What is an Exercise Log?

K. Testa

An exercise log, also known as a workout log, is a written record of a person’s exercise routine. People often record the details of their fitness routines in order to track progress over time. Keeping an exercise log can be a useful strategy for monitoring weight loss, recording strength training results, and even measuring endurance. For many people, a workout log can also serve as a source of personal motivation and accountability.

An exercise log might include the number of push ups someone has worked into a jog.
An exercise log might include the number of push ups someone has worked into a jog.

A typical exercise log entry might contain exercise-tracking information, such as the date, the time of day, the type of exercise performed, the duration of the activity, and the number of calories burned. To provide a broader overview of someone’s health and fitness, the log might also include notes regarding a person’s weight, mood, or even discomfort caused by a certain exercise. If they do not already keep a separate food log, some people might choose to note their caloric intake and other nutritional information in their exercise logs.

Yoga participation might be entered in an exercise log.
Yoga participation might be entered in an exercise log.

Examples of some exercises that someone might record in an exercise log include walking, running, weight lifting, yoga, and virtually any other physical activity. Some fitness experts advise people to record all of their daily physical work, including tasks like yard work and basic household chores. People often do not consider these activities to be exercise, despite the fact that most of these activities can burn a considerable number of calories.

In addition to tracking workout progress, an exercise log can serve as a motivational tool. If a person has a specific fitness goal in mind, he or she can use one to record each positive step toward reaching it. A workout log also can help promote a sense of accountability. In other words, when someone is documenting his or her entire exercise routine, he or she might be less likely to skip a workout.

Another benefit of an exercise log is that it typically provides an overview of common patterns. It can encourage reflection and help analyze the effectiveness of specific exercises. One can modify his or her routine, based on the recorded information, in order to achieve better fitness results. The exercise log can also be a source of positive reinforcement when working out, since it is written evidence of accomplishments.

There are several ways to create an exercise log. It can be a simple, traditional workout log written on a piece of paper or in a notebook. Another option is to create a document, such as a spreadsheet, on a computer. Sample exercise logs and free, printable templates are available online. Some, more advanced options include applications that can be downloaded to a mobile phone. In addition, people who want to track their progress with a fitness log online can join websites that may also include discussion forums and other fitness tools.

Notebooks may be used to keep an exercise log.
Notebooks may be used to keep an exercise log.

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