Fitness trackers, such as Apple Watches and Fitbits, are tremendously popular. In fact, as of 2020, one in five Americans (21%) were using some form of wearable fitness technology, with women slightly more likely than men to use these devices.
Fitness trackers are usually worn on the wrist and they range from basic pedometers, or step counters, all the way up to sophisticated devices that monitor your heart rate, sleeping patterns, workouts, and much more. But there is a misconception that simply wearing one leads to a healthier lifestyle. If only it were that simple! To get the most benefit out of your fitness tracker, you need to make it work for you. Quick note, any fitness tracker watch can be worn comfortably over our crowd-favorite Wrist Sleeve!
Here are a few ways to use your device in a way that will actually motivate you.
Establish Your Baseline First
For the first week you wear your fitness tracker, don’t try to change anything. Instead, live your life as you normally would to establish some baseline figures. Once you know how many steps you’re currently walking each day, how well you’re sleeping, or what your resting heart rate is, you can start using your tracker to improve on those things.
Make Your Goals Realistic…
The reason that most new year's resolutions fail is that people go too hard, too quickly. And just how you can’t overhaul your entire lifestyle on January 1st, you also can’t reach your peak fitness overnight just because you have a new fitness tool.
Instead, set realistic goals. If you’re currently walking 3,000 steps per day, ramping up to 15,000 overnight is unlikely to happen. However, adding a morning or after-dinner walk to your day and shooting for 6,000 steps is much more feasible.
Seeing your rings close as you hit your goals is incredibly motivating, so choose goals that are realistic.
Don’t Make it Too Easy!
While unrealistic goals will demotivate you, goals that are too simple won’t help you. While seeing your rings close is great, challenging yourself is what really helps your fitness to improve.
Make sure that your goals are a little bit of a stretch so that you have to make a concentrated effort each day in order to meet them.
As you get fitter, you’ll find that the things that once challenged you start feeling easy. When this happens, it’s time to reassess your goals and change things up.
Are you consistently hitting 10,000 steps per day? Try upping your goal to 12,000. Is working out twice a week starting to feel like it’s not enough? Switch to three times per week or five times every two weeks.
The key to fitness and motivation is to keep pushing yourself to improve. In a year’s time, you will look back and be amazed at how far you’ve come.
Add your friends
Many of the biggest fitness tracker brands, including Apple Watch and Fitbit, include a function to add friends and share your activity with them. Connecting with your like-minded friends, seeing each other’s progress, and cheering each other on can help you all to achieve your goals together.
You can also do challenges or engage in friendly competitions with your friends (or even with strangers around the world), which is a great way to stay motivated.
Don’t get too caught up in perfectionism
If you expect yourself to achieve every single goal perfectly, every single time, you’re setting yourself up for failure. We’re all human and sometimes unexpected circumstances get in the way of our intentions.
So if you get held up at work one day and miss your workout, or you’re sick so you don’t get your steps in, don’t stress about it.
Health and fitness isn’t perfected in a day but it isn’t undone in a day either. What matters are long-term habits and consistent, positive choices. Don’t let the occasional bad day or less-than-perfect choice derail you, or you’ll become demotivated and quit.
Look beyond the numbers
At the end of the day, your fitness tracker provides valuable data. But the numbers don’t tell the whole story. As well as using your tracker, you should look to your body and mind to tell you how you’re doing.
Do your clothes feel looser? Are your muscles more defined? Are you sleeping better, feeling more energized, or enjoying improved mental health? Those things are all huge wins. Your tracker is a great tool, but it’s not the only one you have.
Do you have any fitness tracker motivation tips that have helped you? Let us know so we can share them with our community.