Keeping track of your fitness progress helps you adopt healthy habits. Tracking also allows you to see if what you are doing is working or changes need to be made. Here are some great ways to track your progress.
Body mass index (BMI). A healthy BMI correlates with more energy, feeling good, and a decreased risk of many diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and more.
This is the most popular metric for identifying healthy body composition. Note that some critics say it should also take into account muscle percentage and frame size, not just height and weight.
Calculate your BMI at bit.ly/bmiscore; aim for 19 to 24.9. There is about a 30-pound range for each height category, and it tends to be more accurate for women than men.
Waist to hip. A 2015 study of 15,000 people found that a high waist to hip measurement ratio was linked to increased risk of death, even if you have a normal BMI. To check yours, measure around the smallest part of your waist, then the largest part of your hips and bottom. Divide waist number by hip number. According to the World Health Organization, a healthy number is less than 0.9 for women and less than 0.85 for men.
Body fat percentage. There are many scales now that measure body fat percentage. If you don’t have a scale, many gyms offer this service. It’s a good number to know. Gaining muscle will help lower body-fat percentage.
Exercise and good nutrition will result in a healthier body and mind. Tracking progress will help guide your path. If you’re seeing results, keep doing what you’re doing. If you struggle, change things up!
Jill Strand and Chris Radke are owners and certified trainers at UpLift Guided Fitness in Woodbury.