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WW advice on tracking your fitness progress!

Posted in Crazy Wisdom,Workout on Thursday, April 27, 2006 at 1:16 pm by flerly.

Why Weigh In?
“Scale avoidance can lead to unwanted pounds creeping up on you without your knowledge, putting you at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers,” says Judith Korner, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University in New York City. “If you weigh yourself regularly, you know if you’ve gained and can make a plan of attack before more pounds accumulate.” To get the most accurate picture of your progress, stick to a weekly weigh-in since weight can fluctuate on a daily basis due to water retention.

Scaling Up
On a scale of one to ten, how does your bathroom scale measure up? If your unit doesn’t provide the latest high-tech features, such as measuring body fat or revealing how many pounds you’ve lost since you last weighed yourself, you could be missing out. Consider treating yourself to a new scale to make tracking your progress easier and more accurate.

Roll the Tape!
Remember the tape measure? If you’re of a certain age, you may recall that this sewing-basket essential doubled as a tool to measure more than fabric– it was the preferred method for charting a changing figure. Today experts still rate the tape measure as a top tracking method for assessing your health risks as well as providing tangible proof of a changing shape.

What a Waist
“Along with your BMI, your waist circumference will reveal if you’re at risk for future health problems such as heart disease or diabetes,” says Korner. If your waist is greater than 35 inches (40 inches for men), you have a greater risk of developing obesity-related health problems. The tape measure is also an underrated tool when it comes to providing motivation. Since avid exercisers often lose inches faster than pounds because they’re losing fat while gaining muscle– and since fat takes up more room than muscle, the tape measure is a better barometer of progress. “On the flip side, if you’re dropping pounds, but not inches, that’s a sign that, although your diet is working, you need to raise your fitness ante. Try walking 30 minutes every day at a pace of three miles an hour,” says Korner.

Size Wise
Measure your chest, thighs, arms, hips, buttocks, and waist once a month. For accurate waist-measuring results, stand tall with feet together and place a plastic tape measure around your bare abdomen (cloth varieties can stretch out over time), just above your hipbone. Be sure the tape is snug, does not compress your skin, and is parallel to the floor. As you measure, look straight ahead and don’t slouch to look down at your reading — place one finger on the end of the tape measure, pull it away from your body, then read.

…from Weight Watchers Magazine, Jan/Feb 2004


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