The Benefits of a Fitness Diary

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The Benefits of a Fitness Diary

Author: Susan Slobac

People who have lost weight successfully often have two tools in their arsenal to help them achieve their goals: a fitness diary and an exercise log. Keeping written records of these two vital areas in improving health are key to staying motivated and reaching your health goals.

A fitness log can cover the foods you eat. With an online food log and food diary, you input the type and quantity of food, and it will give you back the number of calories and number of grams of protein, fat and carbohydrate for each. This way you can make adjustments so that you do not overeat, but you do get enough of the food you need to fuel your body properly. A fitness diary can also help you list your food goals. You might start small by substituting whole wheat breads and grains for white, and by drinking more water daily. Build on these, and you will see gradual improvement, which you have documented in your fitness diary. Your motivation will increase as you see that your plan is working.

An exercise diary is the place to document your exercise program and goals. Your goals will determine the type of exercise program you will want to pursue. Starting a new fitness program is quite different than a fit athlete working on marathon training. Both, however, benefit from coming up with a plan for how they will meet their exercise goals. Someone new to exercise will want to start slowly, doing short sessions of cardiovascular training, strength training and stretching. A marathon athlete might spend a great deal of time on improving cardiovascular fitness and endurance, and less on strength and stretching. Many exercise diaries come with a weekly calendar, so you can fill it in on a daily basis so that you make sure you have included all of your needed workouts, in addition to the appropriate amount of rest so that your muscles can repair and strengthen.

Visual learners might benefit from exercise logs that include graphs. Graphs provide a visual representation of how your fitness is increasing over time. This type of evidence is hugely motivating, especially on days when you don’t feel like doing anything. You can see where you’ve started, and how far you have come, and that knowledge will help to get you through tough days when you might fall away from your fitness plan.

Some people like to improve their fitness with the help of a fitness team. This could include a friend or neighbor, or a spouse, all of whom would also like to get into better shape and you all decide to work together to reach your individual health goals. Teams of people working together help to motivate each other. Having an exercise partner that comes to your door and expects you to go out for a walk or run helps keep you on track for meeting your health goals, which you have written down in an exercise diary, along with food goals in a food diary.

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About the Author

Susan Slobac is a personal trainer who develops fitness programs to match individual goals. Focused on the use of a fitness diary as a long term solution, her experience shows fitness logs usually create long term habits. She encourages keeping an exercise log to track progress. She has seen a shift in lifestyles accomplished using an exercise diary.

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