Can we all agree the scale is kind of sort of THE ABSOLUTE WORST? I mean seriously, sometimes I’m having an incredible day, feeling smoking hot, and all it takes are a few seconds and a couple numbers on a screen for my mood to come crashing down.
I weigh how much?! OK, I’m never eating again. I’m doing cardio 17 times a week and going on a juice cleanse.
Can anyone relate?
You’ve probably heard it a thousand times, but the scale is just a number. It can’t tell you your worth, your fitness level, or much more than gravity’s pull on your body. Luckily, there are much better ways to track your fitness that won’t leave you in a puddle of tears.
Your body weight is just one of numerous metrics you should tune into when focusing on your health. Here are 8 other ways to track your progress that can tell you lots more than numbers on a scale.
- Check your closet. How do your clothes fit? Have those jeans that were a little snug on your waist loosened up a bit? Maybe your favorite shirt stretches just a little tighter across your upper-back (nice work on the lats lady!) Most importantly – how do you feel in your clothes? Look in the mirror and give yourself 3 compliments (and mean them!) next time you go to leave the house.
- Body fat percentage. There are multiple different ways to measure your body fat. However, few of them are consistently accurate. Sense I don’t personally own a Bod Pod, and I’m assuming neither do you, your best bet is asking your gym, school, or doctor’s office to measure this for you. Remember: most measurements aren’t accurate to a T. Write down your percentage and track it over time – making sure to measure around the same time of day with roughly the same amount of food/water in your system.
- Daily tasks. I work on the 14th That’s a lot of stairs. Sometimes I skip the elevator and head for the steps, leaving my legs burning and my lungs huffing and puffing. However, the more active I am, the easier daily tasks like these become, which is actual proof that your health and fitness are improving!
- How you feel throughout the day. Health isn’t all about fitness. Tune into your body throughout the day and ask yourself, “How do I feel? What hurts? What feels great lately? Am I tired or energized?” These questions are important indicators of your overall health and wellness.
- Sleep Quality. I’ve talked about the importance of rest, but I’m specifically talking about sleep. The healthier and happier your body is, the better you’ll sleep at night (typically). The inverse is true as well. The better you’re sleeping – the better you’ll perform. So make sure to prioritize your z’s.
- Hair, skin, and nails. Many skin issues arise from an imbalance in your diet or hormones – both greatly affecting your overall health and wellbeing. By drinking enough water, eating a balanced diet, and staying active, your hair, skin, and nails should grow strong and healthy. Notice a change in one of these three? It could be a result of poor diet, little sleep, hormone imbalances, or low activity level.
- Endurance. Not everyone focuses on conditioning, and that’s OK! But if your fitness level is improving, you should be able to do more for longer of what you did yesterday. For instance, if you’re a runner, 1 mile today should feel easier than 1 mile last week. If you’re into lifting, 10 squats today should go smoother than 10 squats last week. Make sense?
- Progress pictures. I have a love hate relationship with progress pictures. I don’t think they tell the whole story, but I do think they’re a great way to track your physical appearance – if that’s important to your health journey. My rules are: pick a spot with natural lighting and a plain background. Take all of your photos in this spot, at the same time of day, and wearing the same clothing. PS: don’t wear spandex shorts ladies, nobody looks good with spandex digging into their sides – it’ll make you feel crumby.
Moral of the story is, there are tons of ways to see if your health and fitness are improving. So ditch the scale and the bad mood it puts you in. You’re beautiful, no matter the number.