What Are the Types of Fitness Progress?
I wanted to take some time to talk about the different types of progress when it comes to fitness. So many people focus solely on how many inches are lost or how much they are lifting. When folks aren’t seeing progress in these two areas they can become frustrated, complacent, and/or quite hard on themselves.
Fitness progress is different for everyone
I’m a firm believer that long-term health/wellness encompasses compassion, kindness, and empathy to ourselves and others.
If you’re on any kind of consistent fitness or health program, it’s highly likely you are experiencing some kind of growth even if you aren’t building strength or losing inches around your waistline.
Before I dive into the different types of progress, I wanted to note that when we are overly stressed (which can lead to heightened cortisol levels)/hard on ourselves about things such as lack of weight loss, the body can actually hold onto weight as a way to maintain some sort of homeostasis.
Also, when we are stressed and doing any kind of weighted or unweighted movement, our form can suffer because the stress can cause extra fatigue, and can take us out of the present moment, which can lead to sloppy form. Sloppy form greatly increases one’s chance of injury.
Heightened cortisol levels can also lead to under or over-eating, sleep disturbances, decreased mental/emotional state and feeling a decrease in quality of life.
In short, worrying consistently that you aren’t where you need to be, can actually hinder your ability to make the progress you want to.
It’s best to set a goal and not spend time stressing if you aren’t reaching your goal fast enough.
“Slow and steady wins the race” as they say. Being patient will best help promote changes that are around for the long term.
If you find that something isn’t working, talk to a medical and/or fitness professional and/or do your own research to come up with a new plan of action.
In short, research and then modify, instead of worrying.
Types Of Progress
Now onto types of progress that should be noted and celebrated!
Consistent Health/Wellness/Fitness Routine
If you’re new to fitness or trying a new routine for the first time, and have stuck with the program for at least a month, that’s progress for sure!
Consistency is a great indicator of progress, especially if you have had difficulty sticking to things in the past.
Furthermore, since fitness is so personal to so many folks, a lot of times just showing up is a huge win!!
Improved Mental and Emotional Health
If you find that your general demeanor and mood have been improved by exercise or a nutrition plan, then I would say that is also a major step in the right direction.
In the Fitness World, we often focus so much on the physical that we forget the psyche.
Let’s not do that!! The mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical components of a person all should be focused on and catered to.
Increased Self Esteem and Positive Body Image
Even if there hasn’t been any visible physical change, one can still experience a more positive idea of themselves.
A lot of times after an intense workout, I feel so much better about myself than when I started!
Toning, Shaping, Muscle Growth
I have already talked a lot about the emotional and psychological progress that one can experience.
While the above is important, the physical is too.
One can make physical gains such as weight loss, toning/shaping of the body, and build muscle through exercise.
These should be celebrated too, but should not be someone’s sole focus.
Increased Stamina, Speed, Endurance
This is a great marker of progress!
Even if you aren’t losing weight or adding muscle, being able to complete movements at increased speed and for longer intervals means your cardiorespiratory system is getting stronger.
Flexibility, Mobility, Depth, Agility
Being able to perform movements with more ease and less tightness is always a win too.
Being able to squat lower than before or have your hips more open than weeks prior is so awesome for muscle engagement and long-term health/wellness.
The functionality of the body is quite paramount to cater to especially as folks become middle-aged and older.
In tandem with the above, improved form on movements is also something to note and smile about.
When someone is new to fitness or to a particular movement or workout, it’s so important to have your form be on-point to avoid injury/strain, and so you are sure to engage the correct muscle groups.
Before toning, shaping, building, or weight loss can be the focus, proper form should be the sole goal.
I hope you all have found this article empowering and uplifting because you truly are making fitness progress!
Find something today to celebrate about your fitness progress that you have accomplished thus far!
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out here.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned!
- Split Workout Routines: What Are They and Why Do Them? - January 14, 2024
- Practical Tips for Sticking To Your New Year’s Fitness Goals - January 10, 2023
- At Home Ab Workout: Why Work Out the Core? - March 3, 2022