If you don’t own a personal activity tracker, you’re in the minority. With over 75 million Americans using some form of wearable technology, there has to be a reason. Not only do activity trackers offer countless health benefits but they’re also extremely motivating on a multitude of levels. Here are five reasons why you need to invest in a fitness tracker, if you haven’t already.
Compete with Friends (and Yourself)
Who doesn’t like a little friendly competition? Many of the activity trackers on the market today offer features where you can link with friends and challenge each other to weekly, or even ongoing, challenges. This means whoever hits the most steps in a given time period will top the charts and earn bragging rights – at least for that day.
The challenge element of wearable technology is similar to working out with friends in a gym. For some people, running or participating in HIIT workouts or simply using machines in the gym, is made all the more fun when done with a friend or a group. The same holds true for people that use a personal trainer for their success. Accountability and encouragement can push you to the next level of fitness. And wearable technology offers both of these things. The accountability is not only to the friends you’re linked with, but also to yourself. No one wants to look down at their wrist to see you’ve missed your 10,000-step goal. You’ll thank yourself later for hitting that number.
Wearable technology has come a long way since the days of plain, rubberized black bands. The wide range of fitness band styles and designs available for fitness trackers is quite impressive. With bands that match any outfit and ones that are interchangeable, your wearable activity quickly becomes an accessory. And we’re not just talking bands in different colors, but there are gold and silver options, leather, trackers with or without screens and even some trackers designed as keychains or phone cases. The options truly are endless, so not only are you staying healthy and tracking your activity, but it can now be done in style!
Often, we are our biggest sources of motivation and internal competition. A great way to motivate ourselves is to set attainable goals. Once we reach those benchmarks, we can set new, bigger goals and then push to meet and exceed those. Activity trackers allow users to create these short and long term goals and adjust them based on progress and performance.
If your step-goal for the day is set at 10,000 and you’ve been hitting that goal constantly for weeks now, it’s likely time to up your game! Set your new goal at 11,000 daily steps. This is a realistic and achievable increase that will help you to push yourself a little harder in your fitness journey. Perhaps you’ll take the stairs at your office from now on or park farther away at the grocery store. These small adjustments in your everyday life will add up to big change.
It’s actually been reported that simply the act of tracking your activity, food consumption, and sleep patterns is enough to realize the change. Wearable technology tracks all of these things for you and allows you to take that information and turn it into a plan for a healthier lifestyle.
Monitors Your Overall Health
Don’t be fooled into thinking steps are the only thing your activity tracker monitors. Oh no! There are countless other health features available on a wide-range of devices.
Many trackers will calculate your heart rate during certain activities, which can help you target your fat burning zone and make alterations accordingly. If your primary goal is to reach a certain number of steps each day, obviously your tracker can help with this. But it can also track the number of calories burned and distance traveled over longer periods of time. Some trackers will offer charts or progress reports for the week, or even month.
Think of a fitness tracker as your own personal trainer. Do you want to create an exercise routine but don’t know how? Are there certain parts of your body you’re looking to target, but aren’t sure which exercise moves work best? Don’t worry! Activity trackers offer tips and tricks for creating effective workout routines that mirror your current fitness level and goals.
Another important component of a healthy lifestyle is getting enough sleep. On average, American adults should sleep between seven and nine hours each night. This will aid in weight loss, overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, 40% of Americans are not getting enough sleep. Wearing a fitness tracker at night acts as your own personal sleep study. It will tell you how many hours you slept, how much of that was restless sleep, and how many times you woke up. This can help you determine what changes to make in order to reach your recommended amount of sleep. Getting enough sleep offers a wide range of positive side effects including weight loss, reduced stress, and heart health.
Food Tracking Features
Everyone knows that your activity level isn’t the only part of losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Your diet plays a huge role in achieving overall well being. So what better way to achieve your goals than to combine these two features together?
Almost every activity tracker on the market today has a diet and food tracking component built right in. What’s so great about this is that your weight loss goals are in large part attributed to the amount of calories consumed vs. the number of calories burned. If your tracker is already calculating calories burned, it only makes sense that it also tracks how many calories you’ve consumed. This will help you to monitor your caloric intake vs. your level of activity. Most trackers will also remind you to drink enough water each day and offer a progress feature where users can enter their starting weight and measurements.
Get on the Bandwagon
Wearable technology is an easy and convenient way to set attainable fitness goals and reach them. With a personal trainer on your wrist (or keychain), there’s no excuse not to get up, get moving, and get healthy!
Article Submitted By Community Writer