health

How To Get The Most Out Of A Fitness Tracker

These days it seems like everyone has some sort of fitness tracker, and every year the devices get more and more advanced and easy to sync up with the rest of your digital life. But most of us don’t even use half of the features modern fitness trackers offer or consider the best ways to use them.

Your smartwatch probably goes far beyond counting steps and tracking your heart rate. These are some ways you can use your favorite fitness tracker to get the most value out of it:

1. Set Goals

man fitness tracker

The first thing you want to do when you start using a fitness tracker is to enter all of your personal details, including age, gender, weight, height, and average activity level, and then start setting some goals. A lot of fitness trackers allow you to enter your goals directly into the device or an associated app — whether it’s daily steps, daily active time, weight loss, or other goals. But even if you have a basic model, you can write your goals down somewhere else and use your fitness tracker to, well, keep track of them.

2. Make It Social

fitness trackers

A lot of fitness apps that are associated with fitness trackers allow you to add friends from your phone contacts, social media, or manually so that you can share your progress with each other and even engage in a little friendly competition. For example, you might be able to challenge a friend to run 5 miles in a week or remain active for an hour a day. Connecting your fitness tracker with friends offers great accountability, and it’s the perfect way to stay motivated throughout the week.

3. Pair It With a Weight Loss App

phone and fitness tracker

Just as you can connect most fitness trackers with your friends, you can also connect many of them to weight loss apps. You can also use them in conjunction with services like Noom, which offers customized fitness programs complete with calorie tracking software, online weight loss coaching, and more, so that you are sure to have all the aspects of fitness, nutrition, and weight loss covered. Using all of your resources together is a surefire way to achieve your goals.

4. Keep It Updated

woman fitness tracker

Be sure to update the personal details on your fitness tracker periodically. There are a lot of factors that can affect the number of calories you burn during any given activity, so you’ll need to make sure your stats are as accurate as possible. You should also update your tracker if you lose or gain weight, if there are any changes to your health, and, of course, as you get in shape.

5. Use It on Your Less Dominant Arm

fitness tracker woman

If you have a fitness watch, it’s best to wear it on your less dominant arm so that your readings are as accurate as possible. Your dominant arm moves a lot more throughout the day, even when the rest of your body might be stationary, so it can track more activity or even less activity if things like your purse or phone are interfering with the Bluetooth signal. Plus, your device is less likely to be damaged if it’s worn on your less dominant side.

6. Wear It as Much as Possible

young woman fitness tracker

If you forget to wear your tracker, don’t put it on until you’ve been awake for a few hours, or take it off when you sleep, the data it tracks will not provide a full picture of your fitness and activity levels. You should try to keep it on at all times and be sure to charge it only when you know you’ll be sitting for an extended period of time, like when you’re working at your desk or sitting down to watch a movie at the end of the day. But don’t forget to put it back on! Oh, and it’s best to invest in a waterproof model so you can keep it on during showers and swim sessions.