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4 Cool Things That Happen When You Start Journaling Your Workouts

4 Cool Things That Happen When You Start Journaling Your Workouts

Writing out your workouts is a decidedly low-tech thing to do. I accept that. Perhaps you have tried writing out your workouts but got bored with it, or found that it was too much work. But if you stick with it, and focus on the things that matter most to you and your training, you can wield some serious benefit from this basic motivational tool.

Here are just some of the cool things that happen when you start writing out your workouts when you hit the gym:

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1. You start to see the holes in your training and lifestyle

One of the biggest surprises that happen anytime I work with an athlete when they begin using a workout log book for the first time is the absolute astonishment at how critical a role lifestyle plays into their workouts. This seems super obvious, but until it is written down in front of us, its impact lives in the land of denial.

Only when we see how a lack of sleep affects our performance, and how a lackluster diet shortchanges our abilities, that we begin to understand that our lifestyle plays a demonstrable role in how our workouts go. And the first step to changing something for the better is understanding it.

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2. You start working a little harder in the gym

One of the curious side-effects of recording your workouts is that it forces you to be a little more honest with yourself at the gym. It helps you to make better workouts a habit. Sure, you could cut corners and leave early—but then you would have to write down that you did so in your training journal later that night.

While it’s not the same as having a coach looking over your shoulder to keep you on the program and accountable, the effect is similar. I’ve lost count of how many workouts I soldiered through and completed even though I wasn’t “feeling it” that particular day—all because I didn’t want to have to write out a crappy workout later.

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3. You get a constant drip of motivation

When people talk about their workout journal, often the first word they use to describe it is “motivating!” There are a few different reasons for this, but the one I appreciate best is that it gives us a place to celebrate the daily victories. The power of small wins, performed consistently, is hard to truly appreciate and measure. After all, it’s easy to quantify the big goal—“finish a half marathon” or “Lose ten pounds.”

The training journal gives you a place to celebrate the little moments where you finished a really hard workout, or where you added an extra rep to your max bench press. Those pin-pricks of pride and motivation are what helps keep you coming back for more.

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4. You develop some serious self-awareness

If there is one skill that I wish more athletes (and people in general!) possessed, it’s self-awareness. When an athlete works their squats every day for a week and then is disappointed that they didn’t add 50 pounds to their squat jumps, that is a lack of self-awareness.

When a gym-goer goes to the gym three times in one month and then is surprised that they aren’t motivated to workout, that is a lack of self-awareness too. If we understood the way we progress and our motivation a little more deeply we would avoid a lot of the snags and hiccups that derail us.

The Takeaway

We all want to make the most of our time in the gym. The handful of minutes it takes to write out what you did and your related lifestyle habits can easily justify its time with better workouts, more self-awareness, and more motivation to show up again the next day and do it all over again. Sounds pretty cool to me.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Published on October 8, 2020

11 Affordable Fitness Trackers Watches To Keep Your Health On Track

11 Affordable Fitness Trackers Watches To Keep Your Health On Track

For any person who is conscious about their health, it’s hard to imagine working towards health goals without a fitness tracker watch or apps these days. They provide good estimates and data that you can use to better improve yourself and help you stay on track with your health goals.

But since when they first came out, many companies have gone out and released their fitness trackers. Today, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most affordable fitness tracker watches from various brands.

Choosing a Fitness Tracker Watch

Before diving into the list of best fitness trackers watches, I’ll explain the criteria we took into consideration when picking these 11 fitness trackers. These criteria should help you choose the right fitness tracker watch for you.

  • Features – By now, many fitness trackers will count steps, calories, distance, and summarize your activities. However, some will do more like track sleep patterns and have alarm functionality. Others will have less.
  • Waterproof – You might not regularly go swimming, but you still want your fitness trackers to be resilient against rain and water in general. Most of them will be waterproof, but you may find some that don’t.
  • Notifications – Many fitness trackers now can connect to your smartphone and send notifications there. Others may have a large enough screen for you to see notifications on the fitness tracker as well. This can be useful if you’re the type of person who gets plenty of messages throughout the day.
  • Battery life – Knowing how long these fitness trackers can last is helpful. Furthermore, how long it takes to charge is also worth considering.
  • Is it easy to use? – From the ease of icons to the overall navigation, you don’t want a fitness tracker to be cumbersome to navigate.
  • Reasonable price with these features – Affordability is key, of course. You want to compare the price to the number of things you can do and determine whether it’s worth it. It’s not worth it if the fitness tracker has few features but is asking for over $100.

1. Fitbit Inspire HR

    The first on our list is from the brand that started these gadgets in the first place: Fitbit. Fitbit has a wide variety of fitness bands for you to try out and provide a tonne of value for the price they ask.

    Their Inspire HR brand provides your basic functions of measuring heart rate during and after workouts, calories burned, steps, distance, and more. It even tracks sleeping patterns. The battery life is about five days, water-resistant to up to 50 meters down, and can withstand temperatures from 14 to 113 degrees Farenheight.

    Buy it here.

