Six Benefits Of Keeping An Exercise Journal for Consistent, Effective Workouts

There are many benefits of keeping an exercise journal for women who want  to add more exercise into their daily routine.

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So you bought a gym membership to exercise more for stress relief and to stay fit.  Congratulations. But the question is: Will you use it on a regular basis?

If you need help maintaining a consistent exercise routine for stress relief and fitness, an exercise journal can work miracles.

There are many benefits of keeping an exercise journal.  An exercise journal  is one tool for making your workouts more consistent and effective. For instance, take a look at the benefits of tracking your time on your treadmill desk for work.

The Benefits of Keeping an Exercise Journal

  1. Maximize awareness. When you write in an a diary your mindfulness increases and awareness improves. You’ll have very accurate information about how many times you visited the gym last week, and exactly what you did when you were there, how you felt before , during and after your workout, and much more. At the same time, you’ll feel empowered and accomplished, and you will be much better able to relax and enjoy the rest of your day knowing that you’ve accomplished your exercise goals for the day and that you documented the necessary information. 
  2. Set realistic goals.  If you set unrealistic exercise goals you risk missing out on the fun of being fit.  You can’t transform yourself into Superwoman and you can’t lose 50 pounds in one week to fit into your jeans no matter how hard you try.   Instead, aim for reasonable targets like taking 2 inches off your waistline or losing 2 pounds per week.  Small, realistic goals will give you more victories to celebrate. 
  3. Build in accountability. You’re less likely to skip your work outs when you know your exercise journal diary will become lasting evidence of that fact.  Keeping a journal leads to build it accountability because you’d rather do those sit up that have to read in your exercise diary that you skipped them.
  4. Recover from lapses.  Events, sickness, and circumstances can sometimes get in the way of your exercise routine. That happens to everyone.  Events like holidays and weddings interfere with the soundest of exercise plans. Taking a long term view will show you how to bounce back from a few hectic days quickly instead of using that as an excuse to slack off on your workout permanently.
  5. Keep Track of important data. Imagine running a business where you neglect to keep records about your customers or finances. Data is just as essential when you’re trying to figure out how to walk ( or run) a faster mile. 
  6. Manage medical conditions. An exercise journal may be especially useful if you’re living with a chronic condition. Lifestyle adjustments could reduce the symptoms of diabetes or arthritis.

How to Keep an Exercise Journal

  1. Create your format. I am not a techie, so pen and paper works fine for me.  If that sounds like you, invest in an exercise journal with a pretty cover. If you are a gadget lover, you can organize your data with a mobile app on your phone.  
  2. Define your scope. You can decide how much or how little you want to write in your journal. You have the option to track just the basics or keep a detailed diary of each workout. At the very least minimum, try to document what time you worked out ( morning or afternoon),  how long your workout lasted, the level of intensity and how you felt before, during, and after the workout. 
  3. Evaluate your feelings.  This is really important for many women who want to know how their emotions affect their fitness plans. It’s  empowering and inspiring to document how a half hour of cycling, or walking, or jogging enhances your mood. On the other hand, if you leave a Cross Fit session feeling drained, it could be a sign you may be overtraining and need to lighten your workout sessions. 
  4. Include fun, relevant images and quotes. Pictures say a thousand words and inspirational sayings can give you that extra motivation to stick to the routine. So include pictures and quotes to  make your exercise journal a fun p[project that you enjoy going back to every day.  
  5. Make scheduled entries.  To get the most benefit from your exercise journal,  you have to write in it every day. Making daily scheduled entries shortly after your workout helps to ensure accuracy. Try different options and see what system works best for you. For instance, you may need to take your journal to the gym with you or if you work out at home, you may need to take 5 minutes after cool down to write in your exercise journal. Another option could be to write in your exercise journal just before going to bed. 
  6.  Be flexible and change your routine. Our bodies adapt to any familiar movement so walking a mile will soon require less effort than it used to. If you want to advance, you’ll need to make things more challenging. Many experts suggest that a 10% weekly increase in weight, intensity, or distance is usually a safe guide. 
  7. Examine your records. Use your journal to reflect on how far you’ve come. Maybe you’ve worked your way up from 5 pushups to 15 over the course of the year. 
  8. Collaborate with others. Reserve your journal for your eyes alone or share it with your health team. Your physician or personal trainer can give you more detailed recommendations when they learn more about you.

Write your workout program down on a piece of scrap paper or a custom-designed template. Either way, you’ll be more likely to reach your fitness goals when you monitor your progress with an exercise journal.

Please Share Your Thoughts 

In the comments below, share with us:

1. Have you ever used an exercise journal?
2. Did you find that it helped you? What did you find most useful when writing in your journal?

 

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