Tracking your progress using fitness apps

Move - Article 06

So, you’re exercising and feeling great! Now what?

Staying on track means keeping your motivation and momentum motoring on at all costs. As we outlined in Building a Workout Plan setting clear goals and tracking your progress are essential to your success. Without these, it’s all too easy to soon find yourself adrift – sailing rudderless. So, keep a health and fitness journal or, to make things even easier, use a fitness tracker app. 

At Onko, we’ve seen time and time again that our clients experience a whole host of benefits by tracking their progress – it really is worth it, we promise! Let’s explore some key benefits:

More likely to succeed

Having your progress (or lack thereof) in black and white gives you all the feedback you need. You’ll be able to gauge whether your goals are realistic or, maybe even, underestimating your potential. Setting bitesize, achievable goals and looking at your progress head-on helps us avoid future disappointment. You’ll set better goals and begin to set even higher ones!

Better use of time

By ensuring your exercise plan is written out ahead of time, you won’t waste any time or effort just before the workout. This also gets rid of common excuses and stops the canceling of sessions with the coach altogether.

You’ll be able to really focus on the task in hand and not worry about what exercise to do next. With no lag you’ll also achieve a greater training density and reap the rewards of a better workout.

Greater adaptability

Properly recording your workouts, as well as your diet, sleep, and mood will expose patterns and help us both recognise the reasons you feel motivated to exercise on some days and not on others. Knowledge is power, and this understanding will allow us to adapt the program together, making the most of down days and pushing ourselves a little further on the good days. You’ll also know whether an exercise has become too easy and be able to adjust the difficulty accordingly for the remainder of your program.

Higher levels of commitment

Having a constant reminder of your achievements will spur you on to do even more. You’ll be striving for new high scores and personal bests to out-do your former self with each week that passes. Little wins become addictive! Plus, knowing your goal, clearly written out, means you’ll be less likely to skip a workout because you know what’s at stake.

Excellent results

Knowing you’re going to record everything you’ve done after your session is a great incentive to keep going during the session. The harder you work in your exercise the fitter you’ll be and the better you’ll feel.

Improved mental health

Ah ha, the proven benefits of ‘venting’. Tracking your fitness regimen, and then writing how you felt that day, including your mood, any extra factors that affected your workout, or anything else that is bouncing around that brain of yours has great effects. Your workout log provides a judgement-free sounding board for how you’re feeling.

Sold? Good. Now it’s time to learn how.

How to track your fitness using fitness apps

The traditional method was to record everything in a fitness journal. This is of course, still a good way to log your workouts and measure your progress if you’re a pen and paper type of person! An example journal page might look like this:

Saying that, we also know a physical journal can be cumbersome and easy to forget. Plus, paper’s not great at getting to know you back or tracking your month on month.

Now we live in a digital age and, when it comes to tracking fitness, there are no shortage of simple, wonderful ways to do that.

All you’ll need to remember is your phone and the right app to record your data as you go. Most apps will record your run (and all the stats) for you by hitting ‘Go!’ and sleep patterns are tracked without you needing to press a button. Clever stuff! Other key measurements, like your water intake, can simply be inputted after each glass.

The immediate and clear information fitness tracker apps give us make our goals even easier to set and reach. Calorie burn is a difficult thing to work out on our own but most apps will be able to show you exactly how many you scorched through on and since the last workout.

With this level of insight viewable in daily, weekly and monthly measures we can begin to build a very clear picture of how well we’re doing and what we can expect from ourselves in the future.

Many apps also have the added bonus of community features through which you can add friends, share your progress and enjoy fitness challenges with or against other app users. There’s no motivation quite like knowing your best friend is keeping tabs on your times!

With the Onko app you’ll be able to sync your Fitbit and see all of those vital stats. Your coaches will too, which means they can help keep you on track and hit those goals. For example, at Onko, we focus on the time spent in the ‘cardio’ or ‘moderate intensity’ heart rate zone. Research suggests that the maximum health benefits are derieved from spending at least 30 minutes a day in this heart rate zone.

You can even set reminders for healthy practices like moments of mindfulness.

There are also many apps designed for specific sporting activities:

  •  Runtastic, MapMyRun and Nike Run Club are great for pavement pounders and parkrunners
  • Whilst, Strava and CycleMeter make ideal cycling companions

Whatever your preferred workout, chances are there’s an app for it.

Recap

Ultimately, however you track your progress, knowing why it’s so important is the main thing. Simply find the system that suits you (or we can help!) and start enjoying the benefits.