Getting a fitness tracker is a great step in the right direction. You can now keep track of your daily activities like walking, running, sleeping, and other metrics like heart rate, calories consumed, and expended. No doubt this helps us to stay healthy all day long. Hence, there is a need to know how to use a fitness tracker.
However, is it enough to buy a fitness tracker? The truth is it won’t automatically start helping you to keep fit. How then do we put this device to good use? We need to know how to use fitness tracker.
There’s a need to see beyond a watch or a device that counts steps and keeps track of our daily workouts.
We need to look at how this device works and know how to get the most of it. This way, we will come to appreciate it better. In this article, we will talk about everything we need to know about how to use our fitness devices and more.
If you prefer learning by video, this article is also explained here.
How Do Fitness Trackers Work?
Fitness trackers work by gathering personal information about the user.
How does it do this?
It requires the user to key-in physiologic features like height, weight, sex, age, and name. These features will help in personalizing the user’s information and make sense of data it will collate.
The purpose of this initial setup is to help the device process data that it gathers. Several sensors make this happen. It uses optical sensors, actigraphy, altimeter, gyroscope, motion sensors, and so on, to analyze parameters.
A wearable tracker works by continually using its sensor to sense the body’s movement in all directions on the 3-axis accelerometer which is its main sensor.
This 3-axis accelerator is a developed masterpiece technology that measures acceleration based on the start of motion, end of the motion, and intensity of motion.
Data is always collated as soon as the device is worn and powered up. It makes the tracker monitor if the user is moving forward, backward, running fast, walking, or standing on one spot. All of these data are saved and processed inside the tracker.
Processing of the data begins when data is transmitted to the software. The tracker is synced with a personal computer or smartphone that is synchronized with it.
Because the user has previously shared personal information with the device’s software. Data collated will pass through algorithms.
The algorithms interpret the data by categorizing the diverse movements of the body into distinct activities. It produces more information and converts them into useful statistics or information as the software identifies what each of the data collated means. This information is stored inside the fitness tracker application.
Once the user opens the fitness application, it shows different information gotten from the already refined data. It tells the user the number of steps walked, the stride of the user, distance traveled, speed and the number of calories expended. This it does in an understandable manner.
How to Connect Fitness Tracker to Your Phone or Personal Computer?
Connecting your tracker to your smartphone is a series of easy steps after all. All you need is your smartphone (Android or iPhone) whether it’s just recently purchased or previously used. you can also connect it to your personal computer. Most trackers are compatible with these devices.
Follow these steps to get started:
Turn on your tracker and smartphone or personal computer.
Make sure they are both charged.
Download and install the fitness application from the appropriate application store depending on your operating system. Create an account if you previously had none.
You may need to input your biometrics such as weight and height. Agree with any terms and conditions if required.
Go to Settings on your smartphone or personal computer and turn on your Bluetooth so that you can synchronize your tracker and device.
Go to the main menu of the fitness application on your smartphone or personal computer and add your fitness tracker to your application.
Your devices will be paired.
Once this is done, it synchronizes your data whenever you open your application.
Video: How to Connect Fitness Tracker to Your Phone
This video will show you how to pair your fitness device to your phone.
Which Hand Do You Wear Fitness Tracker?
It’s advisable to wear your tracker just above the wrist bone on your non-dominant hand if it is meant to be worn around the wrist.
If you’re a right-handed individual, make sure you wear the tracker on your left wrist and vice versa.
This is to ensure that your device functions accurately as any unintended movement of the hand can alter the results of your measurement.
How to Use Fitness Trackers?
There are steps to follow to get your tracker to function optimally to achieve the best results. They include:
Be Realistic About Your Goals
It’s okay to dream big when laying your goals towards attaining a healthy state. However, there should be clear plans for achieving this. In other words, your goals should be what you can achieve and not just a wild goose chase.
Apart from helping you keep a record of your fitness progress, you also get to celebrate the successful completion of a goal. Setting unattainable goals will ruin every effort that was previously made towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
What can you do about goal setting? Set small goals, like a specific number of steps or exercises you will perform daily and will commit to doing. If you find it difficult to meet your goals, then you need to readjust appropriately.
You should reduce the goals to what you can achieve per day and increase them when you reach your target.
This is applicable to every other thing you want to do, whether jogging, walking, or running. Start small and as you meet those goals you can set more. Take note of your accomplishments as they will motivate you to do more.
Find Out What Works for You
When it comes to fitness activity and getting results, there is no particular method that works best for everyone. Yes, there isn’t. However, there are steps that act as a guide to people who want to get the most of their fitness trackers.
The first step is finding out what works best for you as far as this discourse is concerned. Nobody is asking you to scale the fence, just start from the level you’re comfortable with.
This may mean approaching your fitness routines from another angle. It could be taking a brisk walk on your way to or from work, or climbing flights of stairs during lunch break rather than using the elevator.
