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You would think the easiest way to track how well you are accomplishing your fitness goals would be to check your weight, but there is much more to fitness than the numbers on the scale.
Working out affects every part of your body, and even if you are losing fat, you may be gaining muscle, rendering the number of pounds you way irrelevant to your progress.
It can be discouraging to see the same weight pop up over and over again, but just because you seem to have plateaued doesn’t mean your work has been for nothing or that your body isn’t changing.
If you’re unsure if you are making progress in your fitness journey, consider these six signs you are making progress with your workout goals.
1. You Feel Faster And Stronger
One way to track your progress is to keep a journal of the workouts you do. Is your mile time getting faster? Can do you extra pushups? These are tangible signs that you are making improvements in your activity level.
2. You’re Gaining Muscle
Instead of using a regular scale, use a digital measuring tape or body fat scale to measure your body-fat percentage. Although your weight may not be changing, your body composition could be, and a sign that you’re making progress in your fitness is less body fat and more muscle.
3. Your Clothes Fit Differently
If you find that your pants aren’t cutting off your circulation anymore, you have definitely making some progress. Particularly pay attention to your abdominal area, as losing belly fat, also known as visceral fat, is not only good for your physique, can lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
4. Your Test Results Come Out Well
A good way to check on your fitness progress is to get lab tests at the doctor’s office. If you show signs of lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar, this shows what you’re doing is working.
5. You’re Having Fun
If you find that working out is less of a struggle — or perhaps you are even more motivated — you’re definitely making progress. As you form habits and workouts get easier, you’re likely to enjoy the process more.
In fact, research shows that people actually enjoy exercise more than they predict they will.
6. You Have More Energy
In addition to lowering stress and boosting overall mood, exercising can also improve your overall energy levels. If you’ve been feeling upbeat and ready to conquer the day, you’re likely making significant progress in your fitness goals.
Photo by Rance Costa
Photo by Fort Rucker