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It’s Time to Make Fitness Logs Sexy

It’s Time to Make Fitness Logs Sexy

“The early bird catches the worm.”

“Laughter is the best medicine.”

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

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Ahh, cliches, don’t you love to hate them? The problem we have with cliches is that they seem overly simplistic and unrealistic, yet there is often much truth behind them. That’s why they have withstood the test of time. We might have to dig a little deeper to find the true meaning, but historically cliches ring true and their batting average isn’t going down anytime soon.

One of the most battle-tested health cliches around today is that if you want to change your health and fitness, you should keep a food and activity log.

Just typing that out feels boring to me. That’s the feeling of a cliche. It’s old. It’s tired. It’s lame. But something is there… There must be a reason that the only people I see with a journal everywhere they go are fit people and strength coaches. If you started one for a New Year’s resolution, odds are that you’ve lost it or thrown it into recycling at this point.

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It’s time to make fitness logs sexy!

If you want to upgrade your health, create the beach bod you’ve always wanted, or maximize every ounce of energy you can muster, it’s time to grab a pen and paper and get tracking.

Here are three sexy reasons to start tracking your health and fitness.

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1. You create self-awareness

The number one reason to start tracking your health and fitness activity is to create self-awareness. If you follow Gary Vaynerchuk,[1] you have no doubt heard him rant on this topic on more than a few occasions. Just like in business, in health we must become self-aware about why we do what we do. Without it, there is no possible way we can be consistently successful. We need to figure out what works for us and without a written history of what we have done, it’s impossible to piece it all together. The self-awareness we create when we keep track of our workouts, our food, and the metrics we want to improve (lose weight, lose fat, increase muscle mass) helps us see what we actually do day to day. Reality can be much different than what we “think” we do. Don’t lie to your journal, because the scale and mirror won’t lie to you.

2. You hold yourself accountable

What get’s measured, gets managed. Sometimes we don’t have the ability to get a workout partner or have a personal coach walk us through our health transformations. That’s where our fitness log comes in. When you check in every day writing down your meals, workouts, weight, and anything else you might want to improve, you are creating an area of accountability for yourself. You have to stare your log in the eyes every day and tell it what you are up to.

3. You document the journey

You did it! You lost the weight, lost the fat, gained the muscle, whatever your goal was. Congrats! The months or years go by and maybe you gained a bit of it back. No fear, go back to your journal that led to your previous goal. Your gameplan is right there. Tim Ferriss[2] is known for having shelves of notebooks dedicated to past workouts and experiments. If he wants to look like he once did after a certain workout regimen, the plan is ready for him.

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Want to create better health for yourself? Don’t go join a gym right away or start a new diet, just grab a pen and paper and start tracking. Seeing where your numbers are and what you do every day can be eye opening and motivating. Let your journal help shape your path. It’s time to own the cliche and make fitness logs sexy!

Reference

[1] Instagram: garyvee
[2] Tim.blog: The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss

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Adam Arbour

College Softball Coach

It’s Time to Make Fitness Logs Sexy

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Last Updated on October 14, 2019

10 Simple Ways To Increase Metabolism Without Working Out

10 Simple Ways To Increase Metabolism Without Working Out

When it comes to increasing your metabolism, getting a good workout a couple of times a week is only one of many players. If you’re not a fan of lifting heavy stuff, then you’re only expending extra energy for that, say, one hour of that specific day. But what about the remaining 23 hours? How can you make sure you’re burning blubber all throughout the day? Here are 10 simple ways to increase your metabolism without working out.

1. Stand More

Many health practitioners claim that sitting is the new smoking. We sit in the office, we sit in the car, we sit when we get home. It’s not only terrible for your health and posture, but you require a lot less energy when seated. So, a good way to ignite the furnace a bit is to stand as much as possible through out the day. You work in an office? Put two boxes under your keyboard or laptop. There are many free solutions to making a standing desk—so you have no excuses. When you’ve gotten used to standing while working you will quickly find that it’s easier to stay engaged as well—you’re less inclined to drift away mentally. In fact, this post was written standing.

