Get more out of your fitness tracker

Thursday, February 02, 2017

fitness-tracker

There are many different kinds of fitness trackers - Fitbit, FuelBand, Jawbone, FIT, Garmin – and each has its own unique set of features - counting calories, monitoring steps, evaluating your sleep and more.

What’s the one thing each of these trackers have in common?

The goal of making you fit.

When you first strap on your new fitness device you swear you’ll get your steps in every day and keep tabs on how many calories you’re consuming. But, after the novelty wears off, how can you continue get the most out of your fitness tracker?

FIND THE FUN

The first step is to remember that, aside from being useful, these devices are meant to be fun! What good is keeping up a daily progress dashboard if you’ve got nobody to compare yourself against? Add new people to your circle of fitness friends and use them as added motivation to keep going.

Even if it's just for bragging rights, a little, healthy competition can be just that - healthy!

Most fitness trackers also come with “adventures” or “challenges” that you can participate in to add another layer of interest. If you’re bored of the same walking path, try challenging yourself to make the 8,000 steps it takes to complete the New York City Marathon 5k. Journey through Yosemite and take the 15,000 steps necessary to trail down Vernal Falls.

TIME FOR AN UPGRADE

If you started with a basic level fitness tracker, it could be time for an upgrade. Newer models have added a variety of new features to reinvigorate your healthy lifestyle goals.

Instead of just focusing on steps and calories, try a tracker that tracks your sleep habits or cardio fitness level. Some, like the Fitbit Charge 2, can even walk you through guided breathing sessions.

COMBINE WITH AN APP

Don’t solely rely on your fitness tracker to motivate you to get moving. Combine the useful features of your device with an app for added health benefits.

The MyFitnessPal app syncs with a handful of trackers and allows you to count calories consumed against the calories you burn. Essentially it’ll tell you if you’re getting enough exercise to burn off the food you’re eating.

If you’re enjoying your walks, but feel there’s better use of your time, try Charity Miles. This app can be used in combination with your tracker and you can earn money for charities each time you run, walk or bike.

And if that isn't enough to keep you going, subscribe to a podcast about a topic you're interested in or find a streaming music station you can't get enough of. Plug your headphones in and use your exercise time as a chance to unwind and catch up on your favorite songs and shows.

According to an article in The New York Times, “Activity monitors could improve our health and extend our lives - if only we could be motivated to use them.” So, use these tips as added motivation to fall back in love with your fitness tracker and make sure it’s working hard for you!

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