7 Effective Ways to Keep Track of Your Fitness Progress

Ya know, I have a love-hate relationship with water. On one hand it makes up like 95 percent of my body, and I’m a raging bitch if I don’t get enough to drink during the day. It keeps my skin clear and my digestive track runnin’ smooth. Pretty much the only time I really, really hate it is when I step on the scale and see my weight go up like five friggin’ pounds from earlier that morning. Keeping track of our progress can be a tricky thing; it’s a real balancing act. As you read above, sometimes I don’t go about it the best way either. You just get so excited about seeing what progress you’ve made that sometimes we get a little too enthusiastic and it actually ends up kickin us in the balls. Here are some healthy ways to track progress: 1.) Pick one day/time a week to weigh yourself. This one can be really, really hard to stick to. I love seeing how much I lose during a couple of workouts. However, like I said earlier, other things can affect that number on the scale and it could potentially get us down about our progress. I choose to do my weigh-ins on Sunday mornings, right when I wake up. I do this for a few different reasons. I am the most dehydrated naturally right when I wake up so I won’t have a war with my love of water 😉 Also, having it on Sunday keeps me accountable for my weekend festivities. If I’m going to be drinking it makes me rethink/keep myself in check while I’m out. I also know to kind of make up for those extra cals with longer workouts or shorter ones added in earlier in the week. 2.) Pics can be your friend! Progress pics are a really good way to go and can be awesomely satisfying when you stick to them. My boyfriend swears by these to check his muscle definition. Make sure to try and take the pics in the same spot if possible and even wearing the same clothes or types of clothes. Keep them in a safe spot if you want to keep them private! I have mine on my phone currently and have had a few friends almost see them because I’ve forgotten they were there. 3.) Measuring tape anyone? This old school tool is a great way to measure fat loss and muscle gain in a roundabout way. Sometimes we’ll feel awesome but that number on the scale just isn’t moving or it is even getting bigger. If you use measurements when this happens you could see that even though you weigh more you lost three inches around your waist. Muscle weighs more than fat and takes up less space! 4.) Stock up on your goal garments. I love finding great steals in stores, especially in the clearance sections. To keep myself motivated I try to buy things in my goal sizes that I love. I have a few pairs of pants hanging in my closet that I cannot wait to wear! I take them out and hang them where I can see them every day from time to time. Whether the item doesn’t fit you yet or does and doesn’t look how you want it to use it as a measuring tool. See how it looks or how far you can get it on and check in every month or so. It’ll get you super excited when you see if looking better and better. 5.) Journal, journal, journal! I love this as a tool to see how you’re changing attitude-wise. Getting a healthy body changes the way you think and feel about yourself. You should take time to gauge where you’re at mentally at least once a week. Talk about what you did, what you liked, what you hated and how you’re going to change it for the next week. Make sure to date your entries, it’ll be so gratifying to go back and see how you were changing as a person during your journey. 6.) Fitness records. A lot of people start working out and record their times or reps/weight to check in on their progress. You can do anything you’d like to see your improvement on. Run a mile for time once a week, try to beat your max for bench press, challenge yourself with your plank time. You could even do a whole workout fitness test you do once a month or so to check your progress. 7.) Everyday tasks. This may sound weird, but everyone has small things they wish they could do differently when they have extra weight they are carrying around. Some people can’t get out of a chair without help, others can’t tie their shoes, others just might not like how hard it is to put on their favorite pair of jeans in the morning. Everyone has small things in their lives that remind them why they want to get healthier. Use those times during your day as motivation. Soon, you’ll see those situations get better and better for you. I feel like when you see these things changing it is the time you feel the best during a healthy lifestyle change. [Lead image via Martinina/Shutterstock]