5 Tips on How to Measure Your Body to Track Your Fitness Progress

When you’re following a fitness program, you must keep track of your progress to see how far you’ve come. Tracking your progress correctly is an important way of making sure that you’re hitting all of your fitness targets. This way, you’ll be able to figure out what fitness methods work for you and what don’t.A Weight Scale

Most individuals consider the weighing scale as the only way of tracking their progress, despite it being far from true. They look at the number on the scale and assess the effectiveness of their fitness program based on how quickly that number changes. Relying solely on the weighing scale can be quite misleading if you’re looking to track your progress. Here are five other methods you can use to effectively measure your fitness progress.

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  1. Take Progress Photos

While it can be quite awkward to stand in front of the mirror and take pictures of yourself when your body doesn’t look the way you want it to, you need to know where you started from. The numbers on your weighing scale will tell you one story, while your progress photos will tell you another. Since you’ll be looking at yourself in the mirror daily, it’ll be harder for you to notice small changes in your body, such as losing water weight and having lean mass gains. Taking progress photos of yourself will allow you to reflect on your fitness journey from an outsider’s point of view.

Start by taking pictures of yourself from the front, back, and side in a relaxed position. Take progress photos weekly wearing the same outfit in the same environment.

  1. Use a Measuring Tape

Using a tape measure, you can quite literally measure your progress and then implement any changes that need to be made to your fitness routine to help you achieve your goals. You can do this using a measuring tape made of soft plastic. You can have someone else measure your arms and neck more accurately instead of doing it yourself. Typically, the areas targeted in a fitness routine are your waist, thighs, hips, and chest, and it’s relatively easy to take measurements of these areas by yourself.

However, even when using a tape measure, certain steps must be followed to ensure that the measurements are accurate. For instance, if you’re wondering how to measure your chest size, the first step is to relax your muscles and stand up straight. Exercising generally makes your muscles appear more prominent for a while, so keep in mind that you take your measurements before you start your workout routine, not afterward. Measure yourself over your bare skin, as any fabric or material from the clothes you’re wearing can make the measurements inaccurate. While measuring yourself, make sure that the tape is taught and straight against your body, instead of being loose or at an angle.

Write down all the measurements of the body parts that you’re targeting, or input them into a spreadsheet. Do this once a month so you can check in to see how much progress you’ve made so far.

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  1. Try On Your Old Clothes

No one is a better judge of the fit and feel of your clothing items than you. Clothes are an excellent way of determining the areas where you might have lost weight or gained muscle mass. While you’re carrying out your fitness program, make sure to try on your old clothes and pay attention to the way they fit.

If your clothes fit exactly the way they did before you started your fitness program, likely, you haven’t made any progress so far. However, if they feel loose on you as compared to before and if weight loss was one of your goals, then congratulations, it’s going well so far. Similarly, if you’re looking to gain muscle mass and your shirts feel a little snug on you, then that is also indicative of the progress that you’ve made so far.

  1. Keep Track of Your Water Intake

Most people are blissfully unaware of the key role that hydration plays when it comes to losing weight. Water plays a major role in carrying out all of your body’s processes and functions, allowing you to stay hydrated without any additional calories. If you’ve started a fitness program, it’s important to keep track of your water intake to ensure that you drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.

But if you’re someone who has trouble drinking too much water, or forgets to drink water, then there are alternatives for that too. You can, quite literally, eat your water. Certain foods such as oranges, watermelon, cucumbers, strawberries, and yogurt are essentially full of water. You can research the type of foods that have a high water count and can substitute those for drinking other beverages for your water intake.

  1. Measure Your Body Fat

There are ideal body fat percentages for men and women, depending on their ages and physique. If your body fat percentage lies within the required area, then you’re good to go. However, if you’re looking to lower the amount of body fat, it might be a good idea to track the percentage levels every week.

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You can tell the amount of body fat you have just by pinching your skin. You can determine your body fat percentage through skinfold measurements, which measure the amount of fat you have lying underneath your skin. This method isn’t extremely accurate, with results usually varying by about 6 percent. However, if you use the same method at all times and keep track of the percentage of fat loss rather than the number, it can be quite beneficial in helping you track your fitness progress. Various methods can be used such as the visual body fat assessment, bioelectrical impedance analysis, and skinfold measurement.

There are a lot of emotional challenges that come with embarking on a physical fitness program. However, you should always enjoy the journey and learn to trust the process. By keeping track of your progress, you’ll be able to see the differences in your body, which will further work as a motivation factor to help you achieve your dream body.

References

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/exercise-and-physical-activity-tracking-tools

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