Knowledge is power, and there’s rarely any better knowledge than knowing yourself, your body, and your habits.
In order to make a change, be it lose weight, gain strength, improve flexibility, etc, we first have to know where we’re starting.
With that in mind, here are 3 crucial data points that you can monitor today and for the next full week to give you a better understanding of the changes you need to make, the first steps you need to take, to accomplish your goals.
1. Track Your Water
Yes, I know, he’s talking about water … again! And I’m going to keep mentioning water because it’s that important. In a world of sugary powers, energy drinks, and ‘zero calories diet sodas’, water is still the best bet to improve your health, energy, mental alertness, skin, and overall wellbeing. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine suggests approx. 125 oz of water per day for Men and and approx. 90 ounces for Women.
Most people aren’t coming anywhere close to the numbers. But that’s okay. Starting today, monitor your water intake. See how far away you really are and gradually increase that intake. I suggest getting a durable water bottle that can hold roughly 30 oz of water, something that can go in the car cupholder or hang out on your desk without getting in the way. If you can drink three full servings, you’re already on your way to your goal.
2. Track Your Steps
With strength training being my main focus, I’m often asked about how much cardio a person should do per week. It’s a tough question to ask because, frankly, I don’t know how much regular daily activity someone is getting without dedicating 30 to 40 minutes on a cardio machine.
Purchasing a dedicated step tracker or using an app on your phone is the best way to establish your baseline. Again, track for a week. Ideally, you’ll average no less than 5,000 steps per day. If your goal is weight loss, you’ll want to increase that into the 10,000 - 15,000 step range over the coming weeks and months. If you can hit that goal, you actually won’t need to dedicate extra time to additional cardio because you’ll likely already be creating a calorie deficit.
But wait, how do we know if we’re in a calorie deficit if we don’t know how many calories we consume in a day?
3. Track Your Food
The formula to lose weight is very simple. Burn more calories than you consume. That is it. But, to know how many calories we have to burn, we first have to establish how many we consume in a day and in a week. Once we know how many calories you’re consuming in a day, we juxtapose that with your daily activity (walking, exercise, chores, etc.) and create a daily target.
For example, say you want to lose 10 pounds. Well, the healthiest way to do that is by losing roughly a pound per week. Generally speaking, we’d want to create a daily 500 calorie deficit to reach that goal. Knowing your active level and knowing your caloric intake provides us with the target number and that pathway to success. There are many great food tracking apps available in the App Store. Try whichever Free app works best for you and create the habit of logging what you eat.
These are 3 simple but crucial data points everyone should track to improve their health, fitness, and overall wellness. For more helpful tips, click the link below and book your free trial workout today!