2023 has arrived! And I’d only just got used to writing 2022 in dates on forms and such… ah well! In this post, I share with you my simple daily fitness tracker Excel template. I created this yesterday evening, to track my progress each day across three activities, as I want to build up strength and cardio fitness this year. Read on to find out more and use this fab Excel template to help reach your goals!
¨A year from now you may wish you had started today.¨ – Karen Lamb
2023: New Year, New Habits, New You
The turn of the year is a good time to reflect on your ambitions for the coming year. Whether it derives from over-indulgences during the Christmas break or just a general desire to improve your situation, new year’s resolutions can be a helpful motivator to change habits. You may have already equipped yourself with my monthly money manager template to help manage your finances in these tough times of high inflation outstripping wages. But there’s nothing more important than your health.
Movement and exercise are key ingredients to a healthy lifestyle; I need not teach you to suck eggs on that! But of course a healthy body leads to a healthy mind, and therefore better ability to perform ‘at the office’. I’ve learned the hard way though that cutting back on the three C’s (calories, carbs, and crisps!) was the main way for me to lose weight; I’d had this longstanding, misguided belief that if only I exercised more, I could offset the sugar, alcohol, and processed foods to lose some weight. But that only came when I truly cut out the cr@p, as I did more successfully in 2022. Now I want to shape up and get moving more.
If you’re anything like me, you might like to track your progress over time. Seeing the incremental improvements on a daily basis can help forge those new habits and enhance motivation to stick with it. The old cliché is indeed true: You’ll get to where you need to be much quicker if you take small steps every day, rather than imagine massive strides that are simply too impractical to maintain.
Of course there’s plenty of modern wearable tech in the form of smart watches and apps. But I’m not keen on the extra EMF, Bluetooth, and distracting notifications in my life! Also I’ve found that the tracking stats don’t tend to track the measures I’m most interested in and of course you can’t get more accurate than a self-tracked spreadsheet! So instead, and given my expertise, I decided to track things in an Excel template!
“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.¨ – Vince Lombardi Jr
Simple Excel Daily Fitness Tracker – A Run Through
So let’s take a RUN (sorry!) through this Excel fitness tracker template I created last night. I wanted to make something favouring simplicity over complex bells and whistles, so it should be pretty straightforward. With this in mind, there are just two sheets in the workbook:
- Daily Recording: In this yellow-tabbed sheet, you record the counts of your daily activity
- Summary: In this blue-tabbed sheet, your daily information will be summarised for you into the trends for the year
In the video above, I share with you the various features and functions in this simple workbook. You can also read on to learn more. The template Excel file is in the last section of this blog…
Daily Exercise Tracking
A screenshot of the yellow ‘Daily Recording’ worksheet is provided above. You simply enter the counts for each day for your three chosen activities in the blank yellow columns provided. The whole year is already laid out for you. By default, the titles are ‘Steps’, ‘Mins’, and ‘Reps’. That’s because I have the following goals:
- Steps: To complete the magic 10,000 steps each day, as monitored by a simple pedometer.
- Mins: How many minutes of exercise I’m doing, be that walking, swimming, running, cycling, or some other non-pedestrian activity. This is all aimed at cardio health. I might not do it every day, but I want to average 30 mins per day for the year.
- Reps: This refers to strength training, as I want to build strength and a little muscle over the year. In this column I’d add together any pressups, squats, ab crunches, or other repetitive strength training counts I’ve done.
As per my quick inbuilt instructions though, you can change these headers to things more meaningful to you. For example, if you’re doing the ‘Couch to 5k’ like me, you may prefer to change a column to track kilometres (KM). If keen on long bike rides or cycling to work more often, you might prefer to track ‘Miles’. Calories (or ‘Cals’) is another option. In essence you have three spaces to track things meaningful to your goals and ambition for 2023.
If you have a daily target you want to achieve, you can enter these values in the Daily Target section provided. This will give you a comparator of how you’re doing as the year goes on, while also affects the conditional formatting on the ‘Summary’ worksheet.
I’ve also added conditional formatting to the daily cells, so you can see how things compare as the year progresses. Below is a screenshot example of what it looks like when filled in, by using Excel’s random number generator function to populate the table with some ‘dummy data’. Hopefully this gives you a useful insight on how this tool could play out for you…
As I show in my video, your dashboard will start off blank. But for demonstration purposes, here’s how it looks with a full year of data in the ‘Daily Recording’ sheet.
The monthly totals give you an insight into whether you are keeping up the pace throughout the year. I’ve added conditional formatting here using data bars, so you can easily see your higher and lower months. Ideally, later in 2023 will be higher than the first few months! You’ll be amazed at how motivating it can be when you see it all add up. Trying to beat ‘last month’s you’ is actually quite satisfying, knowing you’re constantly improving.
The next section of this simple dashboard is the daily average. Now this is a measure few smart devices track, but is important for longer-term tracking and motivation. For example, I want to try and do more daily ‘stuff’ later in the year compared to my daily average to date; it gives me a great sense of achievement, particularly for occasions where motivation is flailing! Also, there is conditional formatting applied, so that if these averages go above the daily targets you set before, it goes green. Great job!
Finally, I provide a running 2023 total. Of course, these are based on random number generation to demo what it looks like, but just imagine: If you’re able to maintain an average of 10,000 steps a day for 2023, by the end of the year you’ll have done nearly 4 MILLION STEPS! Wow! That’s approximately 1,800 miles. Now tell me that won’t motivate you through the year or cause you to give yourself a pat on the back this time next year?!
Download the Daily Fitness Tracking Template
I hope this Excel template helps you achieve your personal activity and health goals for 2023. Download my simple Excel Fitness Tracker here. Comment below and let me know how you get on and what you are tracking!
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Kind Regards, Adrian