The first question to ask yourself is how active are you on a daily/weekly basis? Unless you're already tracking this somehow, whatever you come up with will be a guesstimate and won't help you reach the goals you're striving for.
This is an example of an average days activity for me, tracked by Fitbit
Activity Tracking - Why?
Tracking activity is useful especially in instances where your normal lifestyle/day to day activities are quite sedentary.
There are quite a few good trackers available. Also, most phone manufacturers now also produce watches that double as trackers.
Most activity trackers/apps will start you off with a daily target of 10,000 steps. This is a good starting point IF you don’t tend to be active, and it is quite useful to try and hit that target everyday including weekends.
Example of the activity stats from an Apple watch......other brands are also available.
I task most of my clients to try and get to 12,000 steps a day, if this is easily achievable, we then look to up that to 15,000. The reason I make this higher than the usual 10,000 is to allow for any inaccuracies with the tracking device and also to ensure the level of activity daily is quite challenging.
I also target my clients to ensure they hit between 30-50% of your daily steps from activities that increases your heart rate like strength or resistance training, Cardio (ideally HIIT - High Intensity Interval Training).
If you need some motivation to get your activity levels up try challenges with others (friends and family for instance), most activity apps have challenges you can create or join to assist with this. Plus you can even sync your data to a social media profile to get more people involved.
Finally, not tracking your progress is more or less the same as driving somewhere you’ve never been before with no direction, map or Sat Navigation. If you do end up at your planned destination, it’s more through luck than anything else!
However, whatever you do, make sure you enjoy the process. For instance, if you're not a keen runner, it's pointless running because you'll probably get bored/fed up with running, stop and go back to square one. So, make sure you track people, and have fun with it!
I also suggest using your activity app to track weight and resistance training (reps, volumes, rest times and recovery), because it's just as important to measure this type of progress! I'll cover this in more detail some other time.
So the simple message is this "move more eat less, increase your activity, reduce what you eat and you will lose weight."
To Recap – The essentials To Start Your Tracking Journey
Food diary app (e.g. My Fitness Pal)
Activity Tracker (e.g. Fitbit)
Digital Kitchen Scales
Hi, Lou here, I'll be sharing my thoughts and insights via my blog regularly, so please stay tuned!