You’ve picked out the fitness tracker that best suits your needs and lifestyle, but do you know how to use this new tool to become more fit and healthy?
These wearable tech tools can seem complicated at first, but getting the most out of your fitness tracker is straightforward once you understand how it works. Here’s everything you need to do once you put that tracker on your wrist.
First things first, you’re going to need some activity goals. Most fitness trackers will allow you to easily do this on the tracker itself or in a separate smartphone app.
Set targets and then gradually push yourself by increasing your total number of steps, mileage, and other metrics. One easy way to hold yourself accountable and keep moving forward is to aim to do a little more each day.
You can’t track your daily activity if you aren’t wearing your fitness tracker, so think about how you’ll add this new tool to your lifestyle.
For example, if you know it will be a struggle to remember to charge the device, figure out a way to automate that habit. You might leave a charger in your car or at your office, for starters.
Competing with peers is a powerful motivator, and many fitness trackers have built-in social networking components that make it easy to compare your progress. If your tracker doesn’t have something similar, third-party apps like Strava are a great alternative.
The “calories burned” numbers generated by fitness trackers tend to be unreliable. Getting truly accurate information about how many calories you’ve burned requires expensive equipment, so use the number your tracker provides as a rough guideline.
Since fitness is about far more than calories burned, it’s more important to focus on eating a healthy diet full of whole foods and moving your body as often as possible. If you’re trying to track calories as part of a responsible weight loss plan you can still use this information as a guideline, but remember the data isn’t perfect.
There’s something very fulfilling about hitting your activity goals every day, but don’t let your tracker take over your life. It’s easy to get caught in a loop of constantly checking your numbers. Instead, decide to check it once or twice a day, maybe first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Instead of checking it obsessively, focus on having fun and living a healthy life. If you do those two things, you’ll naturally become more fit.