Friday, June 20th,

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Keeping an Exercise Journal

Think that you don’t need to keep track of your exercise and exercise routines?  That keeping an “exercise diary” or journal isn’t for you.
Then may you should rethink your exercise action plan.

Conventional wisdom states that you can improve on what you don’t track – if you are not tracking your exercise in an exercise diary, then how can you improve it?

Exercise has multiple benefits from increased muscle strength, decreased weight, and improved health.  But who stays on a program for more than a week?

Research shows that if you can maintain an activity for 30 days you’ll be more likely to stick with it.  And, if you can maintain an activity for 60 days it will be harder to stop the habit than to continue.

This is one reason an exercise diary can be critical to your success.  You may think that an exercise diary only includes the workout that was done but there is so much more that can be recorded.

Recording exercise helps you to notice trends in your performance.  If you rate your performance through both objective and subjective criteria you’ll notice differences between your actual performance and how you felt that you performed.

Diaries can be retrospective (historical) and prospective (future).  In other words you can use the diary to record a plan for your workout and then record the actual routine.  Using this strategy people new to an exercise routine have a greater chance of continuing the program.

The diary acts somewhat like an accountability partner.  The routine is written down and if you neglect to start or complete it you must also record your results.  Using the diary to maintain your focus increases your chances of success.

Exercise diaries also help to highlight weaknesses in both your program and your abilities.  Keeping track of your performance in different activities will indicate your abilities.  And that same information will show you how quickly or slowly you are progressing.

Motivation is a problem for many people who are exercising or new to an exercise routine.  Doing the same thing day after day can be monotonous.  Recording your objective data and watching the changes can often times increase your desire to continue.  You can also change your routines and be assured that you have a record of what really worked and what doesn’t.

Exercise diaries should include objective data such as heart rate before, during and after; the amount of time you spent exercising, any resistance (weights) you may be using, time of day you are exercising and measurements of your arms, thighs, waist and hips over time.

Subjective data should include how you feel before, during and after exercise.  You can use a numeric rating system to be able to compare your ‘feelings’ over time.  Now you can evaluate when your top times to exercise are based on your rating system.

Exercise diaries give you the edge to improve your program, increase your motivation, determine your best workouts and times, track your progress and begin a life changing habit.

Remember that keeping an exercise diary only takes 2-3 minutes per entry, yet you can gain so much in return.
They say that those who keep an exercise diary compared to those that don’t reach their goals more quickly and also keep with their fitness workouts much longer.

If you don’t want to call it an exercise diary – call it an exercise log. It doesn’t matter what you call it. Just remember to do it.

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