New Year’s resolutions can be great catalysts for reinvigorating your overall well-being. But like many things worth doing, improving your fitness and health takes time.
So, wondering how you can tell if you’re actually improving?
While helpful, parameters like body weight and BMI don’t always accurately capture just how much change is going on, and besides: there are so many other aspects to health other than your weight!
This year, if you need a little help monitoring your progress and staying on top of your fitness goals, check out some of these non-scale suggestions below.
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5 Ways to Track & Document Your Fitness Resolutions in the New Year
1) Test (and re-test) a timed workout.
Whether it’s a mile run, a 1,000 meter row, or any other type of exercise you can safely push yourself in, a timed workout that you test at the beginning of the year and again at a later date gives you clear evidence as to whether you’ve improved. If you’re comfortable with the basic powerlifting movements like deadlift or back squat, feel free to test/re-test a 1 rep max lift, too.
2) Schedule monthly updates with an accountability buddy.
Routine meetings over coffee (or protein shakes) with a close confidant is a great way for you to voice your thoughts, feelings, and commitment to your new fitness routine as the weeks go on. Plus, your friend can give you some honest feedback on their perspective of your progress, which may help you fill in some understandable blind spots.
More of an introvert? Schedule monthly or quarterly free-write journaling sessions, instead.
3) Take progress pictures.
Okay, okay. We know taking photos of yourself (no filter!) may make you feel a little…uncomfortable. But nobody has to see these photos except you and taking a front, side, and back angle body shot at specific intervals throughout the year can really help you see the differences that are otherwise hard to notice on a day-to-day basis.
See how far you’ve come!
4) Get tech-y with a sleep tracking app.
You can monitor the quality of your all-important snoozes using a variety of apps downloaded right to your phone. Check out Paste Magazine’s Top 10 list for ideas.
5) Splurge and get some testing done.
If you’re a little more flexible with your budget and you love getting a little geeky when it comes to your health, consider consulting with a doctor for some pre- and post- lab work taken at least 3-6 months apart. This allows you to “see” how your fitness resolutions are affecting parts of your health that aren’t directly obvious, such as numbers on the scale or the fit of your clothes.
Not sure what type of blood tests to get done? Ask for the following:
– Cholesterol (including the levels of your “lousy” LDL, “healthy” HDL, and triglycerides)
– C-reactive protein (which tests for inflammation in the body)
– TSH (which tests thyroid function)
– Blood sugar levels (including blood glucose at the time of testing and your A1C, which looks at your average blood glucose levels over time)
– Albumin and BUN/creatinine (which measure liver and kidney function)
– Basic nutrient levels (including Vitamin D, calcium, electrolytes and bicarbonate)
Got any favorite ways to track your progress and stay inspired with your health goals? Let us know about it by sharing in the comments below!