Now that March is almost behind us, have you committed to improving your fitness? If so, what is keeping you motivated? Read here and here for past blog posts about this subject. If you have tried and feel less than happy with your progress, I hope you can get some good ideas from this post.

Outdoor Fitness
Spring Day on the Bike Trail

“If you are in a bad mood, go for a walk. If you are still in a bad mood, go for another walk.”
― Hippocrates

As the quote suggests, walking is by far the best activity you can do for yourself, any day, any time. Do you have any idea how much of the world’s problems I have solved simply by walking my dogs? In all seriousness, perhaps not, but taking 30 minutes to “unplug” and take that walk has endless health benefits. Walking is free to do and easy to fit into your daily routine. All you need to start walking is a sturdy pair of walking shoes.

According to, here are 10 benefits of walking:

  1. Burns calories
  2. Strengthens the heart
  3. Helps lower blood sugar
  4. Eases joint pain
  5. Boosts immune function
  6. Boosts energy levels
  7. Improves your mood
  8. Extends your life
  9. Tones your legs
  10. Fosters creative thinking

One of my favorites on this list (#7) is to simply enjoy the surrounding views. Looking at flowers and trees, water, beautiful vistas, etc, is an immediate mood lifter. We are just a few weeks away from seeing these wild sunflowers popping up everywhere! Sharing for Dawn’s Spring Festival and Cee’s Flower of the Day.

arrowleaf balsam root and lupine
Springtime’s wild sunflowers and lupine

Hopefully, I’ve motivated you to go for a walk. When you get back, please read the rest.

Employee Wellness Programs

Many companies and organizations are invested in the health and wellness of their employees. It is a known fact that healthy employees who engage in fitness and other wellness activities perform better in the workplace.

The Institute for Healthcare Consumerism states:
“For many companies, health costs use up 50 percent or more of their corporate profits. In fact, the indirect costs of poor health, such as an absence from work and reduced work productivity, can result in two or three times the amount of direct medical costs.”

For example, a San Francisco Bay area aerospace engineering company offers employees cash bonuses from $100 to $600 for practices such as completing a well-being assessment or enrolling family members into their Health Fund Program. Also, as part of their health incentive plan, participating employees are given free pedometers to measure their steps as part of a fitness challenge, with raffle prizes awaiting top participation. Many companies offer monetary incentives for tracking steps that go into the employee’s healthcare spending account.

As a public employee, I had options for signing up with a local health club at a discounted rate as an incentive to stay well. After retirement, I kept my low monthly fee for a lifetime gym membership. This is great for employees who are fortunate to have these benefits. But what if your company or organization does not offer wellness programs or other incentives? External rewards are nice, but what kinds of motivation does it take to keep you fit and well? I moved out of the area where my gym chain was located so I ended my membership.

Photo by Pixabay on

What if You’re Retired?

For those folks who have reached age 65, Silver Sneakers is a US Medicare program to help seniors reach a standard of living that encourages health and wellness. “It provides discounted memberships at local fitness centers to qualifying Medicare recipients. There are over 13,000 fitness locations across the country, offering access to all club amenities including group fitness classes for all levels (led by certified instructors).

Kayaking on Little Spokane River
Kayaking on Little Spokane River

AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) is another excellent fitness and wellness resource for people over 50.

For those living outside the US and are either employed or retired, explore your medical benefits for options that offer wellness incentives.

5 Popular Ways to Track Your Fitness Progress

Have you ever thought about using apps and/or wearable fitness tools to measure and help keep track of your fitness progress?

As the title of the post suggests, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and explore popular apps and tools for helping you measure your fitness progress and keep you on track. A variety of activity trackers and tools have appeared in the fitness market in the last few years. Here are just a few of some I have used or have been recommended.

