Keep an Exercise Log to Record Your Daily Activity

By Jane Kirby, The American Dietetic Association

If you have decided to use diet and exercise to shed weight, try creating an exercise chart to put up on your fridge or tape to the bathroom mirror. An exercise log can help you see results and keep you on track toward your weight loss goal.

Make a grid on a piece of paper with space to record the date along the side and 10-minute time slots along the top, as shown here. As you complete your exercise sessions, make an X in the box that corresponds to the amount of time that you exercised.

Here’s a Sample of What Your Walking Log Might Look Like
Date 10 20 30 40 50 60 Total
Sunday XX XX 60
Monday X 40
Tuesday X X 60
Wednesday XX X 50
Thursday X XX X 80
Friday X 60
Saturday XX X X 70

Focus first on increasing the length of time that you exercise and then shift your efforts to increasing the intensity. For example, after you’re comfortable with walking, you can add a variety of activities to total your 60 minutes — for example, jogging, hiking, or working out with weights.

After you reach your goal of 60 minutes of daily exercise, begin jotting down the kind of exercise that you do in the column that corresponds to the amount of time you’re active. (Your goal, even after you’ve moved past the walking-only stage, is still 60 minutes a day.)

Here’s a Sample Exercise Log
Day 10 20 30 40 50 60 Total
Sunday jog swim walk 60
Monday walk walk 40
Tuesday jog walk 70
Wednesday cycle walk 80
Thursday walk jog hike 100
Friday walk 60
Saturday walk cycle 90