Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
A walking log is a great tool for your fitness goals and progress. It’s easy to keep, and fun to look back on. It’s funny to me that now, walking for 45 minutes seems like nothing and there was a time I was thrilled (and tired) after walked for thirty minutes! And, sometimes, my 20 minute “quick walks” are the hardest of the whole week!
There are many ways to record your walking data, and you can experiment to find what works best for you. I recommend logging your walk as soon as you finish since it’s easy to forget. Some pedometers now keep a log for you, which is convenient. Mine does that, but only for seven days.
Here are some ideas for walking logs:
--Moleskine: Great little notebooks, made famous by Hemingway and other writers. Used by reporters, artists, students and more for almost anything you can think of. They come in several sizes and are quite handy to stick in your purse, backpack or tote. Ultra-cool.
--Paper Calendar: Wall or desk calendars are good spots for recording your walk data, too. If you use a calendar every day for scheduling and other projects, they are convenient and so you’ll find it easy to just jot down info about your walk.
--Online: There are many fitness websites where you can log your daily walks or other exercise. You can even log your walks in BellaOnline’s Walking Forum.
Electronic Log: Use a spreadsheet to create your own walking log. Easy to customize this way. You can also program a spreadsheet file to add up your weekly distance or calculate your miles per hour. And, you can save them online in Google Docs and access them anywhere.
You can also download a copy of my Walking Log if you like, for free. It’s a jpg file, but prints out on one sheet of regular computer paper.
What to Include in your Log:
Really, whatever is important to you can be included in your log. I like to log time, distance, location and sometimes weather. You might want to put workout type (long walk, intervals, brisk walk, stroll, treadmill, etc.),
Some people add which shoes they wore, how many steps they took, what time of day they walked.
You can also combine your walking log with a food log or a water intake log. For instance, if you are counting carbs, it is convenient to log them on your walking log. Ditto if you are just trying to eat more leafy green veggies or drink 8 glasses of water a day.
You may find your walking log evolves over time, so start out recording more info than you think you will want later. You can always stop tracking some things, but you can’t really add it once a few months have gone by.
The best thing is to be able to look back over the years and see how much you have walked. It’s good for your body, mind and soul.
My favorite Moleskine Notebook makes a great walking log book:
This pedometer comes with software that you can use to create an electronic walking log: