Written by: Emily Eder | AdvantageHealth at The Marq Program Manage
You’ve Set Your Goals, Now Track Your Progress.
Success starts with a positive attitude! January is a great time to be exited: new year, new decade, new opportunities. Maybe you’ve already started chipping away at the goals that you’ve set for yourself for 2020. How many of your goals are directly related to health and fitness? The time you’re spending- or not spending in the gym or being active? The kinds of foods that you’re eating or not eating? Maybe your goal is to lose 10 pounds before your vacation. Which of your goals will have the most impact on your mind, your body, your life?
Once you’ve determined your why, identified any potential obstacles in your way, created an action plan, and set a reward for yourself, it’s time to start tracking your progress. Tracking your progress means that you’re more likely to reach-and even surpass, your goals. Tracking your progress is also motivating and it reinforces and remind your why you’re doing what you’re doing. Ultimately, tracking your progress helps keep you committed to your goals and plans.
How do you track your progress? There are so many different ways to track progress: apps, old-school fitness journals, in-house competitions, online fitness communities, before and after photos, weekly weigh-ins, the list goes on. Probably the easiest of these methods is an app via your smartphone. These apps use data from sensors that can track and help you lost weight, gain muscle, or maintain your current weight. If one of your primary goals for 2020 is to lose weight, start with an app like MyFitness Pal. MFP can help you stay on track of what you eat, by allowing you to scan barcodes of the foods that you eat, or by entering portions manually. The app also lets you choose from over 350 exercises to create your own virtual workouts. Not to mention, the app is free!
There are apps for almost everything health and wellness related- here are some top favorites for 2019:
1. Headspace: meditation and mindfulness are made simple with Headspace. Headspace leads users on a “journey of contemplation” via guided meditations. The app is great for beginners- it teaches you the foundational aspects of meditation within the first 10 days of use; free in app store.
2. Strava: a social fitness network, primarily used to track cycling and running exercises using GPS, Strava offers a free service for users to share their activities- such as running and cycling. The app also collects data on user’s heart rate, power, speed, time, and route summaries; free in app store.
3. Bodybuilding.com: the popular supplement company’s app allows users to train anywhere, using various exercise plans that can help you lose weight, build muscle, and improve performance. Choose from the app’s library of exercises and build your own workout, track sets and reps, as well as weight; free in app store.
4. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock: the app works by using the accelerometer inside your phone to detect movements as your sleep. The app then uses this data to determine an optimal “wake time” during your lightest sleep phase. Sleep Cycle can also track sleeping habits and patterns; free in app store.
5. Smoke Free: a genius app that tracks cravings and progress, and helps user’s understand smoking habits. The app uses evidence-based techniques to help user’s quit and build the skills needed to stay smoke free; free in app store.
Bireline, A. (2017). 7 reasons to track your progress. National Institute for Fitness & Sport. Retrieved from https://www.nifs.org/blog/7-reasons-to-track-your-fitness-progress