These days, fitness trackers do so much more than just track your steps! They’re like your very own, next-level personal trainer with the motivation and feedback you need to turn healthy exercise, eating and sleeping habits into a lifestyle. Whether you’re new to fitness, already lead an active life or are training to compete, here’s 8 benefits of using a fitness tracker and how they make achieving your goals easier.
1. Provides Accountability and Motivation
You’ve probably all heard that quote, ‘what you eat in private, you wear in public’. Fitness trackers with apps that let you share your workout, goals and progress help make your healthy life a bit more public. Let your friends be the reason you don’t press snooze and skip your AM workout!
2. Makes You Train More Effectively
A fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor helps you to optimize your training efficiency so you can reach your goals faster. Features like heart rate graphs and intensity calculators give you feedback so you know how hard to push and when to back off for maximum results. Choose one with quick display heart rate zones and/or pace comparison so a quickly glance is all you need to do for mid-workout feedback.
3. Encourages an Active Life
When it comes to being healthy and losing weight, it’s not all about working out. While your 30 minute or 1 hour training session is great for your body, there’s a huge number of health benefits that comes from just moving more. Many fitness watches allow you to set reminders to get up, stretch and walk around. It’s particularly helpful if you’ve got a desk job! As well as that, you’ll be motivated to get out and be more active to meet your daily targets.
4. Helps Prevents Over-training
While activity trackers are often marketed to encourage people to move more, one of my favorite benefits of using a fitness tracker is that they’re great to prevent over-training. By observing your resting heart rate and performance over time, you can see if your performance is suffering. If you’re training but not getting fitter, stronger or faster, an extra rest day or a recovery week might be called for. And, once you’ve rested enough, you should start to see your stats improve again.
5. Makes Monitoring Goal Progress Easy
Instead of setting and forgetting about your goals, a fitness tracker keeps you progressing towards them every day. By automatically recording your data, it’s never been easier to see what’s working and what’s not. Use the feedback to create habits from the things that are helping you to achieve your goals and forget what’s not.
6. Helps Create Healthy Sleep Habits
Sleep is an often-overlooked vital ingredient in being healthy. It effects almost everything including your mood, metabolism, energy levels, brain capacity and cravings. If you (like most people), find sleep at the bottom of the priority list when you get busy, improving sleep is one of the top benefits of using a fitness tracker. Not only does it record how many hours you get, it measures the quality of your sleep too. You can then see how your sleep habits impact your performance and mood. Get your rest sorted and you’ll be one step closer to smashing your other goals.
7. Encourages Healthy Eating
Not only does wearing a fitness tracker serve to remind people to make healthier food choices, some also help you keep track of how you’re fueling your body. Tick glasses of water off your daily target list and make notes on the quality of your diet so your healthy habits become normal.
8. Keeps You Honest
When you’ve got the data right in front of you, it’s harder to excuse missed workouts and poor sleep! Intensity calculators also show you if one ‘bad’ workout has turned into a week of cruisy workouts. It’s normal to overestimate how much exercise you do and how many calories you burn but a fitness watch will keep you honest.
It’s pretty cool when advances in technology make our lives better. And, the benefits of using a fitness tracker do make them an inexpensive and worthwhile investment in your health. With invaluable feedback on your exercise and lifestyle habits, they’re an awesome way keep you motivated, accountable and on track to achieving those goals.
If you’re thinking about buying a fitness tracker or updating the one you’ve got, check out my comparison of the best fitness trackers for women.