You don’t have to wait for the new year before you consider journaling your fitness life. Purpose keeps you focused. If you constantly find yourself questioning your moves in the gym, you might want to check your reason for being there. Do you have a special reason that motivates you to visit the gym? Are you aiming at achieving a weight loss target in the last quarter of this year? It would help if you had a plan to succeed in your fitness goals. From providing guidelines to achieve your targets to providing help to prevent and help manage injuries, keeping a fitness journal could be the game changer in your, you might be looking for. Your fitness journal is all about you, so make sure you make your journaling experience as fun as possible.
Regardless of your current fitness level, you can keep a fitness journal if you aim to:
- Get fit
- Stay fit
- Lose weight
- Focus on fitness
You Need to Keep A Fitness Journal. This is Why:
- It Helps You Plan Ahead
If you’re looking at staying accountable, you need to get some goals written down. Don’t just assume your goals. Write them down. Jot down your weekly and monthly schedules, and plan your daily activities with them in mind. If you easily forget your plans, maybe you might want to adopt this strategy. When you start planning your fitness routines in your journal, you will quickly notice that you are becoming more and more aware of your daily schedules and hardly missing out on any.
- Track Your Progress
Whether you had a good or bad gym day, jot it down in your journal, and even if you overate junk food on your birthday, record it too. Keeping a journal is all about being sincere and honest to yourself. The entries you make are going to be of great help to you, so be honest with your records. You’re not impressing anyone with it, do it for your personal growth and progress. Jotting down the type of food you eat, your portion size of food, the time you ate, how moody you were before going to the gym, the kind of exercise you did, and other details will help you track your daily to weekly progress. When you do this consistently, you’ll find out how easy it becomes to track how well you’re doing with regards to your fitness goals. You don’t have to do guess how good or bad you’ve been. You only have to check your journal for accurate records. Keeping a journal directs you to stay effective with your fitness targets.
Research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that “those who kept daily food journals consumed fewer calories resulting in twice as much weight loss, as those who did not keep food journals.”
- Keeps You Informed of Your Fitness Schedules
Get a better understanding of your workout plans by keeping all you need to know in your fitness journal. Whether you aim to lose some body fat, muscle build, or tone up, you need a plan to be your routine map. Keeping a fitness journal means you can quickly write all the schedules you have at the gym, so you don’t forget. Whenever your fitness trainer explains the importance of a particular workout during any of your gym sessions, you can write that in your journal. Sometimes you watch a YouTube video, and you love everything that was said in the video. Why not jot the highlights in your journal, so you refer to it anytime you need some clarity concerning that particular workout topic? Make your journal a store of knowledge regarding your fit life. You’ll be proud you did.
- Helps You Break Down Goals into Achievable Targets
What are the yearly fitness targets? Break that down into weeks and then days, now list what you will do each day to achieve your weekly target. Go ahead to list the activities you intend to engage in four weeks to achieve a target in a month. Move from a month’s goal to an achievable goal in three months, and then gradually move to six months, and before you know it, you will have a well-drafted fitness plan for a year. Keeping a fitness journal is valuable. It helps you decide and know what to do each day to achieve specific goals.
Follow the SMART goal setting procedure to guide you to make achievable and sustainable plans.
- Specific: Are your goals well defined and specific enough? Remember that setting specific goals makes achieving them easier than beating about the bush. So instead of writing your goals as, “I want to build muscles,” set a more specific goal by writing, “I want to sign up Fitness 1 Gym because it is the best gym in Ghana so I can get access to modern gym equipment and join a community of like-minded folks so I can stay motivated to workout five days a week to help me build muscles and live healthier.”
- Measurable: Do you have specific criteria to help you measure your fitness progress? Get an indicator to help determine your progress.
- Achievable: Make sure you choose goals that are possible to achieve. When you do this, you will be able to figure out if you have access to all the resources needed to help achieve that goal. You should also find out if others have successfully achieved this goal in the past.
- Realistic: Is your goal relevant to you? Ask yourself if your schedules will allow you to stay committed to the goal. Will you be able to visit the gym 5 days each week, as you’ve written in your journal?
- Timely: Do you have deadlines for your goals? Write them in your fitness journal. If you don’t have set timelines to achieve your goals, you might feel less motivated to put in your best efforts.
- Emphasizes on Accountability
The information you keep in your journal is a true reflection of your self-discipline and honesty. Whenever you pick up your journal, track the records you’ve written over the weeks just like you look in the mirror to see how you look. In the fitness world, your journal is your mirror. It helps you see things just as they truly are. If you’re sincere in your record-keeping, each month, set aside some “me-time” and painstakingly go through your journal to find out if you were able to meet all your set targets.
- Were you able to visit the gym five days a week, as stated in the beginning?
- Have you been a couch potato lately?
- Have you suddenly nurtured an appetite for junk foods? If yes, track your first time on munching on them that month. Was it at a “girls-girls” hangout? If yes, then you might want to avoid these dates with your sisterhood at least for some time so you can get over it.
The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics published a study that identified keeping track of all the food you eat and drink as the No.1 key strategy for weight loss.
- Prioritize Your Fitness Goals
Have you found yourself a couple of times going to the gym, having no purpose in mind? How did you find your attitude towards your workout sessions on such days? If you are honest with yourself, you’ll agree that going to the gym with a clear-cut purpose in mind keeps you highly motivated and focused.
- Equips Your Trainer with Information
The records you keep in your fitness journal can be of help to everyone, especially your fitness trainer or coach. For most athletes, their coaches request for their journals whenever they experience an injury. Reading the journal will help them make informed decisions. Because you record information ranging from time, to food, to workout type to the mood you were in, journals become valuable resources when your trainer wants to decide on your current fitness plan. So if you’re wondering how best to help your coach with accurate information as possible, be consistent in making daily entries into your journal.
Check out your goals and choose the appropriate journal that best suits your goal:
- Food Journal
- Exercise Journal
- Cardio Journal
Feel free to be as innovative and creative as possible with hoe you make your journal entries, so it doesn’t just become a chore.
Keep Track of These in Your Journal
- Time of the Day
- Level of Hunger
- Where You Eat
- Amount of Food
The more you write everything you eat and drink in your journal, the more you will become more informed of your eating habits, and it will motivate you to eat healthier meals. Be extraordinary, take the path most people will avoid, and see yourself discover and enjoy the juiciest benefits available.
Keeping a fitness journal means you’re able to continuously track your fitness progress through honesty and accountability to help you with all you need to know to keep getting better to live a fit and healthy life.
Your “why” will keep you going even on days when you feel like giving up. So make sure you always come back to this article to remind you of all that keeping a fitness journal can do to help you achieve.
Health and Style, How to Keep a Fitness Journal, https://healthandstyle.com/fitness/how-to-keep-fitness-journal/
Richling C, Ornish Living, The Proven Benefits of Keeping a Food Journal, https://www.ornish.com/zine/proven-benefits-keeping-food-journal/
Corporate Finance Institute, What is a Smart Goal? https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/other/smart-goal/
Clayton S, Discover Good Nutrition, Keeping a Fitness Journal Can Help You Get Truly Fit, https://discovergoodnutrition.com/2013/03/keep-a-fitness-journal/