10 Ways to Boost Your Fitness Tracker Use, Part 3

In part two of my post on fitness trackers, I discussed several not-so-obvious strategies to boost your fitness tracker use.  Today, I will cover my final ways to up your usage. Before I start however, I have a question for you.  How are things going so far? Are you syncing your gadget and wearing it regularly? Be sure to send me your questions and comments on how things are going.  I'm here to help.  Now, back to these remaining tips. Here goes:

Way #7: Add your exercise.  Most fitness gadgets have an add exercise feature.  My advice to you? Use it! If you have a smartphone, sync your fitness tracker to the associated app to capture your activity.  The reason why this is so important is that there are features on your tracker that build in your exercise calories to your daily number.  For example, if you jog and lift weights you'll add about 300-350 calories to your daily number.  In my case, my Jawbone Up Band will automatically adjust my caloric intake to reflect my exercise.  In short, I can have that little cookie and still have a caloric deficit to help me reach my goals faster.  Lastly, adding your activity will give you a week-long view of your energy output so you can plan better.  If you've worked out three days in a row, your fourth day can be a rest day.  Adding your exercise is extremely important to see trends, make adjustments, and just give yourself a high-five for consistency.

Way #8: Read and act on the Smart Coach's suggestions.  I personally love my smart coach feature on my Jawbone Up Band. This cute little icon says, You=Awesome! Who wouldn't love that message?  When you respond to the Smart Coach feature you'll continue to receive messages that support your efforts, push you to sleep a little longer, or reinforce what you're doing well.  The Smart Coach feature is enabled to monitor your trends and make recommendations to help you improve, so it's important to respond to the feedback so you can continue to get helpful tips.  

Way #9: Try a new feature.  It's easy to become a creature of habit and wear your tracker like you do any other piece of jewelry.  I suggest you take some time and explore some new features of your tracker.  Aside from the typical exercise and nutrition statistics explore some of the other features like Sunday News Digest, see your trends report and other features.  It takes a few minutes but they're worth it.  Make the most of your fitness tracker by reviewing the things you're doing well and other ways to make the most of your use.  

Way #10: Share your plans. I hope you're sharing your plans with a friend.  Studies show that the more you share your health and fitness goals, the greater success you'll experience.  I will say that this tip can be challenging because once you put your plans out there, you're on the hook to stick with your plan.  Accountability is the key to increasing your success.  That's why weight loss giant (no pun intended) Weight Watchers is so successful.  They have a system of accountability in-person and online that make you accountable to others.  You increase your odds of success if you tell a friend.  Use your tracker to start a fitness challenge or a duel.  The results will motivate you and the accountability will help you reach your goals faster.

Now that you've got your 10 ways to boost your fitness tracker usage, do it, today!  There are plenty of ways to make your fitness tracker work for you. Now it's time for you to get the most out of it.  Need an accountability partner?  Contact me today and I'll help you get on track!

10 Ways to Boost Your Fitness Gadget Use, Part 2

In my last post I talked about three ways to boost your fitness gadget use.  In today's post I'll highlight some not so obvious ways to jump start your use.  

Way #4: Add your personal information.  Yes, you need a starting point and regular check-ins. Short of making a weekly appointment with your nutritionist, adding this crucial information (e.g. height, weight, etc. ) can make the difference in how you use your gadget.  I recommend putting information like your current weight and goal weight.  Be sure to put a realistic goal weight especially if you have been on a lot of diets.  For example, if you weigh 175 pounds, an initial goal weight will be about 157.5 pounds.  Avoid drastic weight loss goals, I can't stress this enough.  Let's say in the above example your initial goal is 130 pounds, the amount of time to reach your goal might actually discourage, not encourage you.  The key here is to give yourself time.  As you inch closer to your goal weight, update it with a new number by ten percent.  In the above example your next goal will be 141 pounds.  The beauty of adding your personal information is not so much in the number (inches count too!) but seeing how much progress you're making and how subtle changes matter.

Way #5: Set alarms.  I know you set your daily alarm for morning wake-up, but many fitness gadgets have a feature that will allow you to set alarms throughout the day. For example, on my Up Band, I set an alarm for the following; 1)Idle alarm - if I've been sitting too long, 2) Sleep alarm - buzzes when it's time for me to get ready for bed (10:35 pm) and 3) Early morning alarm - gentle buzz about 20 minutes before I wake up.  I can't tell you how often I talk to folks who say I was going to walk today but got caught up with work.  An alarm can help you move more and remind you frequently to add more activity to your day.

Way #6: Put it in the same place everyday.  Ask any fitness gadget user and I'll bet someone has lost one (or two) fitness gadgets.  It's tough to keep up with it unless it's on your wrist or on your body.  The worst times of the day to lose your gadget are when you're changing clothes or when you're off your normal routine.  I recommend keeping your gadget in several key places; next to your bed, in a bedroom or bathroom drawer, or in your gym bag.  That's it! Don't throw it in your purse, or take it off to fill out paperwork, or put it in your lap in the car. There's a saying with eyeglasses that goes like this: On my face or in my case.  The same holds true for your fitness gadgets - On my body everyday, results everyday. 

In my next post, I'll discuss the last several ways to boost your fitness gadget use.  These tips will require full disclosure so get ready.  Until then, add your information, set some alarms and wear your fitness gadget everyday!