♥ Happy Wednesday Everyone! ♥
I hope you’re having a happy hump day 🙂 and that the week’s going well for you so far!
This week’s post is a bit of a round up of things, but I thought I’d do something a little different to mix things up and keep this series interesting and helpful for you guys, instead of just fitspo images, though they will still be included, but with more tips! In this week’s post, the idea is for us to start thinking about our fitness goals in terms of what our bodies can achieve in terms of strength, range of motion, abilities to do certain sports, and other what people might call NSV’s or non-scale victories. Aside from that we’ll be discussing alternative ways to measure your progress that don’t involve a scale which can often times be triggering for a lot of women, fun new fitness to try and I’ll also be sharing some awesome fitspo themed t-shirts I’ve discovered recently 🙂
Celebrate Non-Scale Victories
It can absolutely feel like you might not be making the progress you want in the time that you want, but the truth is, you may just be making progress and not really seeing it. A great non-scale victory for you might be that you’re stronger, can hold your planks and wall-sits for longer, you feel better, you can run farther and faster, your mindset has taken a turn for the positive, and so much more. Maybe you even beat out your friends for the most weight bench pressed or the most push-ups done in a minute. For me, my most notable NSV has been fitting into my old clothes. I am now the exact same size (pants and shirts) that I was back when I was 18. That is something that really surprised me and I felt super proud when I discovered it. And now? I’m more motivated to push my fitness goals even further than before and get into even better shape. Whatever it is, everyone has a few NSV’s to be proud of so make sure you celebrate them!
Alternative Ways to Measure Progress
On a parallel to NSV’s, alternative ways of measuring progress can help to keep you seeing the results without involving the scale.
This can be done in a number of ways:
- Take Your Measurements. You do this with an old fashioned seamstress measuring tape. If you don’t have one, they’re like $2-$5 online or at a sewing craft type store. You measure your thighs, upper arms, forearms, waist, hips, neck, bust, chest (or underbust for women) and then you can actually go further, if you want, and plug these numbers into online calculators to see where your BFP, or body fat percentage, is at. I do this once a week where I do all of my measurements (usually in just underwear so no clothes are in the way or adding on inches). Then, I plug them into a calculator to see where I’m at. My goal for 2013 is to reach 20% body fat as opposed to a certain number of pounds, which I think not only looks different on everyone ( depending on your height, body type, amount of muscle on your body, gender, etc.), but BFP will look similar on any body irregardless of these factors because it measures how much fat is on your body. A generic scale number will not tell the whole story. You could be 150 pounds, but only 75 pounds of lean body weight (meaning the 75 lbs. are lean muscle) or you could be 150 pounds with 100 pounds of lean body weight which would make a person look completely different.
- Distance Ran / Best Time. This could either mean the amount of miles you’ve ran over a given period of time or otherwise you could run the same distance over a period, but see how your time improves. For instance, if you run 1 mile 3 times per week, then you can measure the amount of time it takes you to run it each time. You might start out not being able to run the full mile and then working your way up to finishing the run in 15 minutes or even 10. All of those are great ways to measure progress! One of my running goals is to run 84 miles by December which translates to 3 miles 5 times a week, but you can do whatever suits your lifestyle. I use the Runkeeper App on my phone to track my miles which I find is the easiest way to do it. If you have a HRM or Fitbit monitor that might be easier for you.
- Weight / Reps. This is mainly pertaining to weight lifting and refers to how many reps you do of a certain exercise or how much weight you lift. This is fantastic for measuring your gains in strength and muscle, if you want to avoid mathematical calculations. You will see, over time, that you are able to lift more, for more reps and sets.
- How You Feel. If being overweight or just out of shape made you feel like crap, you might find that a new healthy lifestyle of nutritious food and regular exercise have done great things for you mentality and outlook on life as well as your physical health, emotional health and overall happiness and well being. These are all fantastic ways of measuring progress! When I wasn’t working out, I had horrible anxiety that was pretty much nearing the point of panic attacks and I had them all the time. I felt horrible, tired, sluggish, depressed, pessimistic, and my physical health was getting really bad. I was stressed all the time. Working out and eating well has really helped me to feel so much better. Now, I’m finding that I want to say yes to this healthy lifestyle and no to unhealthy foods and habits, not because I have to, but because I truly want to keep living healthily.
New Fitness Fun to Try!
Another great byproduct of my new found love for fitness has been a renewed sense of interest in trying new sports. I used to hate sports when I was in high school, but I remember when I was about 10 or so, fitness was something I really enjoyed. I played all kinds of sports on the playground from handball to volleyball, basketball, tether ball, and more. I was even on a roller hockey team when I was 12 and I have missed that!
Here Are Some New Sports I’d Like to Try:
- Martial Arts. My boyfriend is actually a black belt in American Kenpo and I’ve wanted to learn from him for ages! I know some very basic beginning karas (AKA forms), but I’d really like to work more regularly in the art. It’s such a fantastic way to relieve stress, increase and sharpen focus in life, and even meditate. It may surprise you that teaching someone martial arts renders those side effects, but there are tons of benefits to the practice!
- Paddleboarding. I recently spotted this in an article by Fitsugar and I’ve been fascinated by it ever since. If you’re unfamiliar, paddle boarding is something you can do in the ocean or lakes and involves standing on a board that is a bit bigger and more flat surfaced than a surfboard. You stand with your body straight ahead as opposed to on profile (like you would surfing) and use a paddle to move around. It’s supposed to be a great workout and it sounds like a cool way to workout while checking out the water and nature.
- Kayaking. I’ve been wanting to go kayaking since last summer! They offer it at a local lake near me, but the company is really flaky so I’m never able to rent a kayak and actually do it, but it looks like a blast! You basically sit in a little boat and paddle, similar to a canoe, but it’s supposed to be really fun and a great core workout!
- Bouldering (AKA Free Hand Rock Climbing). Bouldering is rock climbing without a harness or free hand. As I haven’t yet rock climbed, this one will be awhile, but it looks really cool. There are a lot of rock climbing gyms in my area so I’d really like to go and try it out. The gyms involve lots of climbing walls with a ton of foot and hand holds in different colors. The colors usually represent the difficulty of the climbing path so you can do beginner paths or more advanced as you go and if you fall, the floor is covered in padding so it’s pretty safe.
- Ballet. I did ballet when I was about 6 and another time when I was about 17 and have always enjoyed it. Doing pliés, stretching and across-the-floors are a surprisingly good workout that build strength using your own body and also elongate muscles for long, lean definition.
To get more inspiration, check out these other sports I’d like to try.
Fun Fitness Gear
Check Out More FireDaughterClothing Fitness Shirts.
That’s all for today – Here Are Some Other Great Reference Links for You:
What Are Your Fitness Goals?
Are There Any New Sports You’d Like to Try?
What Ways Do You Measure Your Progress?