Tracking my exercise goals!

We have had a busy week getting back into routine and working on adding our new year goals. As promised, my husband has put together information for me to begin my exercise goal. As my ultimate objective is about being deliberate and consistent with exercise for overall health and fitness, I’m hoping that tracking any weight loss will serve in helping to keep me motivated.

In Brad’s words:

There are many ways to track weight loss. Some much better than others.

The most used of course is the scale. But we have all heard the old saying “muscle weighs more than fat” so if you are working out to help lose weight there is some truth to the fact you might gain weight as you are gaining more muscle. Usually there is a disproportionate loss of fat to the increase in muscle so unless you are taking more steroids than Mr. Olympia (yes, they are all taking heavy amounts of steroids) you will still register as losing weight.

The most accurate way to measure your loss would be to purchase a body fat monitor. These devices send an imperceptible electrical current through your body and can, with some reasonable certainty, analyze your percentage of body fat. As you workout, eat more healthy and take overall better care or yourself your percentage of body fat understandably decreases.

A more preferable method, (in my humble opinion) is the tape measure method. You simply take measurements of your arms, chest, waist, hips, thighs and calves and add the total number up. The reason I like this method is it is much more sensitive to your loss of weight. For most people the total amount of inches will be over a couple hundred. So even a small loss of body fat will be detected at each source so it will be easy to see a change in the overall amount of inches measured. It’s often recommended to take measurements monthly but I would recommend weekly.

The last method is something I would recommend all people trying to lose weight do. Take a picture of yourself. Not in a winter parka but in something that shows your weight. Either a bathing suit, workout clothes if form-fitting, shirtless for men or sports bra for females. Again, something that shows why you are attempting to lose weight and get healthier. (no spandex please. When you accomplish an amazing loss of weight and feel the need to show people your before and after photos you will be glad I gave you this advice.) This is the real deal. We can talk about losing weight but it’s not until we actually see the difference in the mirror, or the photo, that it actually hits home. Using the tape measure method shows even small amounts of progress and sometimes that’s all we see for a while as we are changing our lifestyle. And when you see the little gains often times that’s all the motivation you need to make more changes and to lose even more weight the next time.

My choice of tracking….

First off, let me just say, I do not wear nor even own spandex. I’m also the family photographer, so the picture is still under consideration.

As I’ve always measured weight by how my clothes fit, I’m going to use the tape measure method. In addition to making me a <<chart>> to track measurements Brad has also given me some suggested exercises that fit my personal needs. There are some great web sites out there for exercise tools if you are looking for workout suggestions. Here’s some sites I’ve found helpful.

What my husband usually says about the type of exercise that is best for someone, “any exercise you are able and willing to do, is the best.” In other words, get moving!! 🙂 I hope others will join me, and I pray an occasional post of my progress helps keeps me accountable.

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