Do You Keep a Fitness Journal?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Many of us have come to appreciate one of the most valuable tools in our arsenal to lose weight and reclaim our health and that is by keeping a food journal. Tracking calories and nutrients allows us to become more aware of our food intake, portions, and most importantly to ensure we are getting the proper nutrients our body requires.

However, according to The American Academy of Family Physicians, keeping an exercise journal is a huge motivator for many when it comes to physical activity.

So why is an exercise journal so important?

In our busy lives it is so easy to forget what we do from day to day, much less from week to week or for that matter month to month. But having a fitness journal allows us to review where we were in the past and to develop a plan where we would like to be in the future. It can also help us to determine why some days are harder/easier than others.

Your journal doesn’t have to be anything too elaborate. It can be as simple as a spiral notebook or if you do not want the paper trail, make notes on your my Fitness tracker page in the notes section.

Below is a list of some of the things you may want to include:

  • Type of activity performed Cardio, strength training, yoga, Pilates or a combination of these exercises.

  • Time spent exercising This can be tracked in your cardio tracker or quick track on your my Fitness Page.

  • How you felt during the time you were exercising Were you tired even before you started? Did you have to cut your time short due to fatigue? Did you feel energized during your workout? How did you feel when you were done?

  • Sleep patterns Many times the first sign of overtraining is a disturbance in our sleep pattern. If you begin to experience a change in your sleep habits, you may need to allow a few days off to allow for better recovery.

  • Refueling If you exercised for an hour or more did you eat/drink to refuel your glycogen stores after your workouts. What food or drink did you consume and how soon after your exercise session?

  • Weather Conditions If you exercise outside, include the weather conditions. We know that heat, cold, humidity, wind, etc, all can have a great effect on our workouts.

  • Strength Training For those who strength train, make sure you update your strength training routines on your fitness tracker to include the current weights, reps, and sets that you do for each exercise.

  • Mileage Runners should keep track of their daily and weekly mileage. Most training programs do not recommend increasing your mileage or time greater than 10% each week so that your risk for injury is lessened.

  • Injury Documenting an injury will allow you to see how quickly you recover or to know if you need to see a doctor for an issue that is not resolving.

    I am a big believer in keeping an exercise journal. Not only is it another motivator, but many times it can help me pinpoint any issues that may arise. Keeping a log, while tedious for some, is just another tool to help many of us stay accountable.

    Do you keep a fitness journal, if not would it be something you would consider doing? Do you track your fitness on your my Fitness Page? If you have kept a journal, are you amazed at the progress you have made over time?