According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), wearable technology is the number 1 fitness trend for 2017. Many people consider their fitness tracker to be their own personal trainer and couldn’t imagine living without it.
If you have become a fan of these helpful devices, it’s important that you are getting the most out of it, and yourself. Follow these 7 tips to get the best results with your fitness tracker and take your fitness to the next level.
7 Tips to Achieve The Best Results With Your Fitness Tracker
1. Choose the Right Fitness Tracker
The first, and most important, step in getting the best results from your tracker is getting the right one for the job. While many activity trackers perform similar functions, some of them will have much different specializations.
Basic fitness trackers record your steps, calories, daily activity, and sleep, so if this is all you’re looking for, then you would be safe getting a basic model. However, if you’re in need of more advanced functions, be sure to consider the following before making a purchase:
- Heartrate- If your fitness goals require you to train at a certain heartrate (target heartrate), then you will definitely need a fitness tracker watch equipped with a heartrate monitor.
- Water Friendly- Fitness watches aren’t waterproof, but some of them are water-resistant. Tracking distances in a pool will be challenging if your device doesn’t work in the water.
- GPS- Unfortunately, GPS capable fitness trackers can get expensive, but if you plan on hiking or trail running, it may be necessary.
Battery Life- This feature can differ greatly from model to model. Some can last more months, while others will need to be charged in a few days or less.
2. Don’t Rely On the Calorie Counter
Wearable technology excels at a lot of things, but it’s notoriously inaccurate at determining the number of calories that you’ve burned. In fact, a Stanford University study found that the calorie monitors in fitness trackers had an error rate that ranged from 27.4% to 92.6%.
If you’re looking to get a general idea of how many calories you burn during the day, it’s not the end of the world. If you need to make important decisions that affect your health, then you definitely should not rely on the calorie monitor.
3. Understand the App
Your fitness tracker watch will come with an app that you will need to register it with. Be sure that you have a firm understanding of what features are on the app and how they work. Features typically include workout, diet, activity, and sleep analytics to help track your progress.
You can also share training success with friends to keep yourself accountable. One really nice social feature on many fitness tracker apps is the ability to invite others to participate in workout and diet challenges. The fitness app will go a long way in helping you reach your fitness goals.
4. Track Your Food
The amount of calories that you consume during the day, week, and month may be the most influential factor when it comes to your bodyweight. That’s why most fitness tracker apps will come with a food diary.
Don’t just use this feature sometimes; use it all the time and be honest. You probably have a vague idea of how many calories you’re consuming during the week. However, your diet will look much different when it is laid out in front of you.
Besides the amount of calories you are consuming, you will be able to see what you’re doing right or where you’re lacking. By logging your food you can determine where your calories are coming from (percentages from protein, carbs, and fats).
Be sure to log drinks, condiments, and sugars too. You may notice that your extra calories are coming from small snacks or drinks that can easily be avoided.
5. Set Daily Goals
Try setting daily goals with your fitness tracker to help keep your motivation levels high. It may be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel if your goal is to lose 30 pounds in a year. Consuming 50 fewer calories in a day will keep you constantly reaching small goals.
Daily goal setting is not just limited to calories. You can walk 100 more steps than yesterday, do 1 more minute of cardio, or get 1 more push-up. There is almost an unlimited amount of daily challenges that you can make for yourself to keep you on track.
6. Keep It On
All of the benefits of using a fitness tracker are completely meaningless if you don’t actually wear it. This may sound like a no-brainer, but this is a far too common mistake that is made with users. You should aim to keep it on for most, if not all of, the day.
When you’re purchasing a fitness tracker watch, be sure that is comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time. It should also be aesthetically pleasing so you feel comfortable wearing it during work or social functions.
7. Pay Attention to The Battery Life
Your fitness tracker obviously needs to have plenty of battery to help you reach your goals. Some fitness tracker watches will display the battery life on them, but other may require you to log into the app and check it there.
Be mindful of when you take it off for charging so you don’t forget that you left it on the charger 20 minutes after you have already left the house. Trying to “cut it close” and waiting to the last minute to recharge your device is a good way to set yourself up for failure.
Wearable technology is far from a simple fitness fad. If you aren’t using one yet, there’s a good chance that you will put one on at some point in the future. Fitness trackers provide some great health and fitness benefits, so be sure to use them correctly to get the best results possible.