There are several different ways that I track my activity/progress when it comes to exercise. My heart rate monitor, for instance, gives me the duration of my workout, how many calories I burned, average and maximum heart rate, and how long I was in my target heart rate zone. I, of course, usually focus on the calories because let's face it, I'm trying lose weight here - calorie burn matters. But at Clay we truly utilize the heart rate monitor in our workouts. Our heart rate monitors are set specifically to our personal zones, based on an assessment done by our trainers, so that we are maximizing our workout based on our fitness levels.
I also use the Map My Run app when I walk Scout or on the off chance that I decide to run outside. I like it because it gives me a very accurate idea of how far I've gone (I'm always trying to mix it up with a new route), as well as what my pace is. While walking Scout usually averages a slow 16 minute mile that truly doesn't get my heart rate up high enough to consider a true workout, those miles somehow feel more "legit" if I'm tracking them.
Then, of course, there is the scale. Truthfully I'm not a big fan of the scale. Maybe it's because I've lost and gained so many pounds over the years, but I don't find it to be a real accurate representation of my daily efforts. There have been weeks when I've done kick ass workouts every day only to step on the scale to find I've gained a few pounds. From an intellectual standpoint I know that the numbers don't change how hard I worked, but it can totally deflate me emotionally, so I tend only check the scale periodically.
Even though I have all of these concrete, tangible tracking mechanisms my favorite way to judge my progress is by my laundry. Yep, laundry. I don't dry any of my workout clothes so I hang each piece up after I pull it out of the washer. I can tell what kind of week I've had by the number of items hanging in the doorway at the end of laundry day.
How do you track your progress?