It’s unrealistic to want to go for an early morning jog when you’re not an early riser. Or adding additional work just because someone else recommended it. You will achieve more if you stick to what works for you and you can always improve on it.
Make A Commitment to Always Wear It
We know it’s slick to wear a fitness watch but then you know you didn’t get it for that sole purpose. A lot of times, people end up not using their trackers because they grew tired of wearing them, found them not useful, or they got damaged.
Remember why you got them in the first place and wear them daily to get your desired result. Therefore, it’s always advisable to get a fitness band that fits your style and your needs. That way, you won’t always have a problem wearing them as required.
Use Fitness Application
Many companies create a fitness application to match their trackers. This helps you monitor your progress on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. From time to time, the application gives you success badges for each accomplished goal and notifies you of where you are not getting it right.
This application is synchronized in such a way that it can connect to your social media platforms. Your progress and accomplishments will be shared with your loved ones and those with competitive goals.
The good thing is you’re able to stay motivated, record your progress, and improve your workout activity.
The Heart Monitor Is Your Friend
We’ve already established the fact that most fitness trackers have sensors that help to monitor heart rate during any physical activity. When you engage in an active workout, your heart rate increases concurrently. As your heart rate increases, your calories will reduce.
Working out till you are breathless is not the message here. Healthy exercises should be the goal. This involves different physical activities that are beneficial to your health.
There are zones where there are better chances to burn out calories. Many heart monitors assist in achieving this by telling you these zones if you happen to be there.
Set all parameters correctly when setting up your device. This will make for maximum optimization of all features.
Calorie Counters Are Not Always Reliable
Trackers use information that was inputted during set up as a yardstick for determining calories expended. Parameters such as weight, height, age, and sex are not a reliable means of determining calories consumed and expended. This makes their result inaccurate.
Most users make the mistake of adding more calories to their diet just to satisfy the devices’ predictions. But at the same time, you shouldn’t ignore it. Just strike a balance between them and always remember that calorie counters in trackers are not always accurate.
Patience Is Key
We always want results overnight, maybe it’s how we were created. But this is not always the case in most aspects of life including getting your desired goals.
Most times, people stop their workout routines and remove the device all too soon because they assumed it wasn’t working. This is not true.
It is important to remain patient and believe that you are making progress even when you can’t evidently see them. Work towards achieving your goals, and when you do, congratulate yourself. Also, always commit to wearing your device.
One good thing to do is evaluate your journey so far. Flashback to where you started and your current level. You will discover that you have made giant strides to improve your habits and physical activity.
How To Get The Most Of Your Fitness Tracker
Getting the most of your device is paramount like we have already established. Its accuracy and functionality depend on it, just as buying it is important too.
Below is a summary of what you should do to achieve this.
Update Your Biometric on Your Fitness Application
Look for options where you can add more biodata to your fitness application. The addition of your weight can help your device to calculate calories expended and your heart rate.
Weight and height can help it to calculate your body mass index. Also, height and strides input can help the device accurately calculate distance covered and the number of steps walked.
Wear the Tracker Correctly
Amongst other things you should do, you must always position your device correctly. This is to avoid disruption of results. Since it is made up of sensors, it can record the wrong data and affect the information it gives you.
Make sure you follow the instructions on the product manual. This will help you to know the correct way to place them and the best wrist for wearing it. As mentioned earlier, it should be worn on your non-dominant hand.
Ensure that it’s tightly strapped to prevent it from slipping off. If yours comes with heart rate monitor straps, do the same for the best results.
Set Fitness Goals
Many devices and their applications have features that allow you to only set competitive fitness goals or compete with a fitness group, family, or friends.
Once you’ve met those goals, you may earn badges and set new goals. You can also get emails and work out summaries on your application.
This helps to keep you motivated and stay on track in your workout routines. You can share your progress with friends and family on social media platforms.
Regularly Run Updates
Run updates on your fitness trackers and synced applications frequently. This is very important as it helps to introduce new available features that will serve you better and fix bugs.
It also notifies you of new data or privacy updates for easier and better usage of your device and application.
Always keep your device clean. Doing so after working out or wearing it for a very long time is important. Failure to do this will make the band smell.
You might develop a rash or reaction on your skin as a result of the accumulation of dirt and sweat. This may make you stop using your fitness tracker altogether.
Many devices come with rubber or plastic bands which makes it easy to clean. Use a wet cloth and soap to clean the straps to remove sweats, oil, and dirt.
After cleaning the band, allow it to dry properly before you wear them. Also, if you wear the device while bathing or swimming, you should leave it off your skin for some time to prevent skin sensitivities.
Finally, remember that how you use your fitness tracker, maintenance and your commitment towards achieving your desired goals are all interconnected. No one factor replaces the other. We hope you found these tips helpful and that you will incorporate them into your daily routines.