Do You Keep a Fitness Journal?

4SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
6/6/2009 8:05 AM   :  211 comments

Many of us have come to appreciate one of the most valuable tools in our arsenal to lose weight and reclaim our health and that is by keeping a food journal. Tracking calories and nutrients allows us to become more aware of our food intake, portions, and most importantly to ensure we are getting the proper nutrients our body requires.

However, according to The American Academy of Family Physicians, keeping an exercise journal is a huge motivator for many when it comes to physical activity.

So why is an exercise journal so important?

In our busy lives it is so easy to forget what we do from day to day, much less from week to week or for that matter month to month. But having a fitness journal allows us to review where we were in the past and to develop a plan where we would like to be in the future. It can also help us to determine why some days are harder/easier than others.

Your journal doesnít have to be anything too elaborate. It can be as simple as a spiral notebook or if you do not want the paper trail, make notes on your my Fitness tracker page in the notes section.

Below is a list of some of the things you may want to include:

  • Type of activity performed Cardio, strength training, yoga, Pilates or a combination of these exercises.

  • Time spent exercising This can be tracked in your cardio tracker or quick track on your my Fitness Page.

  • How you felt during the time you were exercising Were you tired even before you started? Did you have to cut your time short due to fatigue? Did you feel energized during your workout? How did you feel when you were done?

  • Sleep patterns Many times the first sign of overtraining is a disturbance in our sleep pattern. If you begin to experience a change in your sleep habits, you may need to allow a few days off to allow for better recovery.

  • Refueling If you exercised for an hour or more did you eat/drink to refuel your glycogen stores after your workouts. What food or drink did you consume and how soon after your exercise session?

  • Weather Conditions If you exercise outside, include the weather conditions. We know that heat, cold, humidity, wind, etc, all can have a great effect on our workouts.

  • Strength Training For those who strength train, make sure you update your strength training routines on your fitness tracker to include the current weights, reps, and sets that you do for each exercise.

  • Mileage Runners should keep track of their daily and weekly mileage. Most training programs do not recommend increasing your mileage or time greater than 10% each week so that your risk for injury is lessened.

  • Injury Documenting an injury will allow you to see how quickly you recover or to know if you need to see a doctor for an issue that is not resolving.

    I am a big believer in keeping an exercise journal. Not only is it another motivator, but many times it can help me pinpoint any issues that may arise. Keeping a log, while tedious for some, is just another tool to help many of us stay accountable.

    Do you keep a fitness journal, if not would it be something you would consider doing? Do you track your fitness on your my Fitness Page? If you have kept a journal, are you amazed at the progress you have made over time?



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    Comments

    • 211
      I actually use 3 fitness journals. I use the SP fitness tracker to share what I have done for team members. I have a monthly and weekly calendar to hard copy what I have done for miles and kettlebell training. I also print out and staple a few months worth to write my planned training sessions of my kettlebell strength training cycles. - 9/15/2013   12:46:36 AM
    • 210
      I am a newbie to fitness journaling. I keep track with the SP fitness tracker. - 1/26/2013   5:02:32 AM
    • 209
      I use the fitness tracker on SparksPeople but need to get back to my written food and exercise journals. - 1/1/2013   8:56:33 AM
    • 208
      I do! On SP pages! - 3/26/2012   8:44:22 PM
    • 207
      thanks for the link, nancy! i guess i already am keeping a pretty good fitness journal based on how you describe it! - 11/16/2011   8:14:08 PM
    • 206
      Fitness journaling I had not thought of - keep the food journal and what a help that has been. If I could just be more consistent with tracking in the nutrition tracker I think I could move ahead faster in my weight loss.... so I am sure it will be the same with the fitness :) - 1/24/2011   1:04:33 PM
    • 205
      Yes they are very motivating and I use stickers etc. as a reward. - 9/29/2010   10:16:31 AM
    • 204
      Sparkpeople is my fitness journal. - 9/29/2010   9:58:43 AM
    • EVACLAIRE
      203
      I never even thought to keep a fitness log. The food log has worked out so well for me, I think I'll try it out. :) - 9/29/2010   8:33:44 AM
    • 202
      No, I do not keep a journal. - 6/16/2010   11:04:23 AM
    • 201

      The first I ever started to track a fitness and food journal is here at sparks..

