Summer is here, the days are getting longer, and that means it’s easier to get out and get active. A fitness tracker is a great way to help you keep your progress going. For those who don’t know, I have been wearing my Fibit tracker for over 2 years now and it’s the only thing that motivates me to get up and move. By the way, I lost 35lbs and I’m not stopping there. I love the idea of strapping on a fitness tracker and getting more active. The idea of having a device that would track how much I move around, and use a smartphone app to show how fit I am, seemed like a fantastic idea. Whether you have a Fitbit or another kind of fitness tracker, there are a lot of things you can do with yours that you might not know about. By knowing everything yours can do, you will get the most out of it and use it to it’s best capacity. After all, you paid a good chunk of change for your fitness tracker, so you want it to do everything for you that it can.
Let’s take a look at 10 ways to get more from your fitness tracker.
1. Set Your Own Goals
Most fitness trackers come with a preset goal of 10000 steps per day, this could be too few or too many steps for you to realistically take. Start with 10000 steps per day and see how many you get on a typical day. 7000? If so, 10000 could be a great new goal, but if you’re only logging around 4,000 steps a day, try for 7000 before you slowly increase your daily average. If 10,000 is an easy goal for you, try for 12000 or even 14000 steps. If you’re constantly failing to reach the daily goal, your job or physical health could be a determiner in the right goal for you. On the other hand, maybe you blow past the daily goal every single day. Either way, adjust the steps goal to match your needs.
2. Change The Mode Based On Your Activity
Some of the newer, fancier activity trackers do a better job of determining if you’re running versus walking. On the other hand, some of them aren’t very good at doing that. You can set the mode to different things, like swimming, jogging, spin class or biking so that you get the right props for your workouts. Make sure to return it to walking mode when you’re done.
3. Sync with Other Apps
Get all your wellness data in one place by connecting your fitness tracker app with other health apps, like MyFitnessPal for food tracking, Strava to get more accurate measurements on your bike rides and runs by using your phone’s GPS, or Nest, which links to your Nest Thermostat to automatically change the temperature of your house to the temperature you prefer the moment you go to bed or wake up. Choose one or more and download it to your cell and then sync it with your device so that you can keep more careful track of your activity and fitness and get tips and help when you need it.
4. Don’t Expect Perfection
While most activity trackers, especially the newer ones, are pretty close to accurate, you can expect a bit of variation and some stuff may be a bit off now and then. Luckily, this isn’t too big of a deal because you can use the activity tracker as a pretty close estimation of your activity so that you can create a healthy lifestyle that your tracker can help you stick with.
5. Make Your Tracker Part Of Your Social Life
Many activity trackers allow you to hook up with friends so that you can engage in some healthy competition or encourage each other to stay on track. Find some like-minded people and sync your trackers so that you can get even more out your goals and fitness routine.
6. Change The Stride Length
Like goals, your activity tracker comes pre-loaded with a certain stride length. However, your stride is probably smaller than your husband and might be longer than your best friend. Stride length is partially determined by height so make sure you set your activity tracker to your height so that it can accurately keep track of steps taken and other things pertaining to your activity.
7. Wear It On Your Non-Dominant Wrist
That means if you’re left-handed, wear your activity tracker on your right wrist and vice versa. Research shows that this gives you a more accurate picture of your movement since you move your non-dominant hand less than your dominant one. Some trackers allow you to choose which wrist you’re wearing it on and that can help make it more efficient as well.
8. Turn Off All-Day Sync
If you want, you can track your progress on your phone throughout the day by enabling the All-Day Sync feature. This forces your Fitbit to sync data with your phone consistently throughout the day. While some may find it useful, it’s not a necessary feature. You can track your progress on the most of the wearables directly, and if you want to see more detailed information, you can manually sync the device at any time. Turning off All-Day Sync will significantly improve the tracker’s battery life.
9. It’s Still On You To Follow Through
An activity tracker can be fun to play around with for a few months. But it’s easy to get bored, take it off your wrist and never pick it up again. Ultimately, your motivation must come from within. These devices get you thinking about fitness, but in the end, it’s your decision.
10. Recruit Your Friends
Many of these fitness trackers have an added social component that allows users to track how they stack up against their friends. Working out gets easier with a buddy, and it can be fun to compete with people who are aiming for the same level of activity you are. I’ve found that having someone a few hundred steps ahead of you on the leaderboard can be a great motivator to get off the couch and stroll around the neighborhood.
Do you own a fitness tracker? What kind? Do you like it? Do you find it useful? What other tips do you have to get more from a fitness tracker? Share in the comments section below.