By now you’ve probably seen someone you know sporting a fitness tracker around his or her wrist and wondered what it is and how it works. Or, perhaps you wear one yourself, but you don’t know quite how to use it to maximize your health. Here are five tips for choosing the best tracker for you and how get off on the right foot!
- Consider what features you are looking for in a tracker. Are you a runner? Or do you just want something that will calculate how active you are during the day? For the average Joe, trackers such as the FitBit Flex or Jawbone UP24 are great. For example, the FitBit Flex tracks your daily steps, miles travelled, active minutes, calories burned, and even how long and how restful your sleep was. For the more seasoned athlete, the Garmin Forerunner15 is a better option. The Garmin Forerunner15 not only tracks your steps during the day, but it is also equipped with a heart monitor and GPS tracking for runs.
- How do you want your tracker to look? Unfortunately you probably won’t get too many compliments on the look of your fitness band, but some are a little less conspicuous than others. The Jawbone UP24 has a sleek band that blends in well when paired with other bracelets, but the Nike Fuelband and the FitBit stick out a little more. If the FitBit’s rubber band seems off-putting, you always have the option of ordering the Tory Burch accessory band that transforms your fitness tracker into a fashion statement.
- Connect with friends. Most fitness trackers are equipped with a feature that allows you to connect with friends and family who also sport the same band. Challenge your friends to see who can get the most steps during the week for extra motivation to get moving!
- Use the alarm feature. If your fitness tracker has an alarm feature, use it to wake you up in the morning or to simply remind yourself to do things during the day. Most bands vibrate silently, offering the added benefit of saving your roommate from also waking up when your iPhone alarm blasts “Marimba” every morning.
- Improve your sleep with sleep tracking. Track your rest every night using the FitBit or Jawbone. These trackers also provide information about the quality of your sleep. Seeing how much (or little) sleep you got the previous night is a strong incentive to tuck into bed a little earlier the next night.
Keep in mind that the data these fitness trackers provide is not 100 percent accurate; however, they are still great investments for your health if you consider the data as an estimate for your daily activity and if you wear the band consistently. Now doesn’t this make you want to take a walk?
By Julie Kameisha