10 Ways to Boost Your Fitness Tracker Use, Part 1

People ask me about my fitness tracker on a regular basis, at least every other day.  The questions I get are usually around style or function.  Over time, I've talked to three distinct groups folks: 1) People who are thinking about getting a fitness tracker, 2) People who already wear a fitness tracker and 3) People who wear them but don't really get a lot out of them.  I'm going to address the third crowd, people who wear them but don't really get a lot out of them. 

It's no surprise that many folks have gotten caught up by the wearables movement.  It seems like everybody's wearing something.  Not really, but when you have one you tend to notice other fitness trackers pretty quickly.  When it comes to fitness trackers, do you really know how to make the most of yours?  What are the top things you track and why?  How do you know if you're making progress or not?  In this post, I'm going to give you 10 ways to boost your fitness tracker use. The options for boosting your tracker usage are endless but I believe if you put these 10 at the top of your list you'll be more successful in your fitness goals for the long haul.  

Way #1: Charge it consistently.  What good is a tracker if you don't charge it?  Most fitness trackers have a prompt that will tell you how much longer you have before you need to charge it.  Most devices take between 1-1 1/2 hours to charge.  I recommend charging it on your off day like a Saturday or Sunday.  Another option is to charge it for 30-45 minutes during a quiet time like reading the paper or just before bedtime.   Whatever time you choose, you'll be way more consistent with your numbers with a charged fitness tracker.

Way #2: Sync it daily.  Most fitness trackers sync automatically especially if they're in the 2nd and 3rd generation of development.  Occasionally, you'll need to sync it if your app hasn't been opened recently.  For example, since I have an Up Band I've downloaded the Up app onto my iPhone.  If I haven't opened my app for several hours, I'll get a message from Up saying that I need to open the app to get the most recent information.  If you have an old fitness tracker, be sure to select a time, preferably in the morning to sync it.  Syncing your activity tracker on a regular basis will help you observe trends, make changes, and keep you up-to-date on your progress.

Way #3: Wear it to bed.  Say what? Yes, it's true.  One of the best features of fitness trackers is the ability to track your sleep.  As you know from previous posts, sleep is one of the cornerstones of total fitness.  Sleep less, gain more weight, and studies prove it.  If you think you're sleeping well, your fitness tracker will confirm it or give you the real deal.  I recall feeling like I was getting plenty of sleep each nigh but would drag the next day.  After wearing my gadget for a month I recognized a pattern.  My sleep was far from restful, I woke up a lot during the night, and got just under 6 hours of sleep.  Considering the fact that I need 7+ hours and was getting well below that number, I realized my dilemma.  I was chronically sleep deprived. Thankfully, I'm sleeping much better now that I wear my gadget to bed every night. 

Fitness trackers are a great add to any new year resolution but you have to be committed to using it.  Making simple changes in how you use it can set you up for success or result in you just wearing another piece of jewelry.  In my next post I'll talk about how to get more out of your fitness tracker using some not-so-common tricks.  In the meantime, start implementing these tips and let me know how things go.