Weight Management Apps

If you are managing your weight there are many options for counting your calories. Weight loss programs like Nutri-system (Numi), Weight Watchers (WW), and Medi-fast have free, built-in mobile apps for their members that you can use to track your weight, count your calories and meals, and log your exercise regimen. I have personally used all three and find them to be very effective and can be easily accessed from a mobile device and your computer.

WW Logo
Weight Watchers (WW)

For those who do not follow a weight loss program but still want to count calories, there are many to choose from. I’ve used “Calorie Counter” by Fat Secret which contains an exhaustive food list and serves as an ideal food diary. It is very easy to set up and use. For low-tech options, keeping a handwritten food journal also works for many people.

Workout Apps

Just like calorie counters, there are a wide variety of workout apps available. I have personally used “7 Minute Workout,” and “Map My Ride (or Run, Walk, Fitness)” to assist with my workouts. The “Map My Fitness” apps work with your mobile phone to track your workout in miles, calories burned, and route taken, to name a few. You can link your finished workout to your social network if you wish.

Photo by cottonbro on

Last month, I shared that I discovered two apps, Women Workout at Home and Stretching, which you can read more about HERE. Both are free, customizable, and offer a huge variety of quick workouts you can do in your own home. What I like about these is you can set up a notification on your mobile device to prompt you!

Most free weight management and workout apps can be upgraded for a fee if you want to nix the pop-up ads.

General Health and Medical Apps

Your health provider may have a mobile app designed to keep track of your entire wellness history. Kaiser Permanente provides this type of app to members. If you belong to a gym, your membership may have an app dedicated to its brand and products, like “My24,”by 24-Hour Fitness Centers, for example. These apps provide quick information to help keep you on track.

Fitness Trackers

The continuing trend in fitness has been the wearable fitness tracker. These are activity and sleep monitors that track user movements and activity levels to provide information on metrics including step count, calories burned, distance traveled, and the number of hours of light and deep sleep via mobile technology. More notable are Fitbit, Garmin, and Apple Watches.

If your employer or insurance company provides you with a fitness tracker, use it. Prices vary from under $50 to over $250.


For those who are low-tech or just not interested in using a mobile device to track your fitness, a good old-fashioned scale at home or your gym paired with an inexpensive pedometer will work just fine. A small notebook can be used as a simple food/workout journal.

The information written here is not meant to be an all-inclusive list of every app or tool available. I encourage you to conduct your own research for the ones that are right for you. ALWAYS check with your physician when starting a new fitness regimen.

WALK: My Word of the Year (WOTY) Update

Photo by Marcin Jozwiak on

Most of you know that I love to walk and hike in my rural paradise here in Eastern Washington. Walking along the quiet trails not only strengthens my body but also heals my soul as I contemplate my spiritual life. Sharing here for Jo’s Monday Walk.

I came up with this acrostic to focus more on what the word WALK means to me.

  • W = wander ~ wander and explore new territory and enjoy your own area and beyond
  • A = ask ~ ask for help if you feel overwhelmed, or simply ask for guidance
  • L = love ~ love yourself now, not after you get more fit or lose weight
  • K = know ~ know that you are loved. Seek knowledge.

Please join me and other bloggers for the monthly link-up as we celebrate how our word of the year is impacting us. You can find more about the link-party on Deb’s World.

Have a wonderful month! Next time, I’ll begin my new series “Women Pioneers of the Fitness and Exercise Movement.”

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57 thoughts on “Fitness Friday: Five Popular Ways To Track Your #Fitness Progress

  1. You have such a fresh breeze to life Terri!
    I would have slightly altered Hippocrates statement………..“If you are in a bad mood, go for a walk. If you are still in a bad mood, don’t come back.”
    ― Hippocrates