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2. Gamify Your Life

Toys such as the Fitbit or Nike Fuelband, or apps like Argus, can help you increase your metabolism by giving you an incentive to walk more. Argus, and other apps like it, use the accelerometer in your smartphone to measure your steps and let you know when you’ve hit your daily goal. Fitbit and the Nike Fuelband do the same, but have a host of other functions to make being healthy a tad more fun.

3. Eat Your Veggies

Fibrous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli increase your metabolism by putting your digestive system on overdrive. It just simply requires more energy to break down the tough fiber of these nutritional powerhouses. You’ll also start feeling like a rock star from the overload of vitamins and minerals from eating more vegetables.

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4. Eat Protein

This is one of those rules that’s not to be misunderstood. While it does boost your metabolism to eat more protein, it should be instead of other foods, not on top of other foods. If you’re stuffing your face with a chicken breast when you’re not hungry just to boost your metabolism, you’re doing it wrong. Of the three macro-nutrients—fats, carbs and protein—protein is the one that requires the most energy to break down. So, if you switch out some of those cheese sandwiches with a few hardboiled eggs you’re on the right path.

5. Drink Loads Of Cold Water

Drinking a few glasses of ice-cold water in the morning can boost your metabolism quite effectively. Your body expends energy on constantly staying in homeostasis when it comes to temperature, so if you chug a bunch of icy water you’re making your body expend more energy on keeping itself at the same temperature. Using temperature to expend more energy is called thermogenesis and it’s one of the most efficient ways of cranking up your calorie burning—more on this further down.

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6. Spice Up Your Meals

Spices like cayenne, chilli, ginger and turmeric ignite your metabolism and make your meals a bit more exciting. If you make it a habit to add a little bit of spice to each of your meals it can be a habit that turns you into a fat-burning furnace.

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    7. Drink Caffeine

    No, drinking loads of coffee is not bad for you. The sugar and heavy cream you could be inclined to chase it down with might be though. Caffeine helps mobilize—that is, get rid of—adipose tissue, or fat. It also helps athletic performance, and some individuals report it to have appetite-curbing effects. If you’re very sensitive to stimulants, try not to have caffeine too close to bedtime though, as it can mess with your sleep.

    8. Plan Your Meals Around Exercise

    I know the title of this post says “…Without Working Out” but this trick technically is more a nutritional trick than an exercise-related one. When you’ve exerted yourself and, hopefully, broken down some muscle fibers, your protein synthesis, or the rate at which you build muscle, increases. So, having heavy meals after a workout will make sure those calories get stored in the right places. This is one of the reasons it’s a good idea to get a heavy session in before the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

    9. Do Intermittent Fasting

    It’s long been said you should always eat a heavy breakfast as it kick starts your metabolic rate. There hasn’t been any study proving this though. There have only been behavioral studies correlating obesity with breakfast skippers, but it’s always been a case of confusing correlation with causation. It’s not the fact that you skip breakfast that makes you fat; it’s the poor food choices you make throughout the rest of your day. Studies have shown that fat burning increases the longer you get into a fast, obviously depending on the body fat level of the individual. In fact, in one study lowered metabolic rate did not occur until 60 hours into a fast. Intermittent fasting is very much one of the bigger wins when it comes to increasing your metabolism.

    10. Use Cold Exposure

    For some reason it’s been common knowledge for a while that sweating increases metabolic rate. Scientist have known for a while though that the opposite is actually true; exposing yourself to cold temperatures increase your calorie burn significantly. Just slight shifts in your home temperature can mean pounds lost or gained when you gather the numbers yearly. How else do you think swimmer Michael Phelps is able to eat 12,000 calories a day? Obviously, he swims hours each day, but it’s not just the exercise he gets from swimming that allows him to consume such quantities of food, it’s also the amount of energy the body has to expend to keep itself at its baseline temperature in the cold water. So, taking ice-cold showers, decreasing the temperature of your home, or swimming in cool pools will help you burn a lot more calories.

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