I never previously considered getting a tracker on my own until I was gifted one a couple months ago. When trackers were trending so strongly over the past two holiday seasons, I never figured what they could teach me that I didn’t already know. Apple Watches, JawBones, Garmin…why bother? I thought it was just a fad.
Then I got one and I will admit – it has changed my life in a really positive way. I recently received a FitBit to wear through work. Our clients get them and now the coaches do as well. I make my steps ‘public’ and my clients love competing against me! But these trackers do not work for everyone. I mainly looking at my steps and my sleep and it has taught me a lot that I needed to work on. Keep in mind that for some folks, the devices don’t capture their sleep correctly. All they do is track movement so they work for many people, but not all. My swimmers, rowers, bikers and weight lifters get frustrated that they don’t get these activities counted through their steps. I even hear of a man who was driving an RV across the country and the vibration of the trip was counting as steps – guess how many he got that day? Some people don’t like wearing things on their wrists…there’s a lot of barriers for some but if it works for you it can be amazing. Here’s a little breakdown on the best trackers of 2015, but read on to learn the 5 reasons to love your fitness tracker today!My FitBit has changed my life in a really positive way. How could a fitness tracker help you today? #fitness @GingerhultinRD Click To Tweet
5 Reasons to Love Your Fitness Tracker Today
- They get you up and off your office chair. At 5000 steps for the day? (10,000 is the rule of thumb and equates to roughly 5 miles) Take the stairs, take a walk around the block, march in place on a phone call. You’ll be surprised how fast you can rack up the steps and hit that satisfying 10k vibration.
- Compete with your friends. My clients notice if I have a >20k day. They try to match me and we encourage each other. Each day, I know there are folks I care about watching me so I take more steps. Building the network that these apps make so easy is a fun way to get more out of the experience.
- Sleep WAY better. I thought I was good to go, then I started wearing my FitBit at night. I found I was sleeping about 5-6 hours per night! Wake up call – I started trying harder and now I’m back up to 7-8 and I feel way better. Fitness trackers don’t really know if you’re asleep or not (they only track movement!) and they don’t work for everyone but they definitely work for me. I’m so thankful that my FitBit told me more about my sleep….or lack thereof.
- Track your food if you want to. There is great research that tracking your intake helps with weight loss or maintenance. If you like to track, you can do it all on a FitBit without having to log onto another device. Instead of tracking everything you eat, I’ve helped clients run ‘experiments’ pertaining to their goals. Some track how many sugary foods they eat or how much alcohol they drink. You could track your hydration if that is a goal – if you’re into tracking, a FitBit can help.
- They hold you accountable. If you feel that a FitBit or other tracker is accurate for you as I feel it is for me, it holds you accountable. Yes, I had a 3500 step day yesterday (working from home!) and I accept that, but at least I know. I look at trends in all of my clients – some people are <5000 people and some blast 10k every day! What kind of person are you?
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
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