WE UNDERSTAND THE WORD “ACCOUNTABILITY”
At least the great majority of us do. We are always being accountable to someone – our employers, our teachers, our parents, our teammates – anyone to whom we report or with whom we work.
Politicians need to be accountable to their constituencies, athletes to their coaches, governments to their taxpayers. Granted, in our imperfect world, there may be some missing links in those chains.
As a young army officer, I was accountable to several levels of higher rank and position. I also had over 50 enlisted men accountable to me, though I wanted to be accountable to them as well (to earn their respect).
My point is that accountability to others is ingrained in our culture.
Just as important, it seems to me, is the accountability we owe to ourselves. We may see a doctor for therapy, prescriptions or health advice. But we then are left alone to make the really important health decisions or to otherwise implement the advice we paid for.
Most of us understand that sound, scientific workout principles will produce a fitter, stronger, more symmetrical body. Healthy nutrition is as important to that goal. These are not complex principles.
But what do we do when no one is watching? Or when our workout partner is not available? Are we able to track our progress? Do we have the necessary means to do so?
Are we capable of being accountable to ourselves?
WORKOUT PARTNERS CAN BE HELPFUL
There is nothing better than an enthusiastic, motivating workout partner or group. This is especially true for newcomers to fitness training.
I work out at home by myself, but my motivation is high and my workout experience of over 60 years comes in quite handy. There are many people who aspire to embark on a fitness routine, but need constant motivation to do so. I would recommend finding a partner to begin with, assuming that partner shares your general goals and has the time and inclination to help out. But be careful to guard against unsolicited or unqualified advice.
Bear in mind that we must ultimately be accountable to ourselves.
Here are some suggestions:
- Don’t start out with heavy intensity. Ease into your program.
- Set short term measurable goals
- Have fun. If you aren’t into weight lifting, find a sport or exercise program that inspires you. I played tennis for over 50 years and never thought of this as a healthy exercise or a way to burn calories. It was fun!
- Track your progress. Keep a journal.
- Reward yourself as you meet your goals.
WAYS AND MEANS
First of all, please see my prior post on food and exercise journals. To me, such a journal is roughly equivalent to a golfer keeping a scorecard. Without a method to track our fitness journey, we are not unlike a golfer randomly hitting golf balls until he hits one that he likes.
Secondly, weigh yourself every day at approximately the same time. I have seen the many suggestions that we should weigh ourselves only once a week or even less often. The idea apparently is that only then will we be able to see a true weight loss, since the scales will fluctuate – but not in a linear way. This seems too defensive an attitude to me. I weigh and take blood pressure and pulse readings every morning. Update me! I want the good (or bad) news immediately!
The Dara scale by FitTrack is quite incredible. It gives us accurate internal body measurements for the following:
- Body fat ratio
- Hydration level
- Muscle mass
- Body mass index
- Visceral fat index
- Subcutaneous fat
- Base metabolic rate
- Muscle rate
- Bone mass
- Protein rate
- Metabolic age
- Standard weight
- Weight control
- Fat mass
- Weight without fat
- Protein mass
Amazon has lots of body measurement tools. As an Amazon affiliate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. See these below and then scroll around from the links to see other choices:
- Body tape measure
- Skinfold body fat caliper set
- Bluetooth digital measuring tape
- Body measurement journal and tracker
Finally, Dick’s Sporting Goods, the largest sporting goods merchant in the U.S., is offering up to 50% discounts throughout their inventory.
My main message in this post is that we can never elude responsibility for the outcome of our individual fitness routines. Nor should we want to!
Let’s set up programs that are scientifically based, workable and consistent with our needs. Then we will find out that we can indeed change our bodies and otherwise meet our goals. It isn’t difficult.
To see progress, we need ways to measure our changes and to make plans for further advances. This is the essence of being accountable to ourselves. I know this is being repetitive, but it isn’t difficult!
Please choose a lifestyle of fitness and good health. You will never regret that choice!