|SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center|
Experts recommend that most of us get 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous activity every day. Keeping an exercise log is a great way to stay motivated and reach exercise goals.
An exercise log keeps track of what you do, allowing you to see patterns in case you are not meeting your exercise requirements. If you notice you always skip your Friday routine, for example, you can schedule that routine for Saturday instead. Best of all, your log lets you see your progress and accomplishments.
The ideal exercise program combines strength training, aerobic exercise, and stretching. Our exercise log helps you keep track of all these. If you're new to exercising, check with a coach, doctor, or trainer at your local gym for guidance on the types of exercises you should be doing.
Plan to do strength training exercises 3 days a week. Take a day off in between to give muscles time to rest. Make sure your strength training routine focuses on your body's major muscle groups: upper body, legs, and core.
Warm up with some light aerobic activity before doing strength exercises and do some gentle stretches after strength training. Talk to a PE instructor, coach, or personal trainer to learn the number of sets and repetitions appropriate for your fitness level.
Be sure your daily routine includes activities that get you moving and your heart pumping. These aerobic activities can be anything from walking the dog to playing a pickup game of basketball. Even dancing around your room on a study break counts as long as it gets your heart rate up.
Finally, incorporate stretching for flexibility. Yoga poses are a great way to stretch muscles. Or ask a coach or gym instructor to suggest some stretches. Write these down in the "Other Activities" section of the exercise log. To prevent injury and make the most out of your routine, warm up your muscles with some light aerobic activity before stretching.
In addition to providing space to record strength, aerobic, and stretching activities, we've also included questions that help you reflect on the exercises you're doing. Did any exercises feel uncomfortable? (If something is painful, stop doing it until you have a chance to talk to your doctor or coach.)
Reflecting on your routine also helps you discover your exercise preferences — such as if you like staying with a few favorite activities or crave variety.
Reviewed by: Lauren Falini, BS