Fitness trackers have gained a lot of popularity in the past couple years and there is good reason for all the hype. They can help individuals of all levels, from beginners to athletes. Studies have shown that a simple daily ‘step’ reminder has even improved the health of many who typically do not engage in daily physical activity!
If you’re reading this, my guess is that you are looking for quicker results. Well, what if I told you that utilizing this tool to its full potential can work just like having a personal coach? OK, maybe it won’t yell at you to get your butt moving, but most trackers now offer a variety of features that will guide you along.
Below I go over the top features of fitness trackers and how they can help you reach your goals sooner!
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Viewing your daily caloric expenditure via fitness trackers allows you to plan and make adjustments more accurately when it comes to managing your food consumption. Weight loss can be a frustrating process, especially when you are unsure of how much to eat. Both over-eating and under-eating can hold you back from attaining your goal.
By tracking your calories on a daily basis you can better adjust your caloric intake, so that you are sure to stay in a healthy deficit or fat burring zone. Typically, a good ballpark range is 300-500 calories per day. This can also apply to an individual’s goals of weight gain (increase of calories 300-500).
Active and Resting Heart-Rate (HR)
This is where you can use your tracker as your own personal coach during your workout. Visually seeing your heart rate will tell you when you need to step up your intensity. Finding that “goal” zone is very important if you want to stay on track and maximize results.
Another great benefit to tracking heart rate is that over a set time period you can compare your active, resting, and recovery heart rate zones. These can measure progress as the lower your resting HR and quicker you recover between exercises, the more efficient your heart becomes. This will improve your workouts and overall health!
Sleep is vital in achieving fitness goals but unfortunately I see this area over-looked too often. During your sleep is the peak of protein synthesis, which helps repair and build new muscle tissue. Sleep also helps to regulate your metabolism, secrete growth hormone, process memories, and improve our brain function. All the benefits of sleep play a big role in achieving your fitness goals. Just as we charge our phone or tablet, we must also recharge ourselves. Many fitness trackers today can measure your sleep waves and provide valuable information regarding your sleeping patterns.
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Overall, fitness trackers are a great way to visually see your progress over specific time ranges. They can aid in setting manageable goals but more importantly, they provide the tools you need to measure progress. This will help you avoid plateaus and stay motivated to continue on your journey.
By Claudia Virgil, personal trainer