Sticking to a fitness plan can be as difficult as sticking to the latest fad diet. When boredom hits and motivation becomes hard to find — or if your circumstances suddenly change — it’s easy to fall out of the habit of working out.
A training journal can help you stick to your exercise routine. You don’t have to be a competitive athlete to keep one, either. If you want to get fit, stay fit or lose weight, take a few minutes each day to make note of your efforts in a fitness journal. Doing so is key to helping you visualize the progress you are making towards achieving your goals. Moreover, when you feel like you’re stalling out, or if positive results seem hard to come by, looking back over your workout journal can help you evaluate what you might do differently.
A fitness journal requires you to be honest with yourself about understanding which factors are contributing to both your successes and your struggles. Seeing your daily activity on paper will help keep you motivated to push yourself and work toward your goals. If you are stuck in a “going through the motions” rut with your fitness plan, keeping a workout journal can help you regain your sense of purpose and get back on track. Logging your workouts in a fitness journal carries several other benefits as well. It helps you to:
Keeping a workout journal is simple and requires only a few minutes of your time. After you complete your workout, take a moment to record the following information.
Tracking what you eat and drink is arguably the most important element of your fitness journal. If you’re already tracking your nutrition in a food journal (and you should be!), adding notes about your activity level and fitness regimen won’t take any time at all. The only way to reach your weight loss goals is to identify exactly what you’re putting into your body day in and day out. No amount of exercise can undo a bad diet. However, a fitness journal can help you better balance a healthy, nutritious diet with the calorie-burning, muscle-toning discipline of a regular workout.
Most importantly, take some time to review your journal every week. You’ll only get the benefits of writing down what you do and eat each day if you read what you’ve written in your journal. And don’t be shy about writing down the challenges you faced but may not have been able to meet. Don’t get discouraged about the things you could have done better. Instead, let those missed opportunities fuel your motivation to make improvements in the week to come. You may not see results right away, but keeping a workout journal will help you manage your expectations. It will also help you mark your progress over the long haul, further encouraging you to put in the hard work and remain confident that it will ultimately pay off.