Progress over Perfection
How to measure fitness progress without tracking numbers on a scale.
The scale alone does not tell the entire story of your progress in health and fitness, and there are more important and reliable signs of progress. The human body is made up of more than just fat and muscle; it also includes water, bone, muscle mass, fat mass, and organs. All of these have weight, with some weighing more than others. If you are doing any kind of resistance training, you’re simultaneously burning off fat and building lean muscle mass at the same time, leading to little change in body weight but still making a lot of progress. Here are a few more signs of progress to look out for:
- Medical test results: Exercise is a very common and cost effective solution to many medical issues. Regardless of what your own personal situation is, improving your medical test results by incorporating exercise into your daily lifestyle is a great indicator of progress.
- Gains in the gym: Progress can be measured by increasing the weight you’re lifting in the gym. Keeping track of the numbers on the main movements you do week to week will not only help you to build consistency, but will also enable you to see the physical results of your progress.
- Daily tasks are easier: Your strength improves your ability to easily accomplish daily tasks, like climbing stairs without getting winded and carrying all of your groceries into the house in fewer trips. Mobility and flexibility workouts may even relieve chronic back pain. Recognize the small functional changes in your everyday life for a great measure of progress and a source of motivation.
- Energy levels Feeling more motivated, less sluggish, or genuinely happier in day to day life is progress in itself. The side effects of exercise are endless, but often can be related to increased self confidence, higher energy levels, and a higher sense of positivism.
- How your clothes look, fit, and feel: As you exercise, your body composition changes and the shape of your body will change. Whether it’s a pair of jeans you’ve been wanting to fit into or being confident to visit the pool in the summer, be happy and appreciate the progress in your fitness journey.
- Sport performance: Running faster, jumping higher, or staying on the playing field longer are all signs of conditioning progress. Noticing a change in the way you feel when you’re participating in your sport is a great measure of athletic progress.
The ultimate win is permanently adopting exercise and healthy habits into your lifestyle. Maybe at one point in time you dreaded any kind of exercise, but now you have found something that you love that is part of your regular lifestyle regimen. Maybe there was a time that you hated vegetables, but now you eat a balanced diet of vegetables and fruit. Consistency and permanent healthy lifestyle changes are huge steps of progress.
If you have any questions or would like to talk about your personal fitness plan, reach out to your Fitness Specialist at Om Fitness Club. This article was written by Chelsea Neeley at LC Preserve Crossing in Gahanna, Ohio. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.