Many of us live and die by our activity trackers these days and used in the right way they can be your very own personal fitness trainer. If you have been undecided about your next purchase, here's my top 10 reasons why an activity tracker should be top of your Christmas List in 2017.
1. Keeps Track of Your Progress
Seeing improvement in your fitness levels is one of the biggest motivators of doing exercise. An activity tracker will record all of your daily activity statistics so you can see 1. where you are improving and 2. where you need to work harder. A good activity tracker will track your steps, distance, heart rate, calories burned and present all of this information in colourful graphics and reports.
2. Individual Goal Setting
The best way to achieve big results is to set small, realistic and achievable goals. An activity tracker will allow you to do this and usually the first goal people set is the steps counter. 10,000 is the most common goal, but perhaps if you have an office job, 8000 steps maybe more achievable. Once you can consistently hit this goal, add on an additional 1000 and see if you can hit that!
3. Monitors Your Personal Health
Above and beyond the basic step count, most of the activity trackers on the market these days also allow you to track your sleep habits, water intake and calorie intake. Self-tracking allows you to take control of these aspects of self-care helping you to a healthier diet, more exercise and better sleep.
4. Personal Accountability
Unless you choose to link your activity tracker to social and your friends, the only person you are competing against is yourself. The activity trackers track your goals, encouraging you to do more than you did yesterday and research has shown that even just using your tracker as a basic pedometer can increase your activity levels by 30%. Your activity tracker increases your accountability to be wise in your food choices, to be more active in your day to day living and in your life in general. It is your personal conscience, gently reminding you throughout the day.
5. Promote activity in the workplace
Most people who have an office-based job will barely hit the recommended 10,000 steps a day. However, this is not impossible, usually you become engrossed in a task and forget to move. An activity tracker will give you a gentle reminder if you have sat still for too long, telling you to move every hour, even if it's just to go and put the kettle on.
6. Set Challenges and Encourage Competition
Although the benefits of an activity tracker can be very personal, many people will enjoy the benefits of connecting with other users, setting daily or weekly challenges, creating workout groups or seeing how others are getting on - who doesn't love a bit of healthy competition, especially when the ultimate and shared goal is to get healthier?
7. Up To Date Weight Loss Tool
Fitness trackers provide you with up to date feedback on activity levels and calories burned; calories in Vs calories out. Many allow you to also track food and drink intake. This provides you with an estimate of calories in and calories out to meet your daily weight loss goals.
8. Forming Good Habits
Activity trackers will monitor your activity and sleep patterns and record how they affect your overall health. They can then recommend easy changes to make and give you manageable activity goals.The changes and goals enable you incorporate healthier habits in your daily routine. These changes may include replacing a coffee break with an afternoon walk. As you achieve the set goals, you are allowed to level up and add other healthy habits to your daily routine.
9. Multipurpose Gadget
The newer activity trackers are now becoming a "one stop shop", and provide a multipurpose service to daily life; syncing to your smartphone so you don't miss an important call, text or email.
10. Variety and Style
There are so many types of activity trackers out there it is almost certain that you will be able to find one that fits your needs exactly. However, with a generally hefty price tag it's important that you get it right, so do your research first. For the best of the best in 2017, take a look at this review...
And finally, when your shiny, new activity tracker arrives, here are my two top tips:
Don't start wearing the activity tracker and immediately start going out for extra walks. You should go about your normal routine the first few days of wearing a tracker, this way you get a baseline of your true activity. Once you have an idea of what you are doing per day, then you can find ways to make changes and begin getting the extra steps. Possibly even looking to get that magical 10,000 steps per day down the line.
Do take a break from your activity tracker once in a while. It's easy to become obsessed with it all so every so often, kick back and just take the day at a more relaxing pace!