instead.