Have you noticed those little colored bands everyone has been wearing around their wrists lately? These are activity trackers that sense the user’s movement and keep track of many different things. They can track things such as the number of steps you take, distance walked, calories burned, sleep quality, and heart rate. When I first heard about the activity trackers I was pretty skeptical, but now that I have one (a Fitbit Flex) I have to admit I love it. There are many different styles and brands of these activity trackers, so I think there is something that will work for everyone.
My favorite thing about my Fitbit is that is keeps me active and honest throughout the day. Experts recommend a goal of 10,000 steps per day. I can check my progress by simply tapping on my fitness band or by checking the app on my phone. This helps me realize when I have been sitting still for too long and gives me a goal to work towards. It also gives me a pretty accurate representation of how active I have been and takes out all the guesswork. Some of my friends and family members also have activity trackers, so it can be fun to challenge them and see who can get the most steps during a particular day or week. For me, a little friendly competition is always a good motivator.
I also love the sleep tracker on my Fitbit. It tells me what time I went to bed and woke up and how many times I was awake or restless throughout the night. I have a sleep goal of 8 hours per night, but it is totally customizable. With all of this information about my sleep cycle readily available to me I can compare how I feel to what my sleep cycle says and make adjustments that help me get more sleep and feel better during my day.
The app for the activity tracker also has sections to track weight, exercise, and food and water intake although I find that I don’t use these much. When it comes to different types of activity trackers, there are some really simple and affordable options available that just clip onto the clothing and track only your basic steps. Of course there are also more expensive and in-depth options that track heart rates, have GPS tracking, etc. When shopping for an activity tracker, think about your needs and goals and choose one that is right for you. Check out this buyer’s guide from Consumer Reports for more information on what to consider when choosing the best activity tracker for you: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/fitness-trackers/buying-guide.htm.
I think that using an activity tracker is a great first step (haha) if you’re looking to be more active and work towards a healthier lifestyle. Having realistic, measurable goals is important and an activity tracker is a great tool to hold you accountable to these goals. Just like anything else, activity trackers only work if you are committed to using them. Remember, every step counts!