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, Terri. I am much more into walking than ever in my life. I wonder if that’s one of the good results of COVID. I walk a lot outside and on my Peloton Tread. They feel like different exercises!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jacqui, and I would imagine that the walking experience would be somewhat different. I need to do more strength training (even just using small weights) to increase my muscle. It’s disturbing that I’ve lost so much these last three years! I adore walking and won’t give it up!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I was at the pool yesterday with our grandchildren and left them and Grampa to play for a few mins while I did 2 laps. My granddaughter was impressed. I was dismayed. Have not swam since Covid and muscle memory hung in there but it was a tough slug. But… It felt so good. Today I got up and put my biking gear on and am typing this from my bike. I have decided I have to push through the back pain and get back at it. Your post was the perfect “kick” in the pants so thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a great first of spring post. I imagine many of us would like to shake off winter (not that winter is a big deal where I live) and shed a few pounds (yes) we’ve acquired. Hubby and I walk most days – 1 hour = about 3 miles. Our normal route around the neighborhood can get a little boring but it gives us time to talk about this and that without interruptions. Bonus for the health of our bodies and our relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi, Terri – This is a very timely post. For several months now, three friends and I have been working out together twice a week on Zoom. The motivation from this has been incredible. Going a step further, the four of us have just begun a ’30 Days to Fitness Challenge’ where we each set a goal(s) and then track our daily food, water, cardio, steps, exericse and sleep. To help with this, I finally burst into the current century and purchased a fitbit. Two words. Life, Changing! Seriously! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Donna, I’m so happy to read this! I love my Fitbit! My charge 4 is waterproof so I can paddle with it (although it doesn’t read steps while paddling, it does record appropriate body movement as well as cardio zone). I do miss walking every week with my good friend in Sacramento, glad you have external motivation. Your poor Fitbit will likely blow up when you take your next camino trip (JK)! I haven’t gotten back into writing my fitness book, so monthly blog posts are it for now. Glad to help!


  6. I love everything about this. The how’s, the whys, the helps. As you know walking is one of my faves too. In November, I dragged my husband up my hill reluctantly for the sunrise. He invited himself the next day, and the next. Weight Watchers was next, and 35 pounds lighter makes a happy guy.

    And aside from health benefits, I agree, I too can solve all the worlds problems while in a walk. Donna. Have a good weekend, Terri

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It is wonderful there are a lot of incentives to keep fit out there, Terri. It is a win-win by putting less strain on the health care system.

    I’m from Canada and this is the 1st I have heard of Silver Sneakers. My former company paid $100 to each employee towards anything fitness related. Just show receipts. It might have been a gym membership, or equipment for a home gym. Or even towards an activity tracker like a Garmin.

    The cheapest and most effective tool for physical and mental wellness I believe is simply walking. Thank you for sharing! 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That is pretty cool, Carl. Your company really did right by its employees! For years, I managed our jogging center in downtown Sacramento, and enjoyed using the facilities for free all year round. Plus I could check on my employees, LOL!


  8. Hi Terri Wander Ask Love Know – love this!! Walking is underrated really. You can walk briskly for a cardio workout, take a nature walk to enjoy your surroundings or take a mindfulness walk to just ‘be’ in the moment. Thanks for joining us for WOTY link party and sharing your progress with your WOTY with us. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sue! I wish I could run or even jog, but those days are over due to bad knees. I’m glad you are running and enjoying your workouts. Lately I’ve been able to enjoy nature while walking my dogs. Always a good day when I am out walking.


  9. Thank you for sharing the acrostic you created for WALK. Asking for help is a difficult thing for me. I listened to a podcast today about loving ourselves enough to ask for help when we need it…coincidentally when I was out for a walk. My husband is out of town dealing with a very stressful situation with my stepson. After finding myself wanting to eat everything in sight just because I am a nervous wreck, I decided to take a walk. It changed my mood and slowed my ‘appetite’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Leslie, I’m glad walking deterred your appetite and lifted your mood. I’m sorry your family is having difficulties, very stressful indeed. I agree that asking for help is difficult and that is when I simply ask God for peace about the situation. So great to hear from you, my friend!