    2. Xiaomi Mi Band 4

      If you’re looking for a much cheaper option, the Xiaomi brand is another brand to look at. This is a Chinese brand that offers a lot of promise. For a fairly low price, you can get a band with a battery life of up to 20 days, health monitoring (heart rate, sleeping), offers exercise modes, and is water-resistant to upwards of 50 meters.

      The rub with this product is again this is from a Chinese company and some customers have had complaints about packaging and the product itself being in Chinese. It all comes down to the version that’s bought, but there is a simple guide to changing the language based on what band you purchased.

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      Buy it here.

      3. Garmin Forerunner

        Out of the fitness tracker watches here, this one is specifically built for runners in mind. Garmin is another strong brand that offers stellar value. Because this band is built for a specific group of people, it’s best to get this if you are serious about running regularly and in other events.

        In terms of features, this fitness tracker offers GPS and music advanced training features, evaluates your pace to see if you are training too much or too little, running dynamics, and more. It has a battery life of up to 7 days too. If you’re a runner, this is a great investment.

        Buy it here.

        4. Fitbit Charge 3

          Another classic Fitbit product is the Charge series. The Charge series does offer more functionality than Inspire, but the difference isn’t a lot. The Inspire series lacks notifications and has no way of notifying you. The Charge series offers notifications, connectivity with different apps, such as weather apps, and boost functionality.

          Charge also offers different exercising modes and helps you train better with those exercises. If you’re looking for more guidance in your health at an affordable price, this is a smart one to go for.

          Buy it here.

          5. Garmin Vivosmart

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            Garmin isn’t all about selling fitness trackers to runners. They also have some general use trackers like the Vivosmart series. This slim design of this tracker makes it more fashionable while also offering a bright and easy-to-read display.

            It has a battery life of 7 days and offers the same kind of functionalities mentioned including stress tracking, notifications from your phone, and GPS (when connected to your phone).

            Buy it here.

            6. MorePro Smart Watch

              MorePro is another brand that offers plenty of potential in their product. The MorePro Smart Watch we found, in particular, offers a lot of value at its pricing point. Right out the door, this fitness tracker watch offers 18 Sports Modes and has excellent sleep tracking functionality. On top of that, it offers 24/7 monitoring, plays music, monitors blood oxygen levels, vibrates when receiving notifications, water resistance (up to 50 meters deep), and more.

              The other unique thing to note is that the dial of this fitness tracker is customizable, allowing you to display more important information that you can check from a glance.

              Buy it here.

              7. Honor Band 5

                Honor is a unique brand offering different designs and display choices compared to others on this list. That much is clear when you look at the Honor Band 5, which tries to offer more flare to the numbers displayed.

                That’s part of the company’s charm as when you look at the band itself, it offers more uniqueness to make it worth the price. It offers music, step, sleep, and heart monitoring, water intake, and receives and alerts you of any notifications. But where the band starts to be unique is the different display options of the watch face as well as “running group” functionality.

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                This new feature allows you to create groups that other users can join in on and participate in events, gatherings, and motivate one another. Overall, it’s a neat function in theory provided that other people have purchased this brand in your area. 

                Buy it here.

                8. Amazfit Smartwatch

                  If you’re looking for a fitness tracker that lasts, the Amazfit brand has you covered. The company boasts a 45-day battery life on a single 2.5-hour charge. Beyond that, you’ll find a lot of the same functions on display for this fitness tracker watch. It gives you notifications when receiving calls, texts, or app notifications, and monitors health. It can also track a handful of sports activities, such as running, walking, and cycling.

                  Buy it here.

                  9. Garmin Vivofit 3

                    Another series from Garmin to consider is Vivofit. Think of it as a slight downgrade from Vivosmart, but it still has plenty to offer. Some of the key factors to note are auto-activity detection, 24/7 wearability, GCM compatibility, and 1-year battery life with no recharging needed.

                    The other thing to note with this product is this is part of Amazon’s Renewed program, meaning the product is enhanced to be higher quality than the original brand and is tested by Amazon.

                    Buy it here.

                    10. Fitbit Versa 2

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                      The Fitbit Versa brand is a series that follows the traditional smartwatches that we’ve brought up. Like all other Fitbit bands, this provides the same monitoring functions and app compatibility.

                      The biggest difference is the larger display. This allows you to have more customization with your Fitbit product since it saves you from shifting between the tracking displays when you compare it to the ones with smaller displays.

                      Buy it here.

                      11. Garmin Venu

                        The final fitness tracker to talk about is another Garmin brand, the Vivomove series. Here we start to see Garmin pulling out the stops to display a fitness tracker watch that doesn’t look like one. It goes to show these days companies have been able to make fitness trackers look more like your standard watches.

                        In terms of functionality, you have 24/7 heart monitoring, wellness monitoring tools (stress tracking, relaxation timer, etc.), fitness monitoring, and determining fitness age, among other functionalities. For those who want a fitness tracker that still looks like a typical watch, this is a good option.

                        Buy it here.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Fitness trackers these days have developed a lot. They provide excellent support and provide a lot of information about your health for you to leverage. All the while, they can help support your daily life as well through notifications and help with managing stress, too. For all the things that these fitness tracker watches can do, the prices are quite affordable with these brands.

                        Featured photo credit: Tim Foster via unsplash.com

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