Fitness trackers are really useful tools to help you lose weight or get fit. However, it’s not just a matter of strapping one on and waiting for results. If you want something to change, you’ve got to do something different. So, here’s how to get the most out of your fitness tracker and turn it into an invaluable part of your healthy life.
Don’t Expect Magic
If only fit was as simple as buying a fitness tracker, we’d have a world full of athletes! But, a fitness watch is merely a tool that can be used to help you achieve your health goals. You wouldn’t just buy a set of dumbbells, leave them in a corner and expect to get lean. To get the most out of your fitness tracker, use it as a source of motivation and feedback on a daily basis. Do this, put in the hard work and make those healthy lifestyle changes. When it’s used right, your fitness tracker will make it a lot easier to get the results you’re after.
Be Wary of the Calorie Counter
Fitness trackers with heart rate monitors do give a fairly accurate indication of how many calories you’ve burning each day. However, being too focused on how many calories you’re burning vs. how many calories you’re eating can create an unhealthy mindset. Use your fitness watch as a rough guide for how many calories you should be aiming for each day but DON’T obsess over the numbers. Focusing more on your overall activity level and fitness indicators is a healthier and more enjoyable way to live a healthy life.
Set Your Own Daily Goals
You are your number one competitor. When you first get your fitness tracker, use it for at least one week to see where you’re currently at. 10,000 steps per day isn’t a magic number. Your goals are unique to you and your current fitness level. To truly maximize your fitness tracker benefits you need to set your own daily goals. Then get out there, crush them and keep updating them as you go.
You can’t expect a different end result by doing the same things you’ve always done. Your fitness tracker is a fast and accurate way to get feedback on whether what you’re currently doing is or isn’t working. So, if you’re not achieving your goals, make a change. There’s no one size fits all when it comes to losing weight and improving your fitness. Experiment and get the most out of your fitness tracker by letting it help you to find a routine that your body responds well to.
Being part of an encouraging, active community is one of the best ways to stay on track when making healthy lifestyle changes. Most fitness tracker apps have a social aspect that you can use to keep you accountable. Share your progress with your friends and family or challenge them to a friendly competition. In helping you, you’ll also be helping them.
Don’t Ignore Nutrition
Being active is one of the best things you can do for your health and wellness. However, if you’re trying to lose weight, build lean muscle or improve your physical performance, you can’t ignore nutrition! Get the most out of your fitness tracker by making sure you’re fueling yourself with the right amount of quality foods. And don’t forget that your body needs protein, healthy fats and CARBS to function properly.
Monitor Your Heart Rate During Your Workout
If you’ve got a fitness watch with a heart rate monitor, a quick glance down at it can make your workouts a lot more effective. Your heart rate is an objective measurement of how hard you’re working. By aiming for a target heart rate zone (based on your goals and workout type), your fitness watch can tell you when to push harder and when to back off. While you might want to be in a higher heart rate zone during a sprint training session, pushing harder and faster isn’t always better. Your heart rate should be just above resting to safely warm up and cool down, while a mid-range heart rate is best for endurance training.
To make monitoring your heart rate mid-workout super easy, the TomTom Spark 3 automatically calculates your heart rate zone while you’re working out so all you need to do is look at your wrist.
Improve Your Sleep Quality
You might be getting enough hours of sleep, but if it’s not quality rest, you’ll still be tired during the day. If you’ve got a Fitbit, pay attention to how long you spend in restless sleep during the night as well as the number of times you woke up. Focus on creating healthy sleeping habits and monitor how changing these affects the quality of your sleep overall.
If you have particular trouble sleeping well, consider getting a Jawbone UP3. It’s one of the most advanced and accurate wareable sleep trackers available. By measuring your heart rate, breathing, body temperature and galvanic sleep response, it distinguishes between light, deep and REM sleep stages. This allows you to build a more complete picture of what’s happening during the night to see what is and isn’t working for you.
Using Your Fitness Tracker for Maximum Results
When used correctly, fitness trackers are powerful tools to motivate, encourage and provide valuable feedback on your health and fitness progress. Instead of just buying one and strapping it on, use these tips get the most out of your fitness tracker. By doing so, it’ll be heaps easier to recognize where you need to make changes to your life and create healthy habits that translate into lasting results.
If you don’t have a fitness tracker or are looking to upgrade, check out my guide on the best fitness trackers for women or click on a link below to shop now.