  10. Hi Terri, I’m reading this after having just come back from a ‘rest day’ walk – a walk that is really just a pleasant stroll rather than a fast paced walk. The forest where I walk is always calming and I too solve the problems of the world or create, fabulous blog posts in my head, have crazy ideas or just let my mind wander as the butterflies flitter around me as I did today. I had a while where I couldn’t walk too much due to a knee issue but thankfully all is good now and I’m loving the walks as they are so good for me. Along with riding my bike – my two favourite activities! Thanks also for linking up with us for the #WOTY posts, you word is perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Debbie! A pleasant stroll sounds good…most of the time I walk briskly anyway with two dogs in a forest, so I get how much you enjoy it! I’m glad your knee is better, I’ve been there! Hope your Autumn is off to a nice start 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Walking is my default exercise, which invariably makes me feel better. I don’t even really regard it as exercise, just as a part of me. Today, when I went for a walk, there was a woman sitting in a car and I figured she was waiting for someone who had gone for a walk. There might have been reasons why she didn’t accompany him, but I felt a bit sad that anyone would rather sit than get out in the fresh air!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Terri, I absolutely love your meaning of walk, using the letters! And what a wonderful word of the year! I’ll save it as an idea for next year. I was also inspired to see all those benefits of walking. I’ve walked too little this winter because the weather has been windy and dreary. I have no problem going for walks in rain and gloom, but really dislike it when it’s too windy. But now that the weather is improving, I’ll do a lot more walking again and will try to make it more of a habit.
    During March I started one-to-one strength training sessions with a personal trainer. I’m extremely happy with it! I love being there, doing something good for myself (body AND mind), and see how I can do more than I thought. My body feels stronger already after a few sessions and it works wonders for my mood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Susanne. I’m not a fan of wind either so I get it! I love your 1-1 strength training idea. Now you’ve got me thinking of finding a personal trainer than can help me kick my own butt. Thank you for taking the time to comment!


  13. I have to admit, Terri, that I find it hard to believe that people need motivating to walk. It’s the most natural activity there is and costs nothing. But then, I’ve always been a convert. Try to get me to go to a gym and that’s a different matter. I’d far rather climb a hill or two for the view. Takes all kinds to make a world, doesn’t it? Many thanks for the link! Have a healthy, happy week!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Terri – my walking regimen has taken a hit this year since the January 1st snowstorm. We have had snow, ice and very high winds, lots of rain and it’s impacted my walking. Tonight we have freezing rain, so tomorrow will be another lost morning walk. I hope to improve in the second quarter, which is predicted to be very rainy. My goal is 1,256 miles.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s for sure Terri and I told another blogger that the weather is like the ice cream flavor of the day: yesterday we had a wind chill in the teens; this morning was freezing rain and tonight/tomorrow winds 45-50 mph most of the day. Something different – nothing good. The next ten days are unsettled as well. I have walked at a large grocery store in Summer when it is hot and humid.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Terri, You put so much thought into this post, I wish I could just cut and paste it into my WQW for Wednesday – Fitness. It even has a great quote already, and it is my favorite go-to exercise. It’s probably one of the reasons why I have very little pain in my knee in spite of the fact that the torn meniscus has never been repaired. My brother and I have always been great walkers and I have no idea what motivates us. We are the only ones in our family who actively walked from the time we could walk and continued through our entire lifetimes. Even if you do get ill, it is something you can continue to do. So great idea and fabulous WOTY. How many steps do you average per day?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve had fun with these posts, Marsha, thank you! Walking has been a blessing once I couldn’t run any longer a few years ago. I’m glad you stayed motivated to walk. It is powerful medicine! I’ve averaged 10k steps per day. Sometimes I get that amount just buzzing around the home and property, especially loading the trailer. We’re out the door at 9am this morning for our trip.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I asked too early. I saw that amazing post when I read February’s post. I linked to both your Feb. page and your category page in my WQW post. It’s perfect. You do such a good job. My post is quite different. I’m sure you’ll tell me what you think.

        Liked by 1 person

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