Tag Archives: Health

How to make your own Exercise Journal

Exercise JournalBack in college, I created a exercise journal, and discovered how logging my workouts would become one of the biggest success factors in keeping me motivated to workout. By taking the time to write down my workouts, I had a list of my accomplishments in black and white that illustrated how far I had come.

For many of us, time is usually one of the biggest barriers to developing and sticking to a workout routine. But to be completely honest, I was just as busy back then as I am now. During college, not only did I go to school full time, I also worked, and participated in the art community. Thus, my workouts were not always the traditional treadmill or lifting weight routine. Sometimes I would log dancing at the Pub on Friday night. Other times, my source of exercise was walking at the mall or gardening. Basically, any activity that got me moving was noted so by the end of the week, I did feel as though I accomplished something.

Exercise is never a chore if you find activities you love.

Having a workout routine that was flexible and ever changing was probably one of the main success factors that kept me working out solid for the three years I logged workouts. To me, exercise was never a chore because I chose activities I loved to do. While I had a core routine of walking/jogging and lifting weights, if I didn’t feel like working out at the gym…I did it at home. If I didn’t feel like doing the usual routine…I did something else. I’d go swimming or riding my bike. If I needed some motivation, I’d find somebody to workout with for that day. If I was starting to feel sick, but still wanted to workout, I just do some simple, gentle stretches. And occasionally, I would even make up my own routines such as funny ball. It’s my version of tennis since I cannot play it to save my life. The basic premise is just to keep the ball moving…it doesn’t matter where it goes on the court just as long as it keeps moving…it’s a good alternative to real tennis if you’re like me and zero coordination/skill even after taking summer tennis lessons.

Exercise JournalAnother key ingredient of my exercise journal is inspirational clippings. Each page is decorated with motivational quotes, pictures, or exercise tips that I cut out of fitness magazines or printed from the computer. And if you’re an artist, I suppose you could even draw little figures working out. By taking the time to personalizing your journal, you’ll really start to look forward to noting your progress.

I refuse to let myself feel guilty when I miss a workout.

However, there will be times when you don’t workout, and I would log those too. Getting sick, having surgery…all of those are valid excuses not to work out. And during the times when my excuses were not exactly valid, I would note the effects of not working out. Typically, I was not handling stress and feeling as energetic during those periods. And when I would note the changes, it would serve as a tool to motivate me to get back into the routine because I had a journal full of workouts telling me that making time to work out always left me feeling healthy, positive, and less stressed. But also keep in mind, that we’ll always go through periods when we get out of the routine so don’t beat yourself up…just get back into the groove.

To get you started, here are some details you may want to record in your exercise journal:

  • Time of day: Are you a morning or night person?
  • Details: If you are weight training, how many repetitions and sets did you complete? How many pounds did you lift? If you are cardio training, how long did you workout? Over time, these details are a way to measure your impovement.
  • Weather: Was it sunny and warm? Or cold and brisk?
  • Workout Buddies: Did you do the afternoon jogging routine with a friend?
  • Mood: How did you feel before the workout? How did you feel afterwords? Did the workout spark any ideas?
  • Health: How are you feeling phyically? Fatigued? Energic?
  • Inspirational Clippings: Cut and paste inspirational quotes, pictures, and exercise tips into the journal.
  • Excuses: And if you just can’t seem to workout…log the reasons why. Sometimes they are valid excuses such as getting sick.
  • A list of favorite workouts: By having a list, you’ll have a good resource of choices for those days when you’re at loss of what to do.
  • Goals: Log what you hope to accomplish in the next week or month. And list a reward if you accomplish it…maybe a new workout outfit or some new exercise equipment.
  • Week in Review: Weekly check in are a good way to judge how the workout routine is going. Is your motivation slipping? Or do you find yourself becoming more committed everyday?
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