Stop Checking Your Fitness Metrics

Measure of success

Just getting out of bed in the morning and lacing up your sneakers for a workout a few times a week is a big achievement. Why ruin your good vibes by obsessing over metrics? Fixating on metrics while you walk, jog, run or cycle can encourage negative self-talk and may actually discourage you from doing more—even if you’re feeling up to it.

How to shift your focus away from fitness metrics

No matter why you’re consumed by the metrics, here are some actionable tips that can help you listen to your body instead:

  • Rethink your goals
    Instead of setting a goal to work out for a specific time or distance, set a goal to reduce your stress, boost your mood or increase your energy level. Reframing your goals can change your mindset and may actually help improve the quality of your workout.
  • Cover up your screen
    There’s no shame in throwing a towel over the metrics screen on your elliptical, treadmill or Peloton. You can also turn off your smartphone screen or keep it in your pocket. This will encourage you to listen to your body and stop when you feel ready, regardless of what the screen says.
  • Give yourself rewards
    Who said reward charts are just for kids? Rewards can increase your intrinsic motivation or desire to do an activity, so go ahead and watch your favorite show while you run on the treadmill.
  • Replace negative self-talk
    Replace ‘I have to’ thoughts with ‘I get to’ thoughts. For example, instead of telling yourself you have to workout for another 10 minutes, tell yourself you get to listen to another podcast or your favorite album, uninterrupted. Positive self-talk can reduce your perception of effort and make your workout more enjoyable.
  • Lower the intensity
    You do not need to exercise at the highest level of intensity to get results. Exercising at a low to moderate level will also help you enjoy the workout more (and increase the likelihood you’ll do it again and again).
  • View exercise as a reward
    Instead of thinking about exercise as something you have to do, think of it as an opportunity to take a break from work or family obligations, catch up on your favorite podcast or audio book.


For more information about improving your workouts or to schedule an evaluation call Jason Ferine Physical Therapy at 424-365-2083. We are firm believers in the healing power of human touch and focus our treatments around hands-on manual therapy, strength training, yoga, exercise and acupuncture.