When you’re starting a new workout regimen, you’d naturally obsess over whether you’re making results. Every day, you’d look into the mirror or step on the scale. You may even write down your measurements after each routine. But though these techniques help determine your progress, they don’t rigorously test your strength, speed, and resistance — basically, your body’s overall improvement.
Hence, aside from merely recording measurements, it’s also essential to keep track of your new achievements every day. If you run a mile yesterday, make it a goal to break that record on the following day. Or try to improve your stretches until you could do a split.
Focusing on what our bodies can do rather than obsessing over whether we are trimming down fats can give us a healthier sense of accomplishment. Weighing yourselves every day can affect your self-esteem or push you to work out beyond your limits just because you didn’t reach your goal.
Weighing Scales Don’t Truly Define Your Progress
Your weight fluctuates every single day. You may weigh 50 kilos in the morning, then gain two more kilos by nighttime. That’s because several things affect our weight, such as hydration, bowel movements, exercise, salty food and carb intake, and water retention. As such, the numbers on the scale aren’t an accurate measure of our fat loss.
Your weight may even increase as you gain more muscle because muscle weighs more than fat. Therefore, the scale is ultimately useless in monitoring your weight loss. Besides, weight just a number, not a definition of your health.
Healthier and More Accurate Ways to Measure Results
1. Measure Hips, Thighs, or Biceps
The measurements of these body parts will give you a more accurate picture of your body composition. It allows you to see whether you’re gaining muscle, which is more empowering than tracking fat loss.
2. Measure Waist-to-Hip Ratio
Since we all have different body types, it’s impossible to achieve a tiny waist and round, wide hips when that’s not how your body is designed. However, if you find that your hips, buttocks, and thighs are on the thicker side, leave it, because they’re healthy. According to research from the University of Oxford, having fat on those body parts lowers the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Hence, don’t mind your missing thigh gap and broad hips. You must aim for a WHR of 0.85 or lower, according to WHO.
3. Check Blood Pressure
It probably never crosses your mind, especially if you’re young, but one of the biggest benefits of exercise is improving cardiovascular health. Checking your blood pressure is essential because even skinny people can have high blood pressure, too. Download a blood pressure tracker app, or buy a simple device from your local merchandise.
4. Track Speed
If you’re an athlete or a marathoner, your speed is incredibly crucial. It’s vital to know your exact progress every after training, as it’ll determine if your skills are improving.
For men, the average running speed is 9:03 minutes per mile; for women, it’s 10:21 minutes. If you’re planning to run a 5K, 10K, or a marathon, you have to achieve those average speeds, at least.
Different devices are available to measure your running speed, from mobile apps to smartwatches. The tried-and-true Stalker radar, the device used to measure the speed of a thrown object, such as a baseball, also works in measuring a runner’s speed.
5. Monitor Daily Wellness Goals
Keep your daily goals realistic, so that you won’t be pressured to reach them. You don’t even have to complete them every day. The items you’re ticking off have to progressively increase so that you’d feel happier and more confident with each passing day.
By tracking your progress with a positive mindset, your wellness journey will nourish not just your body but your soul as well.