Using a weigh scale to measure fitness progress is often misleading and inaccurate because a scale is only measuring mass. While it is the easiest means of finding if a goal has been reached at the end of a week or month, it doesn’t account for so much more of our complex bodies. With the misleading information it provides, you may feel disappointed or confused as to why your regimen seems not to have succeeded.
In fact, there are so many other tell-tale signs that you are doing yourself great benefit, both in terms of your overall health, and your weight-gain or loss goals.
1. How your clothes fit
A fantastic way of finding out how your body is changing. Are you pants feeling a little loser around the waist and thighs? Less room in your T-shirts than usual? These are very simple ways of noticing what direction your fitness program is taking you in. Take the time to notice how you fit into your usual clothes.
2. How do you feel about yourself?
Without trying to sound cheesy or ultra zen, it is a good idea to be aware of how you feel about yourself. Do you feel positive about yourself? Are you happy with who you are today? When you wake up, do you have the feeling that you can do anything that day? Take the time to sit down, be with yourself and feel how you feel. Physical activity is infinitely popular for people who want to feel more positive about themselves and the people around them. You'll know you're well on your way to your ultimate fitness goal if you start feeling stronger, happier, and more positive.
3. Measuring Tape
Similar to finding how your clothes fit, but far more specific, you can periodically measure yourself with a tape. There are a few standard places to take readings from. With the help of a friend, you can get the circumference of the left upper arm (right at the mid-section), the chest (nipple height), the waist (the narrowest part of the abdomen, just between the pelvic bone and last rib), the hips (around the hip bone), and the upper left thigh (at the mid-section). These are standard locations to take circumference readings from.
Start with your first reading at the beginning of January, and take new measures each month following to find out how you're doing.
4. Find out your RHR
Your RHR is also known as your resting heart rate. The heart provides a lot of information about how in shape a person is. The heart is responsible for pumping blood around the body which is carrying oxygen. The more efficient the heart is at doing its job, the fewer pumps it requires. Taking a reading of the heart rate while at complete rest is a good indicator of how you are doing. You can take your first reading at the beginning of January and take it each month following to find out if and how you're progressing.
RHR should be taken preferably while lying down, relaxed, and preferably just before or after sleeping. This is when the heart is truly at its resting rate.
5. Progress pics
This is a fun and great visual aid for those who are motivated visually. Before starting your workout program, whip out the camera and take a few shots of yourself. You'll be amazed when you look back at each shot after you've transformed your body. Its a great way to continue pushing forward and getting good feedback from non other than yourself.
6. Skinfold measures
This is a favourite for a lot of trainers. Measuring skinfolds is another scientific and objective description of your progress. This is the only method which you'll get objective data on how much fat your body is holding. There are standard measures along with kits which you can get to help find out how much fat you have just below the skin. It only takes a few minutes but yields some great, usable information. You can also always go to a fitness expert who has the equipment and knows how to use it properly, rather than taking a guess at it yourself. Your results can be tracked and each month you'll get scientific feedback about how much fat you've lost or gained.
These are a few great ways to avoid that annoying scale which has become such a commonplace in homes. Since the scale cannot give you accurate results, why use it when there are so many other methods available(just try one or two of these out)!