What is one Pitfall to Beware of in Exercise Tracking?

We are just finishing the first week of the new year. So, for folks who resolved that this year they would begin to make some progress on their weight and waist problem, it is early times.

Statistics say that some 60 percent of us are overweight and 30 percent outright obese. The New York Times reports, “Between 1975 and 2005, the average weight of Americans increased by about 20 pounds. Since the 1970s, the national obesity rate jumped from around 20 percent to over 30 percent.”

Another 10 percent has Type 2 diabetes, a preventable and ruinous disease that stems from inactivity and poor nutrition.

So. you have decided to eat less and move more this year. An admirable start.

An article in today’s Wall Street Journal, We Don’t Exercise as Much as We say states, “Researchers found a wide variation in physical activity reported on questionnaires compared with objectively measured exercise time during a weeklong study reported in the January issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Men were more likely than women to overestimate vigorous exercise activities, the study found, while both sexes underestimated their sedentary times.

“The total time spent on physical activity measured by the accelerometer wasn’t significantly different between the sexes, but men reported 56 additional minutes of walking and moderate exercise on questionnaires than was actually recorded by the accelerometer. Women reported 52 additional minutes.”

This is not intended to put a negative cast on your plans to get healthier this year. That is totally positive. However, since some of us have a propensity to overestimate the amount we exercise and underestimate our sedentary periods, it is a very good idea to make sure that we are accurate in our assessments of those activities.

Hopefully, you will pay closer attention to your workout time and intensity so your expectations of results will be in line with your actions. There is nothing more frustrating than creating a plan and following through on it and then seeing no positive results after all your work. I can’t think of anything more likely to derail your exercise plans.

So, go ahead with your plans to eat less and move more. Just make sure that you are accurate in your daily assessments of these activities. That will enable you to accurately assess your progress.

Good luck!


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Filed under Exercise, Weight

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