If you really want to track the progress of your fitness program then you need to record your activities in a daily walking log. I have been doing this for many years and it helps a lot to be able to look back and see the improvements in your abilities. I also find it useful to check how I am doing compared to my goals.
If you are planning on participating in any walking races, especially the longer distances like a marathon, then a logbook is essential for planning and following a training schedule. This will help to make sure you are properly prepared on race day.
What to Record:
For walking the basic measurement is how long you walked. You should also note the distance if you know it. If you use a pedometer then you can record the number of steps. I am always amazed at how many paces we do take in the course of a one hour walk.
You can also note the route you walked, the weather, companions, and anything else you feel is important. Your walking log can become your daily fitness diary.
A walking log is also a good place to record your weight. Usually a weekly notation is enough. Try and record your weight at the same time, for example every Saturday morning, to avoid daily fluctuations.
A Pedometer really helps:
Why use a pedometer when you just want to go out for a walk around the block? If you are curious about far it was or how many calories you burned on those walks then a pedometer is a great help.
If you are serious about losing weight or just getting into better shape try using a pedometer. They don’t cost much and there are several different brands to choose from. While some have more features they all do essentially the same thing…count your steps and calculate distance and calories burned. Once you set them for your particular stride length they’ll do the math so you can sight-see and chat with a walking buddy at the same time.
You’ll be surprised just how far you’ve walked in a day when you check the distance. Pedometers are easy to use and by keeping a logbook of your daily totals you’ll be motivated to do more steps daily and weekly. Before long you’ll be taking the stairs and walking to the shops instead of using the elevator or car. Tracking your distance and calories burned in your logbook will keep you walking day after day and soon you’ll see the results looking back at you in the mirror.
You can record your walk details online or using a regular logbook.
Here are several resources you can check out::
Fitness Journal: http://www.fitnessjournal.org/ This is a comprehensive online fitness log. They require you to join and pay a monthly fee.
“MyWalks” is a free online log. You just have to register and then you can keep track of your walks on their web page. You can choose to either keep your logged walks private so that only you can see them, or make them public and let everyone see them. The web address is http://walking.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm.
“Walking with Attitude” has a 12 week walking log you can download for free at [http://www.walkingwithattitude.com/articles_public.php?section=article&id=39]
My own favorite is a 53-week walking logbook from Personal Logs.com. They will produce a custom logbook with your name (and your photo if you wish) on the cover. Another good feature is that the logbook is dated and can start any month of the year. You can find out more at http://www.personallogs.com/walkinglogs.php.
Mike Stapenhurst is a longtime runner and walker. He is co-author of the book “Marathon Training Tips”. His walking website is at [http://www.fitnesswalking.ipcor.com/]