A Quick Way to Gauge Your Progress

There are several ways that you can measure your progress on the way to being fit and thin.  In addition to the scale(which I don’t recommend), you can tell you’re losing weight by the way your clothes fit, the way you look in the mirror and by the compliments you get from people around you.

But none of those things measure one of the most important things about losing weight…your fitness level.  Personally, I found that as I lost my weight I became even more interested in my health than in my appearance.  I hope that you do, too; if you’re motivated only by appearance, what do you do once you’ve lost the weight…will you lose your motivation?

Now, please know that I’m not saying that you shouldn’t get excited about your physical appearance changing, or that it shouldn’t motivate you.  There’s nothing wrong with that at all!  I just think you should have a way to gauge the improvement in your fitness level as well.

Here’s a quick way you can do jus t that:

A really simple way to gauge your fitness is the amount of time it takes your heart rate to return to normal after exercise.  Next time you exercise, right after your cool down (and I KNOW you have a cool down…right?), check your heart rate.  Wait 60 seconds, and then check it again.  In a perfect world, your heart should slow down about 12 beats a second.  The quicker it returns to normal, the better your fitness level. 

Start doing this with your next exercise session, and write it down.  Then measure your heart rate after every exercise session, and you should see a gradual improvement as your fitness level improves.

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2 Responses to “A Quick Way to Gauge Your Progress”

  1. Rick Says:

    I started running this week, and that’s one thing I’ve noticed: It takes a little longer for my heart rate to come down than it used to. I expect it to even out once I really get in shape, though.

  2. gjosefsberg Says:

    I’d offer up a couple of tips.

    First, don’t get too crazy about measuring progress. Some people try to see if they’ve improved every day and that’s just too much. You’re not going to see progress on a daily basis. If you’re lucky, you’ll get weekly results, but a more realistic view is to measure your progress on a monthly basis.

    Second, go out and do something strenuous right now, like a long hike. See how you feel at the end of it. Now go back to your workout routine for a few months. Then try that hike again. See how you feel. If your routine is doing well, you’ll know it. There’s nothing like standing at a peak that you could barely climb to before and knowing that this time it was almost easy.

    Gal

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