Fitness trackers such as the FitBit and Apple Watch have become very popular no doubt, they can do everything from tracking steps, calories and heart rate to giving you an almost complete profile of your bodily processes throughout the day and night. While the technology has certainly become more advanced, it’s hardly anything new. Endurance athletes have been using heart rate monitors for years and I am sure a lot of people will remember the step counters from the mid 2000s. Yet how will your average gym goer or person looking to improve fitness benefit from all this data?
One of the basic functions of wearable fitness trackers is to track steps. After wearing it for a day or so, a lot of people are surprised at the number of steps they take, usually between 7000-10,000 steps a day. Thus the first goal someone will make is to reach a certain number of steps per day, even if that means walking laps around your living room at the end of the day to see that final number appear. The same process might happen when you track your calories burned or even your average HR (heart rate) through physical activity. Many gyms even have posters and charts for “HR Zones” that provide a point of reference for the number you might be seeing.
While all this data might be great to see, it’s important to understand what it means and how to utilize it toward improving your fitness. A wearable fitness tracker is simply a tool, nothing more. While you can accomplish the same results with or without the device; if you plan on using one, be sure you get your money’s worth!
Wear your fitness tracker for a week or so and go about your daily routine, establish a baseline of your daily physical activity. This is also a good opportunity to learn how it works, play around with the settings and get used to wearing it.