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Fitness Journaling 101: How To Keep a Workout Journal

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

Do you want to keep up with your fitness but don't know how? Fitness journaling may be something you want to consider. Learn more about fitness journaling, its benefits, and how to keep one!

Image of a woman practicing box jumps that she can later add to her fitness journal.

Fitness Journaling 101: How To Keep a Workout Journal

The benefits of fitness journaling are many and varied but can be broadly split into two categories: the physical and the mental.

On the physical side, keeping a fitness journal can help you monitor your progress and see just how far you’ve come. This is especially useful if you’re training for a specific event, such as a marathon, or trying to lose weight. Seeing your progress in black and white (or whatever color you choose!) can be a great motivator to keep going when things get tough.

*Stay focused on the big picture with this fitness journal designed specifically for women! Keep track of all of your fitness goals and exercises in one place.

Fitness journaling can also help you to identify patterns in your exercise and eating habits that might be affecting your results. For example, if you suddenly start noticing that you’re not losing weight despite exercising more, you might want to take a closer look at your diet. Or, if you find that you always have low energy levels on the days you don’t exercise, maybe you need to reconsider your workout routine.

If you're enhancing your physical and mental well-being through various exercises, consider incorporating various workout and pilates equipment at home into your fitness routine.

Home workout equipment adds a dynamic element to your workouts, helping to target specific muscle groups and improve overall strength and flexibility. Whether you're using resistance bands, a stability ball, or a Pilates reformer, these tools can be seamlessly integrated into your fitness journal entries, providing a comprehensive overview of your diverse workout routine.

On the mental side, fitness journaling can help to boost your confidence and self-esteem. When you’re seeing results from your hard work, it can be a great ego boost that encourages you to keep going. Additionally, the act of journaling itself can be therapeutic. Getting all of your thoughts and feelings out on paper (or on-screen) can help to clear your mind and give you a sense of calm.

5 Tips for Keeping a Fitness Journal

If you’re new to fitness journaling, it can be helpful to start with a few basics. First, decide what type of journal you’d like to keep. Next, set some goals for what you’d like to achieve with your journal. Finally, make a commitment to yourself to actually use it! Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. Choose the Right Journal:

There are many different types of fitness journals available, so be sure to choose one that’s right for you. If you’re not sure where to start, try an exercise journal or a food journal.

Image of the cover of a fitness planner.


2. Set Some Goals:

Before you start journaling, take some time to think about your goals. What do you hope to achieve with your journal? Do you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or just be healthier? Once you have a goal in mind, you’ll be more likely to stick with it.

3. Make It a Habit:

The key to any successful fitness journey is consistency. So, make sure to make your journal a part of your daily routine. If you can, try to journal at the same time each day. This will help it become a habit and make it more likely that you’ll stick with it.

4. Be Honest With Yourself:

It’s important to be honest with yourself when you’re journaling. This means recording not only your successes but also your setbacks. Beating yourself up will only make it harder to stick with your fitness goals. So, be sure to give yourself some grace and remember that progress is more important than perfection.

5. Reward Yourself:

Finally, don’t forget to reward yourself for your hard work! Every once in a while, treat yourself to something special—whether it’s a new workout outfit or a healthy meal. This will help you stay motivated and on track with your goals.

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to get started! Grab a journal and start writing down your fitness journey today.

Different Types of Fitness Journals

There are many different types of fitness journals, so it’s important to choose one that’s right for you. Here are some of the most popular options:

Image of the cover of a fitness journal.

*Keep up with all of your strength training workouts using this exercise journal!

Exercise Journal:

An exercise journal is a great way to track your progress, set fitness goals, and stay motivated. Be sure to record not only your workouts in a workout journal but also how you felt afterward and any other thoughts or observations.

You can log specific exercises, daily habits, inspirational advice—you name it. Workout journals are your space to help you lead a healthy life.

Fitness Tracker:

A fitness tracker is a type of journal that allows you to track your physical activity, sleep, and other health metrics. There are many different types of fitness trackers available, so be sure to choose one that’s right for you.

Workout tracking is key to your overall wellness planner. The best fitness journals will make it easy for you to track your daily fitness goals.


Weight Loss Journal:

If you’re trying to lose weight, a weight loss journal can be a great way to track your progress and stay motivated. Be sure to record not only your weight, but also your measurements, body fat percentage, and how you’re feeling mentally and emotionally. It's all part of a healthy lifestyle.

Food Journal:

A food journal can help you to be more mindful of what you’re eating and make better choices for your health and weight loss goals. The best fitness journals for food will have helpful information about specific dietary needs.

So if you need to keep daily workout pages dedicated to your wellness goals regarding food intake, this is the way to do it. You can cross-reference this workout journal with notes about your daily food logs so that you can track your body weight loss, health goals, and other goal-setting.

Image of the cover of a food journal.

*Keep up with the food you eat using this detailed food journal!

Printable vs Paperback Fitness Journals

There are many different types of fitness journals, but the two most popular are printable and paperback. So, which one is right for you?

Printable Journals:

1. They’re Convenient:

A printable fitness journal is easy to access and can be taken with you anywhere. You can even keep them on your phone or tablet for easy reference. This is perfect if you need a weightlifting gym buddy journal for when you meet up at the gym to improve your physical wellness.

2. They’re Customizable:

You can tailor a printable journal to your specific needs and fitness and nutrition goals. There are many different templates available, so you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for you.

You can add things like meal planning, personal bests, training session results, healthy habits—whatever you like. Customization means you can have pages dedicated to what matters most to you.

3. They’re Affordable:

Printable journals are very affordable, especially when compared to buying a pre-made journal. It's a cost-effective way to keep a workout log of your most important workout notes with you at all times, but for a fraction of the price.

Snapshot of Dr. Dawn's Wellness Tools store front on Etsy filled with printables for your health and fitness journey.

*Check out our Etsy store for motivational health and wellness printable planners. Fitness planners, food journals, and meditation printables are our specialty!

Paperback Journals:

1. They’re Durable:

Paperback journals are more durable than printable ones, so they’re perfect for taking with you on the go. Toss it in your gym bag or take it with you to an outdoor workout. This kind of wellness journal can take a beating!

2. They’re Easy to Use:

A paperback fitness journal is easy to use and doesn’t require any special equipment or software, like a fitness app. Simply open up your workout log gym journal and go to the workout page for your next workout.

It really is the easiest way to track your workouts, body measurements, mental health, and so much more.

3. They’re a Good Value:

Paperback journals are a good value for the price, especially if you find one with high-quality paper. The best fitness journals are those that don't cost a lot and are easy to use. A personal training journal checks those boxes and more.

There's never been a more sensible way to keep track of your physical health.

So, which type of fitness journal is right for you? It really depends on your needs.

Making progress while keeping track of your gains (or losses) is the perfect way to stay committed to your wellness journey.

Medical Disclaimer: The information on this site, including text, graphics, images, and other material, is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other healthcare professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your specific condition.

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