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  • Cara LoBianco

Track the Act

As you all know, we are in the business of forming healthful habits. This week’s challenge is designed to get you started. Get you up and moving your body. However, my ultimate goal is for you to do this consistently in order to reap the benefits of exercise in its entirety. I would like to take the time to step in and help get you started on the #FindYourBalanceChallenge and also make it sustainable for you.

One of the major keys to making a change and sticking with it is holding yourself accountable. In other words, making sure you intrinsically motivate yourself to keep working toward your goal. One way I have found success in doing this has been to keep track of my activity. Each day I look forward to recording my daily activity to keep my calendar filling up with all the activities I do. I also make sure to reflect on how I’m feeling post-workout in order to improve upon it for next time. This process makes exercising much more enjoyable and should only take a minute to get done to ultimately keep you wanting more.

There are countless ways to track your activities. So it’s easy to tailor this habit to your lifestyle. I’m a big fan of written lists. If I physically write something down it feels set in stone to me. So recording exercise on paper holds me accountable for getting it done. For those of you who are techies, there are infinite apps and technology to track your activity. Let’s dive in to see what our options are.

As previously mentioned, I have the tendency to write things down on paper. What I like to do is write my activities in my calendar after I get them done. This includes which activity I did, how long I performed it, the sets or duration I performed it and how I felt at the end of the activity. At the end of the week, I like to see that the majority of the days (if not, every day) have a form of activity written in. Another way you can do this is by planning out your workouts ahead of time by writing them in the calendar and checking them off once they are complete. There is nothing better than crossing off tasks on your to-do list. Am I right? Who’s with me?

I combine my written motivation with data provided to me through my Garmin watch. I frequently go for road runs, trail runs or bike rides and I find it helpful to measure the distances I am going for my exercise log. I do best when things are kept simple. So I love my Garmin ForeRunner. This watch does all the basics I’m looking for including monitors heart rate, tracks mileage of my runs and bike rides respectively and sends me my phone notifications while I’m out and about. There are tons of products like this and I encourage you to research and find one that fits your needs.

For those of you who aren’t interested or are unable to make the leap for a smart watch there are great free apps out there to use. There are apps for specific activities, apps that rate each activity, apps the measure distance, apps that provide challenges, apps that provide you goals. You name it and it’s out there. My app of choice is the Nike Running App. The reasons I love this app so much are because it is easy to navigate (remember, keep things simple), it sends you words of encouragement and after each activity it asks you how you’re feeling. This way you stay motivated and have a record of your good and bad workouts linked to the type and duration of the workout. It has all the benefits of tracking activities in one place. However, there are many apps out there with the ability to track activities depending on which activity you are performing and what you need the app to do. You have to try out which ones work for you.

There are many options when it comes to tracking your activity. You can simply use pen and paper, track on an app, use wearable technology or a combination of these tactics. All of which will ultimately help you stay accountable to maintain consistency in your physical activity. Like most recommendations, you have to trouble shoot which option works best for you. Let us know your process and how to decide on which tracking tools you use to maintain consistency. And as always, if anyone needs any help please reach out to the Balancing Bicycle community. We’re happy to help.

Keep pedaling,

Cara


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