Workout Records: Necessary or Superfluous?
No matter what sport you participate in, your primary goal is always to improve your performance. The point of sports and exercise is to enjoy ourselves while we improve the health of our bodies and spirits. Whether you are a hard-core athlete or just an occasional jogger, you will undoubtedly feel rewarded when all of your hard work begins to manifest itself in the form of faster times, bigger muscles, more skillful maneuvers, and more. This is why it is so vital to keep close records of all of your workouts. If you can only guess at how strong your body was several months back, how can you ever be sure of the progress you have made?
Detailed workout records are important for novice athletes and experts alike. Furthermore, it is remarkably easy to keep such records. You can record your progress in a number of different methods, including:
â€¢ Dedicated journals
â€¢ Small electronic devices (such as cell phones, MP3 players, etc)
Why Keep a Workout Record?
Still, some athletes need to be convinced of the values of keeping a workout record. The following is a list of 5 major reasons why keeping a workout record is worth your time and effort.
Reason 1: Workout Records Help You Reach Your Goals
It is easy for a runner to say that he or she wants to get faster, or for a weight lifter to proclaim that he or she wishes to become stronger. However, in order to truly achieve your goals, you need to specify exactly what it is you need to achieve. If you keep track of your athletic progress with a workout record, you can view your progress in a measured manner that will tell you in black and white terms whether you are nearing your goal’s completion. You will be far more likely to achieve your goals when they are concrete rather than abstract, and the only way to be certain of the progress that you have made is to carefully record your physical activity each and every day.
Reason 2: Workout Records Can Help Prevent Injury
Many athletes have a tendency to simply demand too much of their body. When you feel ready and fit to do a few extra reps or run a few extra miles, it seems silly to hold yourself back. However, overtaxing your body in such a manner can lead to a number of different injuries, including:
â€¢ Muscle strain or rupture
â€¢ Tissue damage
â€¢ Swelling of the joints
All of these injuries can prevent you from progressing in your sport. However, by keeping a careful workout record, you can prevent stress-related injuries from occurring. All you have to do is check your record in order to determine whether it is medically safe for you to push yourself harder on a given day. If your records show that you experienced pain during recent workouts or simply that you have been demanding a bit much of your body, then you can easily make the decision to give your body a break.
Reason 3: Workout Records Provide You with Motivation and Inspiration
All athletes go through tough training periods where it seems like further progress is simply impossible. It can be dangerously easy to become discouraged or disheartened during this time. You might question whether or not all your hard work and effort is really worth the minimal results that it seems to yield. However, it is very likely that your recent progress has been far more fruitful that you would think. Once you get into the habit of regular workouts, you might not notice the regular improvements that you are able to make. All it takes is a quick look at your workout record to be reminded of the goals that you are achieving. You will be able to see how much more you are currently able to accomplish than you were before, and this is usually sufficient to ward away even the worst cases of discouragement.
Reason 4: Workout Records Ensure that Your Exercise is Well-Balanced
It can be very tempting to simply train however feels right. For instance, if you are a runner, you might want to push yourself to go the extra miles on the days where you feel full of energy and just take your rest days when you are tired. However, this is not a healthy exercise practice. It is sometimes necessary to rest when you feel raring to go and to exert your efforts when you are sore and tired. The only way that you can ensure that you adhere to a healthy workout schedule is to write down an exercise plan in your workout record. This will both keep you honest and help you to approach your workouts in an organized manner.
Reason 5: Workout Records Give You the Opportunity to Assess Yourself
No one has an absolutely perfect memory. You might be able to judge your attitude, your strength, and your abilities based on recent workouts, but there is no way to evaluate your exercise and progress as a whole without a workout record to refer to. When you look back on a workout record, you can assess yourself and the effectiveness of your exercise routines. You might discover that some of your habits are not working and need to be changed. Regardless, it is valuable to read your workout record in order to get a clear picture of how you are performing in your sport.
Author Bio: Allison is a freelance writer for a fitness website and loves anything fitness related, whether it is nutrition plans, workouts, or motivating others who are struggling to keep themselves motivated. If she is not in the gym or reading about fitness she can be found watching movies with her hubby.