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How To Use A Fitness Tracker And Actually Stay Fit
If you have never used a fitness tracker before in your life, trust me you have been missing out on a life time workmate. I know that might sound crazy but it’s a fact. A fitness tracker is like a gym partner, it goes with you everywhere to make sure you don’t give up. I think it might even be more active than a physical Gym partner because most of them will remind you when you spend more than 1 hour without being active. We have two types of fitness trackers, (1) Wrist band trackers & (2) clip-on trackers. During your first days of using a wearable fitness tracker, your hand will feel wired but after a few days everything will be okay, so don’t throw it away on day one.
Essential reading: Best fitness tracker to buy 2015
WHAT DO FITNESS TRACKERS DO?
- Track daily activities which include, walking, jogging, climbing steers, swimming distance covered, sleeping and so much more. However, a tracker can only work when it’s turned on and worn the right way. Don’t assume that leaving it in your bag when it’s not on your hand or clipped on your belt / bra / pocket will get you the best results. True most of them are highly sensitive but you have to wear them on your wrist like a sports watch. They actually don’t weigh too much; most of them range between 5 – 6.1 ounces.
- They motivate you every time you feel like giving up. That is a great thing because staying focused is not easy. We get distracted throughout the day and our bodies also get tired, so sometime you will feel like grabbing a bear, watch a movie and sleep the all day. But as you stay inactive, your tracker will beep and alert you that you haven’t made any movement since morning. All data collected during an active day can be synced to a mobile application / computer making it very easy to read and share with friends. Some fitness mobile apps will enable you set goals for a day / week & a month which is a pretty good thing.
HOW TO USE IT:
- Wear your tracker the right way:
I will repeat myself here, ”fitness trackers come in two types, (1) wristbands, (2) clip-on trackers. You can choose what works for you best / what makes you feel comfortable. If it’s a wristband, make sure it fits you very well, if not, try to adjust it so that it fits your arm very well. Because vigorous activities like running, skipping a rope and swimming require you to move your hands, so if the wristband tracker didn’t fit well, it will fall off your hand and get damaged. On the other hand if you opt for a clip-on fitness tracker like Fitbit One / Zip, you have to clip it very well on your pants / pocket or bra. Clip-on trackers are very small and it’s very easy to lose them while jogging, so be careful when using them.
- Ignore burned calorie counts from the beginning: – Most fitness trackers will show you how many calories you have burned in a day; however, this feature can distract you and make you lose focus. Why, because one vigorous workout can help you burn lots of calories, once you get okay with the numbers you will stop working out and get back to your old habits. I’m not giving you rules here, but burned calories can be replaced back with just one meal and that means you have to work out on a daily basis. The other thing you have to note is that most of these calorie counts are inaccurate. Now basing on them will mislead you.
- Pair your fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor:- Not all fitness trackers come with heart rate monitor. If you own models like Fitbit Charge HR & Fitbit Surge, you will be in position to monitor your heart rate 24/7, however models like Polar loop have to be paired with a Polar H7 Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate Sensor, and this helps the device to track your heart pulse and strength. However results showed by a heart rate monitor can’t be used as medical records but they’re very essential because you will know your exact heart beat when you increase on the intensity of a particular exercise. This information will stop you from over working out and at the same time it helps you know when to push harder.
- Set goals: – Good fitness trackers will enable you set goals using a mobile application. This is an essential feature because you get the opportunity to share your fitness goals with friends and at the same time create workout groups that compete against each other to see who accomplishes their goals faster. Sometimes setting goals as a person does not guarantee that you will work so hard to archive them, however, when you share them with pals / friends, you get inspired and work so hard to achieve them. Follow your progress and note down obstacles you find to archive certain goals. This will help you plan well and achieve more.
- Connect it to your mobile Application: – Premium activity trackers can connect to a smartphone / computer wirelessly. But ordinary ones might require you to use a USB to transfer this data from the fitness tracker to a mobile device or computer. The main reason of transferring this data to a fitness Application / computer is to get better display of data. By default, all fitness trackers are small, you can’t read all data on that small screen, but when synced to its mobile application, information will be organized and displayed in a better way, showing when fitness level was high / low.
- Get into Action:- We have tackled all the essential things you have to do, but the most important thing is to You didn’t wear that fitness tracker for fashion. I know most of them have cool designs and colors, but don’t mistaken them for designer watches even-though you can tell both time and date via these small fitness devices. If this is your first day to exercise, you can start with brisk walking after work, this is a very simple exercise and it warms up your muscles; preparing them for a vigorous workout. On the 5th day you can start jogging, but cover a small distance and increase on the distance as time goes one. When you go to sleep leave on that tracker so that it tracks your sleeping patterns as well.
- Reward yourself:- I know this might sound off topic, but after achieving today’s goal, reward yourself with a glass of fruit juice or a banana. This is a great motivation and it will keep you going the next day. A glass of juice will refresh you and at the same time replaces lost energy.
- Check the status of your fitness tracker:- Some fitness trackers like ”Withings” don’t do well with sweat because they’re not waterproof. So it’s better to check if that tracker is in good conditions after a vigorous workout. When it comes to battery charging, some hold power for 5 days and others use cells which are not rechargeable but can work for 6 solid months. If the wristband of your tracker wears out, but a new one from AMAZON, they cost only $15.