      I love it and I want to keep it up and hopefully find alternative foods then I have ate before.

      I want to feel good and healthy and fit my clothes - 4/5/2010   2:58:30 PM
    • 200
      No I should, will start today if not too busy thanks as a reminder. - 3/11/2010   7:58:42 AM
    • 199
      I keep track of every workout in 2 places - my book and SparkPeople. Though it's more like a summary of what I've done, not too much details, only the first two - type of activities and time spend. - 3/9/2010   11:05:30 AM
    • JUSTSUZY5
      198
      I know it is important to keep track. At 61 yrs old I have forgotten so much. But, I am not a journal person. I have tried and tried - just not a journal person. I do not mind keeping track here where I can just click something and move on. - 2/26/2010   5:43:42 PM
    • KNITGAL7
      197
      I lkie to make a notation on the calendar. E for exercise of any kind I did that day and a O for doing nothing. - 2/24/2010   11:27:52 AM
    • VELVETA11
      196
      I keep a fitness journal it motivates me. - 2/24/2010   11:09:07 AM
    • 195
      I use the Fitness tracker--but that's it. - 2/20/2010   12:30:46 AM
    • COUNCIMA
      194
      I use SP Fitness tracker and it really helps. - 2/16/2010   10:01:31 PM
    • 193
      Keeping track by writing everything down adds to my stress level. - 1/25/2010   6:01:10 PM
    • 192
      I just started putting my fitness goals in my blog space to keep me accountable from day to day. I have to check in to post my daily numbers. Seems to be working for me! - 9/2/2009   10:20:55 AM
    • 191
      I do keep somewhat of a tracker with Spark People...but not every day and not completely...I think I need to spend more time in doing sd. Thanks for this entry

      Ruth - 7/27/2009   11:10:22 AM
    • 190
      This is a good blog! I do keep an exercise journal in a notebook, but I don't keep all the information that they mentioned in the blog, such as weather, sleep patterns, how I felt during exercise, etc. I should do that! Thanks for this info!

