10 things to track for fitness
10 things to track for fitness
On the path to fitness, you are bound to pause at many levels and hit some snags. You might suffer from weeks of weight stagnation, where you’ll hit the weight loss plateau at some critical points. At these life-changing junctions, you must keep yourself motivated by keeping a track of your fitness goal – right from where you started to where you want to reach. Today we are going to reveal the top 10 things that you should track for fitness.
Take ‘Before’ photographs. This will motivate you and help you track your fitness progress. ‘Before’ photographs help in marking a point from where you started and will help in proving to your friends and relatives how you have achieved the new-found weight when you are don.
Maintain a weight loss journal. A study conducted on 1,700 overweight men and women revealed that people who maintained a health journal lost 9 to 10 kilos, compared to a 4.5 kilos loss among those who did not practice journal writing. It acts as a deterrent- i.e. when you know you have to pen down your health journey of the day, you will think twice before bingeing on that second serving of chocolate chip ice cream. Things a food diary must have are: Days, meal times, meal content, meal quantity and feelings when you ate it.
Be the decision-maker. If you are really looking forward to that second piece of cake, try and think of a sane justification for it. If you are cooking up excuses like “oh! But I’ll spend another hour in the gym to compensate it”, we say drop the second helping because exercising more is no excuse to eating more. Understand the craving – physical or emotional – and then work on it.
Set short-term realistic goals: Initiate by only walking for 5 to 10 minutes a day (or a duration that doesn’t get you out of breath). Gradually introduce more activity in your day – walk your dog, go to your nearby grocery store in your track pants and try to walk at a faster pace than usual. Slowly but surely, work your way up and build on your success.
Measure your fitness level. For starters, it’s a great way to keep a tab on your progress levels and set short term practical fitness goals. So if you’re game to kick start a new fitness program, then size up your fitness level by taking this simple fitness test expanded across four steps. 1. Ways to check your flexibility levels by doing a Sit-and-Reach test. 2. Ways to check your aerobic fitness level by brisk walking. 3. Keep a record of your body composition. 4. Ways to check your muscular fitness level by doing push-ups.
Understand the difference between hunger and craving. Hunger means a painful sensation or a state of physical weakness caused by the want of food. When one is hungry their brain and stomach pass cues to indicate them levels of hunger. Craving, though often used along with hunger, is quite different from it. It essentially means “to long for; want greatly; desire eagerly.” The food or the thoughts one tends to crave for are not life-saving neither necessary. Unlike the time when you are hungry any food can satisfy your sensation, craving is for a specific type of food item.
Keep mixing your workouts. By staying at 75% of your heart rate on the treadmill and not mixing up your workouts with strength training and sprints, one tends to burn glycogen and not fat. In this process you will gain weight over time, lose muscle, release more cortisol, and compromise any progress you might have made.
Learn to de-stress. Stress triggers the hormone cortisol which increases appetite and promotes abdominal fat. De-stressing, thus, helps in reducing body fat. Stress may cause abdominal fat in otherwise slender women but de-stressing alone cannot help to reduce the body fat. It is important to have a healthy balanced diet and a proper exercise regime. These are only possible with a stress-free mind.
Use social network tools to track your progress. Social networking sites and mobile apps are making it easier for people to track and share their fitness goals and activities with their virtual group. Motivation, when it works collectively, works the best. The internet does come in handy for those who know where to go and find the best fitness tool.
Portion control your meals. A must for losing weight in a healthy way, portion control is something which stands right in the middle of excess calorie intake and not eating enough. Portions of food can be measured keeping in mind a point of reference. For instance, the right portion serving for one pasta meal is what you can hold in your fist.