Whether you’re trying to get lean, run fast or lose body fat, tracking your fitness progress will help you to stay motivated and focused, says Lucy Miller. Here are some simple steps you can follow right now…
1. Try new technology to track your fitness
A smart watch is a great way to monitor all aspects of keeping fit, from how many steps you do daily, to your resting heart rate (the lower, the better) and how much faster you’re running a 5k. We love the new Sunnto 3 (£199; suunto.com), which not only keeps track of your heart rate, recovery, sleep and calories burned, but also connects to MapMyRun and Strava apps. Use these apps to track your fitness – they’ll notify you of your speed, distance and relative effort, so you can look back on the data and compare the stats from every workout you’ve recorded.
2. Write the data down to track your fitness
There’s nothing better than putting pen to paper, which is why we love CR Gibson’s Fitlosophy Fitbook (£20; amazon.co.uk). This 12-week planner includes a designated section for tracking cardio and strength training, along with a section for your food and water intake. You also have the option to write down your goals with a note of the reward that you’d like to treat yourself to once you’ve hit your target. Spa break, anyone?
3. Monitor your measurements to track your fitness
Taking body measurements can be a great way of to monitor your body composition without standing on the scales. Start by grabbing your tape measure and measuring around your chest. Next, measure your right bicep (about four inches above the inside of your elbow joint), your waist (always measure the smallest part), your hips (the widest area around your bottom and thighs), and your right thigh (about six inches above your knee). We recommend doing this every week, recording data in either your training journal or on an app such as BodyTracker Photo & Measurement (free to download on iTunes), which also allows you to take progress pictures and compare your body composition as you track your fitness.
4. Mind your mentality to track your fitness
Assessing how you feel on a day-to-day basis is probably the most overlooked way to measure whether you’re on the right track. Are you sleeping well? Do you feel healthy? How do your clothes fit? As you ask yourself these questions, why not attach some numbers to them? For example, on a scale of 1-10, how is your physical energy – do you feel refreshed upon waking? How’s your mental energy? How confident do you feel when you look in the mirror? Monitoring these metrics will help you to keep track of your progress without the need for scales, tape measures or anything other than your mind!
5. Strike it right to track your fitness
Monitoring your running stride, running efficiency, and overall fitness and pace is easily done with NURVV Run Insoles (£249.99; nurvv.com). Simply place the inner soles in your trainers and the combination of sensors-to-GPS will not only display your pace, distance and cadence on the personalised app, but will also show detailed data of your foot strike pattern, your pronation and overall balance. Your running technique matters, so by tracking your performance and then becoming more aware of how you run, you’ll be able to run faster and for longer periods of time – plus, more efficiently and effectively. There are more tips for improving your running here. Personal best, here you come!