      Pale - 7/16/2009   8:43:02 AM
    • 189
      I do track both my strength training and cardio on the Fitness Tracker...I love seeing when the minutes add up... - 7/7/2009   9:47:34 AM
    • SHERI1969
      188
      I am a journal junkie, self-proclaimed. I thought I had every kind of journal known to humans. But this is a new one. I never thought about a fitness journal, tracking what I did. I eat pretty much the same thing every day due to health issues, but the fitness journal would be a good one to show my family doctor as well. Yes, I have plenty of empty journals just waiting to be opened and used. I will start one. - 7/4/2009   2:09:20 AM
    • 187
      I use the SP Fitness Tracker but more importantly I use my SP Blog as a fitness journal to track my exercise regime, I track the exercise, the time spent, the miles (if running), and total calories burned. Then I usually give a quick review of how the day went for me. At the end of each week I do a week review summing up my weaknesses/strengths and my weekly weigh in number.
      I find it helps keep me motivated AND accountable. - 6/30/2009   3:28:41 PM
    • 186
      All the time, It is rather imperative to do so... I use the SP tracker, my watch coach tracker, and use my notebook journal, with the tracking sheets from my gym. I love pushing the envelope to the next level. From strength, Cardio and resistance training, the logs keep me from backing off, and keeps me moving forward. - 6/26/2009   3:01:31 PM
    • 185
      I have a little notebook that I take with me to the gym that I keep my times for the treadmill and elliptical in. With this, I can see how my times have improved. I also use the Fitness Tracker. Both of these really help. - 6/19/2009   9:44:52 AM
    • 184
      I have been using three tracking tools on a daily basis......
      - SP fitness tracker for general exercises and nutrition tracking.
      - "SportsTracker" for tracking distance walking, running and cycling with a Garmin (405) GPS.
      - "The Journal" for general diary, memories, writing. - 6/18/2009   11:20:54 PM
    • 183
      I used the SP fitness tracker, I have slacked off at times, but it is a useful tool. - 6/17/2009   10:40:27 AM
    • NICCIBM
      182
      I use SP Fitness tracker. I started on SP about 2 months ago and instead of exercising for weight loss, I now track to see how many minutes I do every week. This keeps me honest! - 6/15/2009   1:53:13 AM
    • GENINE7
      181
      I tend to pay more attention to things written down, things I can visualize. I will start this practice. - 6/14/2009   4:03:17 PM
    • 180
      I, too, use the SP Fitness Tracker. I have been using the notes section for over 6 months; I find it helps if I'm doing the same DVD for a longer period of time. Now that I'm doing strength training, I add those videos as well. - 6/12/2009   7:57:19 AM
    • JANICEROSIER
      179
      YES I USE THE ONE ON SPARKPEOPLE BUT I ALSO WANT TO START WRITING IN A JOURNAL ALSO SO FAS 5 POUNDS GONE - 6/11/2009   10:18:46 PM
    • 178
      I just been using the nutrition and fitness page's, works for me - 6/11/2009   7:09:07 PM
    • OKSOONERCHIC
      177
      Keeping a food journal is the only thing that helped me - 6/11/2009   12:12:16 PM
    • TIFFYG01
      176
      I use just the nutrition and fitness section on the website and that works just fine with me. - 6/11/2009   11:08:45 AM
    • 175
      I just started keeping a food journal and I will definitely start with a fitness one as well. Does anyone know of one specific journal being sold in stores that offers both? I would love to be able to bring that with me wherever I go. - 6/11/2009   10:53:12 AM
    • 174
      Yes, I journal and use the other trackers available on the site. I am learning much about myself and my eating and portioning from the journal (emotions) and the nutrition and fitness trackers. Makes for a more comprehensive snapshot of my personal style that maybe has gotten me into this higher weight number. - 6/11/2009   1:50:15 AM
    • 173
      I use the fitness tracker. So far it helps a lot. - 6/10/2009   11:54:21 PM
    • 172
      I use the fitness tracker as my journal and it really keeps me motivated - 6/10/2009   11:06:09 PM
    • 171
      I just began (again) a fitness journal. I really enjoy it; it shows progress and what you may need to work on. - 6/10/2009   7:31:21 PM
    • 170
      I do it - 6/10/2009   4:37:50 PM
    • SHEBUD
      169
      I am just starting a journal I think I may learn where I can be more active and where my time goes, the food journal has really helped I hope this one will too. - 6/10/2009   7:31:12 AM
    • 168
      I found that I used my time to log my fitness and other progress instead of eating. Also, having a plan to follow encouraged me to get to the gym today. I'm building good habits instead of bad ones. - 6/9/2009   9:23:20 PM
    • 167
      I like to compete with myself on a weekly basis.. So if one week i run 20 miles, the following week I try to do more. I love my fitness journal. If I am not losing weight, I can look at it and see what needs to be done.
      FOOD tracker is KEY too! - 6/9/2009   4:18:17 PM
    • 166
      I keep track of the days I go to Curves on my calendar and on Spark's fitness minutes. I write on my calendar what number of workout it is. Today, June 8 was my 76th workout at Curves since January 8. I am so excited about getting closer to my 100th! - 6/9/2009   2:56:12 PM
    • RELEASINGJANA
      165
      Been using a journal for years to track my health and what affects me so using a journal when I started fitness again was like second nature. It is great tool to keep you motivated and on track. - 6/9/2009   2:39:42 PM
    • 164
      I mark on my calendar when I work out and what type of work out I did. It helps keep me going to the gym I pay for every month. I track on SP too. - 6/9/2009   1:32:42 PM
    • CHARM2B159
      163
      I have a calander hanging over my treadmill. When I use it I mark off duration and calories burned...I pray for the day when all of the days are filled with red make for the entire month - 6/9/2009   1:10:07 PM
    • 162
      I have a dry erase calendar hanging in my exercise area. I record what exercise/activity I do and the minutes. At the end of the month I review how I did and make note of any changes to make for the coming month. - 6/9/2009   12:17:20 PM

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