From FitBit to Jawbone, fitness trackers and bands are used by everyone from athletes to those who enjoy a morning jog. If you’ve just bought a new tracker or have had one for some time then our list of the best tips for getting the most from your fitness tracker will help you use it to the fullest.
Wear Them In The House Too
While fitness bands are great for tracking structured activities like running and cycling, household chores like vacuuming and gardening also expend energy. To get the most from your fitness tracker, wear it in the house too -you’ll be surprised at how many steps you take and how many extra calories you burn just by doing daily activities.
Set Smart Goals
Some fitness trackers come with pre-set goals, but they can be unrealistic for many users- either too high or actually too low. Over time, regularly exceeding your goals can be just as unrewarding as not reaching them and you may get bored with the tracker. Setting personal and realistic goals such as 8000 steps if you usually take 5000 will give you something to work towards.
Change Your Goals as Your Fitness Changes
As you work harder on becoming more active, you’ll find you reach your goals more easily which is both a good and bad thing. To avoid getting fed up of your fitness tracker or not pushing yourself further, regularly review your goals to make sure they’re the best for you. Similarly, if you have a bout of illness or an injury, make sure to reduce your goals so that you have something realistic to aim for.
Wear Your Band on The Correct Wrist
Wearing your fitness band on your right wrist if you’re right handed can mean that results can be inaccurate as the wrist will likely be moving more than your body. Wearing the band on your non-dominant wrist will give you a better idea of how much your feet are moving rather than your hand.
Don’t Overestimate Your Burned Calories
Many fitness trackers can overestimate the amount of calories burned as everyone’s body is different and your tracker can’t know your personal metabolism. Assume that your tracker is around 10-15% wrong if you’re trying to lose weight so that you work that little bit harder to burn off the extra calories and get the most from your fitness tracker.
Confused about which fitness tracker to buy, read this
Connect to GPS and Apps
Use the Strava app to connect your tracker to GPS on your phone in order to more accurately record your runs and bike rides so that you can get the best picture of your health. Other apps such as MyFitnessPal allow you to enter exactly what you’ve eaten each day, getting a precise look at your calorie intake and allowing you to get the most from your tracker.
Buddy Up For More Motivation
If your tracker’s app lets you connect with friends, buddies or teammates then make an effort to use this feature. Those who have at least one friend with which to compete work harder towards their goals and take more steps each day.
Adjust Your Stride Length
Many trackers and bands have a pre-set stride length, and it’s unlikely that it will be completely accurate for you. For example a small female is unlikely to have the same stride length as a tall male. For this reason it’s important to enter your stride length to get maximum accuracy from your fitness tracker.
Correct Activity Tags
Some trackers can work out exactly what movement you’re doing, but the older models have trouble distinguishing things like jogging from dancing. Tagging an activity before starting it or retrospectively tagging certain periods of time will mean that your tracker will know what you’re doing and be able to adjust your stats accordingly.
Save Your Battery
You can enhance the battery life of both your fitness tracker and your smartphone or tablet if you unpair or turn it off when you’re not using it. If you only work out for an hour or two a day then there’s no point having the tracker paired all day, and if it doesn’t track sleep then there’s no point pairing at night. By turning the tracker off or unpairing it you can stop the battery in both your tracker and paired device draining so quickly.