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Not that staying fit was easy in the first place, but Covid-19 has made it even more challenging. Due to the lockdown and social distancing norms, people have to refrain from visiting the gym and public parks. In such a scenario, one technique that is quite useful is maintaining a fitness journal. It is a personalized approach to fine-tune your daily habits and make impactful changes to your diet and workout regime.
It’s a classic pen and paper technique to jot down and track factors that impact your health, diet, exercise routine, sleep cycle and stress levels. The journal is to be customized as per your schedule, diet and workout patterns but at minimum, you could consider including the number of repetitions, sets, tempo, breaks and weight lifted. You could also record your exertion, mood and energy levels pre, during and after the session.
You may maintain a diary or a notebook to essentially record your daily, weekly and monthly goals and achievements with respect to your fitness. This journal could also help record shortcomings, track your progress in reaching your health and fitness goals and also help analyse the improvement areas.
Going digital is also an option as there are many applications available across operating systems that will help you record and track your fitness stats as well as provide biometric readings.
Fitness journals help you make positive changes that allow you to see results! Here are 5 benefits of maintaining one:
1. Track your progress and achieve fitness goals
Self-monitoring techniques to track your efforts towards developing a healthy lifestyle can help with weight loss and muscle gain. A journal will keep you organized and offer insights on your progress, thereby helping you maintain momentum and achieve fitness goals. Whenever you find yourself losing sight of your goals, you could always refer back to the journal and re-calibrate your workout to stay on course.
2. Eat healthy
Journaling will help track your daily food intake and cultivate healthy eating habits. You could record the name and quantity of vegetables you’ve eaten or the amount of water consumed per day. This will let you review your dietary habits periodically and will let you fine-tune your meal planning. In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine highlights how maintaining a journal that records your food intake could double your weight loss.
3. Stay motivated
Journaling will enable you to record the amazing workouts you’ve had and help you recall them whenever you are feeling demotivated. Moreover, exercising is also a great way to brainstorm and focus on other facets of life. A fitness journal can also be used to write down your good ideas that are related to your work or personal life, which you come across while working out. This will help in uplifting your mood and lead a more balanced life.
4. Analyse and amend
Aspects such as menstrual cycle, hydration levels and stress levels can be mapped on a day to day basis using a fitness journal. Additionally, you could use the record entries to analyse whether you felt tired on a particular day and what could have been the contributing factors for the same. This will help you include rest days in your workout, change the exercise timings, maintain consistency and adopt better eating habits.
5. Prevent injuries
Be it running or weight lifting, both these exercise forms can take a heavy toll on the body. Fitness journaling will help record the pace, weights lifted or pain experienced due to a certain form or posture. Therefore, you will be in a better place to avoid making mistakes, tweak your workouts and increase your pace or the weights you lift gradually.
So, ladies, try fitness journaling to accentuate your workouts and eating habits and lead healthier lives!