The Benefits of Tracking Progress
Mar 2, 2016
Your health is one of your biggest assets in life, and it’s up to you to maintain it through a healthy diet and exercise plan. These days, you have a range of tools available to help you track data related to your daily health and fitness.
You can use an old-fashioned notebook, apps on your mobile device, or electronic devices you
wear that actually monitor your activity throughout the day. Regardless of the method, keeping a health and fitness journal on a daily basis has many major benefits.
Here’s a look at the top 8:
Stay accountable to yourself for health and fitness goals
It’s easy to say you want to improve your health and fitness, but it’s a lot more difficult to follow through on those ambitions. However, if you have a place where you are recording what you eat or what activities you do every day, you’ll have a constant reminder of your fitness goals.
You will find that this self- accountability of seeing a blank day when you don’t exercise or a day when your calorie count was way off is enough to provide a much-needed kick
to get back on track.
A fitness log keeps track of irregular exercise schedules.
The CDC recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate - intensity exercise. This may be simple to know you’re doing if you go to the gym for a 30-minute workout after you get off work every day, but it’s more difficult to track if
your schedule is irregular.
If you don’t have a routine, tracking your daily fitness allows you to see exactly how
much you have done each week so you can plan on how to meet your goal for the week.
Health journals help to fix fitness pain areas
After you’ve gathered just a few weeks of daily health and fitness data, you’ll be able to
analyze it and identify unhealthy patterns that are holding you back. For example, you
may notice that you’re way over on the number of calories you consume every Saturday,
which can help you make more conscious decisions to make wise food choices over the
The more “health” data you have, the better you’ll be able to adjust your patterns and fix
problem spots easily.
A food diary helps with calorie comparison
When you’re trying to lose weight, one of the most important indicators is the difference
between the calories you consume each day and the calories you burn. If you’re burning
more than you consume, you’ll lose weight.
When you track your diet and fitness activities every day, this comparison is a simple one
so you know by the end of the day whether you made forward progress or not. In general
you lose one pound of fat for every 3500 calories you burn in excess of what you
Track progress and stay motivated... easily
When you’re tracking your health and fitness electronically, it’s easy to make graphs with
the data. These show you trends at a glance and let you know whether you’re making
significant progress toward your goals. These goals could be anything from completing a run or lap in a specific time to losing a specific amount of weight or bench pressing a
certain number of pounds.
The visual data is very motivational, not to mention that it’s often easier to see trends
when you have graphs than just numbers.
Food diaries help you to eat healthier and make conscious choices
One of the major benefits of a food diary or an app that tracks your diet is that they
provide a comprehensive snapshot of the nutrients you’re getting each day. Not only do
you get to track your calories consumed, but you can also see how many grams of
protein, carbs, and fat you’re getting and how you’re doing on the recommended daily
intake of vitamins and minerals.
With this knowledge, you can adjust your diet to include foods that will help you balance
your nutrient intake at the levels you’re going for.
Get community support in staying healthy
competition often brings out the best in people, and many methods of
tracking health and fitness make it easy for you to meet fitness goals with others. Perhaps you and a few friends get together to set health goals and hold each other accountable to
diet and exercise goals, either via an app or in-person meetings.
Set healthy goals that you can get When you first start focusing on your health and fitness, you may not know at all what types of goals are realistic. If your goal is too hard to achieve, the impossibility will feel
discouraging, whereas if it’s too simple, you won’t feel like you even have to try.
Keeping a health journal or a food diary will help you see where you are and
approximately how fast you’re moving in the direction you want. This allows you to set
appropriate goals and time frames in which to achieve them. If keeping a health journal seems overwhelming and time-consuming to you, these benefits will help you see how a little effort can reap big rewards. Get started today with the tracking system
that seems simplest to you, and get on your way toward the healthier lifestyle you’ve been