The art of journaling or diary keeping is an ancient and esteemed one which has found to have many benefits for life.
People who journal can express emotion, view problems and see their own personal growth. This also rings true for people who keep exercise logs to record all of their workout details.
For many new exercisers, staying motivated to exercise is one of the most difficult things to do. It is very easy to slip out of your program in the first few weeks, especially when you are unable to see any results. Keeping a log of your workouts can enable you to see your progress written down (even if you are not yet seeing it on your waistline).
An exercise log or workout journal can be a great tool for any exerciser – you can list your intended workouts, tick off if you achieved them or note what stopped you from achieving your workouts. You can also use it to pinpoint activities which may cause you pain or discomfort and re-design your workout accordingly.
Your workout journal can also be a place to record your workout and health related goals. Perhaps you would like to participate in a local fun run which is taking place in 3 months time. You can write this goal into your workout journal, using the SMART goal setting principle, and devise workout programs that will help you achieve this goal.
Remember the SMART formula is goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
It is also possible to buy journals that are pre-set for various sports, such as running, cycling or swimming. These types of workout journals offer a great variety of information on the chosen sport, including how to start a program and how to tell whether you are over or under training. These types of journals are great for people who only participate in one sport and are reasonably serious about it.
For new exercisers, the best type of journal to buy is a blank notebook or folder so that you can devise your own system.
For example, you might like to record your opening body measurements, have a page for your goals, keep information relating to any sport club memberships or other useful sport related literature you may have collected from magazines, then have pages that details your planned exercise over a chosen period of time with options for noting if you achieved this objective, if anything stopped you why did it stop you, how you felt when you finished, if you experienced any soreness or other injuries and how much exercise you completed.
An addition to the workout log is including details of the food you have eaten as well. This enables you to see whether you are eating a healthy diet and what foods give you the most benefit in terms of energy for your exercise. You may find that you need to carbohydrate load the night before if you are planning to go for a long run in the morning for example.
However keeping a food diary can become tedious so you may prefer to use the workout and nutrition journal to pre-plan menus. Pre-planning a menu ensures that you take in enough energy to complete your workout without leaving yourself exhausted.
The point of physical activity is to make us feel better by using a workout journal, you can see at a glance what exercise types your body enjoys and how far you have come since you started your activity adventure.