Top 10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Fitness Tracker


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen Fitbits and Apple Watches everywhere. It’s all the rage to track your steps, your sleep patterns, and your heart rate. Even if you’re not an avid gym goer, it’s a rush to see how much progress you’ve made for the day. If you’re passionate about tracking your fitness, you need to be using your device to it’s fullest potential. Here are the top 10 ways to best use your fitness tracker.

  • Have your tracker connected to EVERYTHING: Many of us use more than one app for several things; you probably have an app or two for weight loss tracking, so why not connect it to your tracker? For example, use your “Lose It!” app that you use to track your calories and workouts to also input your steps counted from your tracker to kill two birds with one stone!
  • Calibrate your tracker: If one of your main purposes of your fitness tracker is to track steps, you better make sure it’s counting them accurately! According to CNET, it’s important to set your stride length so every step gets counted. To calculate your stride length, CNET tells you to “measure 20 or 30 feet (6 to 9 meters) and count the number of steps it takes to cover the distance while walking and while running”.
  • Make Apps Easy to Access: Depending on what type of tracker you have, it’s important to have every app you need accessible! If you use your music and step counter app often, put them on your home screen on your watch, that way you’re one tap away from your favorite apps. Besides, it can seem a little boring to just stare at the clock on the home screen all the time.
  • Charge it up! Make sure your tracker has a full battery to operate to its full potential! You can save battery life by using “power reserve”, similar to an iPhone where you can save battery life by turning off background app usage to conserve life. How can you track your sleep patterns if your tracker dies?
  • Keep moving: Get moving every hour! Sure, fitness trackers are handy for tracking steps and heart rate, but why not use them to remind you to get moving? Being sedentary for too long can cause many health issues, like heart disease and diabetes. Use an alarm or timer on your device to remind you to get up for at least 5 minutes every hour to stretch, go on a mini-walk, or even just stand up.
  • Get competitive! If you have a fitness tracker, there’s probably a lot of your friends and family that already have one too. Why not challenge each other on who can get the most steps in a week, or who actually got enough sleep last night? There are apps you can download to track everyone’s progress as a group, like MatchUp, where everyone inputs their stats and doesn’t matter if your mom has an Apple Watch or brother has a FitBit. Studies have shown that we as a human race have a natural competitive nature, and will most likely achieve the results we want if we have motivation and competition.
  • It’s not just about the gym, use your tracker to track everything: from cleaning the house to walking around the grocery store. You need to constantly be wearing your tracker so it can accurately record your stats. You would be surprised how much physical activity you are performing besides your hour of a dedicated workout. Make sure you pay attention to the small details to make your goals!
  • Don’t get OCD about numbers: use your tracker as a general guideline and motivator. Don’t get obsessive about meeting an exact number of steps, because there’s a good chance your tracker could be a couple steps off. Hey, none of us are perfect! If you’re trying to reach 10,000 steps a day, don’t beat yourself down for only reaching 9,000: be proud that you’re making an effort to improve your health!
  • Make sure the settings are custom to YOU! Fitbits and other fitness trackers usually come with a preset heart rate zone which may or may not work for you. For me personally, I have a naturally high heart rate, so having lots of beats during a sedentary time isn’t unusual and won’t help me work towards my goals of lowering it, so I would need to set mine to a higher average. Make sure your tracker works for you, not the other way around!
  • My favorite tip, use the IFTTT method! It means, “If This, Than That”. For example, if you haven’t hit your step goal by 7 PM, you can set up your tracker to send you a reminder to get to walking. If you forgot to track your lunch, your tracker will remind you to input your calories. Coming from the most forgetful person in the world with a million things on her mind to complete every day, I love this method. Now you won’t have to remember all the things you forgot!

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