Benefits Of Fitness Trackers & Adding Them to Your Routine

Fitness trackers have steadily been gaining in popularity. Just like when you get a coach, fitness trackers offer lots of accountability and many people find the extra information on how their body is responding to be very beneficial to their workout. In this article, we’ll delve into some of the popular models, the benefits of fitness trackers themselves, and see exactly why they’ve become a popular exercise accessory.

What are Fitness Trackers?

Fitness trackers are devices, often like small digital watches (or included as part of the digital watch themselves), that track your vitals and all sorts of fitness metrics. With a fitness tracker, you can easily keep tabs on how far you’ve run or walked, your heart rate and how many calories you’ve burnt. Given the info available, you can probably see why these have become so popular. Generally, fitness trackers can easily be paired with a computer or smartphone to use your fitness data in apps that track your progress, and some even have GPS for accurate tracking of your running or cycling routes.

person checking the fitness tracker on their smart watch

The Rise of Fitness Technology

Fitness technology is on the rise thanks to how useful and user-friendly it’s becoming. As well as fitness-specific devices, lots of communication tech has become wearable, leading developers to make fitness apps for existing devices that can also track your fitness, and more. One of the reasons for their popularity is the convenience of tracking your daily progress, giving minute-to-minute breakdowns if needed. Perhaps another feature that has made fitness trackers so popular is the ability to share your data on social networks, which means you can share your success with friends as well.

How Fitness Trackers Can Help Improve Your Health

Health benefits of fitness trackers include the ability to check your cardio health and overall performance, in real time. Along with real-time monitoring, studies have also shown that people who use fitness trackers often increase their workout durations, usually due to daily goal setting.

Benefits of Fitness Trackers

We all love gadgets but the big reason fitness trackers have become popular is because of their benefits to your workout. Let’s look at some of the benefits.

Improved Physical Activity Levels

There’s no fitness tracker that will force you to move but fitness trackers seem to spur that natural desire for self-competition, and research backs that up because studies have shown that people tend to walk more when using a fitness tracker. It’s a great way to set daily targets.

Goal Setting and Tracking

When you have the data at hand, you’re more likely to go by the numbers. That’s one reason why people seem to be more inclined to rely on fitness trackers to check their performance. The ability to check your performance in minute daily detail is a great way to make sure you’re on track to meet your goals. It helps build a programme that is gently progressive.

Improved Sleep Patterns

Modern fitness trackers are packed with a variety of sensors and one benefit of this is that they can also track your sleep. You may not immediately associate your workout with nap time but sleep is a vital part of recovery, so if you can learn how to enhance your rest, you’ll likely boost your workout as well. Fitness trackers can monitor you while sleeping, then give you a report when you wake so that you can check the features of your nightly rest with your overall quality of sleep.

Accountability and Motivation

For us as coaches, accountability and motivation is a big part of our job, so it’s no surprise that people value this from their wearable tech too. While nothing replaces the human touch, fitness tech can give you constant updates wherever you go, so that you can make sure you’re keeping your promises and meeting your workout targets.

Personalised Workouts

Fitness tracker software has developed to the point where it can help you intimately personalise your workout with tips based on your biometric data, changing its suggestions based on how your body responds to exercise. While most workout plans you might download off the web are designed to fit roughly anyone, your fitness tracker can analyse your gender, height and weight to create a workout that suits your unique characteristics.

Heart Rate Monitoring

One of the key features of fitness trackers is heart rate monitoring, which has long been popular thanks to its application in your workout. Some people with specific goals, such as fat loss, might aim to workout at a specific level of intensity. Fat loss is often highest at certain intensities, so the most effective form of workout would be one within that intensity zone for a long period of time. That makes fitness trackers very useful to ensure you’re getting the most out of your workout.

Overall Health and Well-being

Your overall health relies on your body systems being correctly fed and operating as they should. A fitness tracker will even help you keep track of your heart rate and some models will also help with blood pressure; monitoring your vital statistics in this way will give you a heads up on your overall health.

person checking their steps on a fitbit

Types of Fitness Trackers

There are a few different types of fitness trackers on the market, so let’s have a deeper look.

Wearable Fitness Technology

If you’re thinking wearable fitness technology, you’re probably thinking of a Fitbit or a smartwatch with fitness-tracking functions. Wearable fitness tech is anything that will keep an eye on your vital stats, track your workout and probably sync up with apps on your phone or computer.

Fitness Tracking Apps

Fitness tracking apps are a great companion to wearable fitness devices; while a fitness watch can track your workout, a fitness app can record all your workouts and put them into an exercise plan. They’re designed to make understanding your wellbeing easier by tracking your intake of water and food, along with your workouts. They can also track your blood pressure and heart rate to give an overview of the state of your body, which is particularly useful if you suffer from high blood pressure. Some apps can even help put you in touch with a coach, so not only will you get the benefit of data but you’ll also get that important human touch too.

Activity Tracking Devices

An activity tracking device is a general name for the fitness trackers you’re familiar with, such as an Apple watch, Fitbit or Garmin. Different types of devices track different things but some common stats they’ll track include heart-rate, calorie expenditure and metabolism zone. The main advantage of tracking these statistics is that they help inform your workout and make it more efficient. If you’ve only got a limited time each week for exercise, you need to know you’re making the most of the time you have. Also, the tracking ability on these devices has been shown in studies to encourage people to work out harder, perhaps because they give the confidence to push for a personal best.

Exercise Tracking Tools

Any of the devices we’ve mentioned can help you track your exercise patterns, although planning websites such as DailyBurn might fall into this category also. A web-based tool such as DailyBurn can help organise your workout statistics such as heart rate and weight loss; it also offers workout videos to inspire you, meal plans and an entire social network of people who are on a similar path to you.

Tips for Choosing the Right Fitness Tracker

With so much to offer, it can be hard to choose the right fitness tracker to get the most of its many features, so we put together this short guide on how to make your choice…

Consider Your Fitness Goals

First, be clear about what you want from a fitness wearable. For example, FitBits are popular with people who want to track general outdoor workouts whereas Garmin have a history of making well-equipped devices popular with hikers and cyclists. Also, a device such as the Apple Watch can track periods, which may be particularly useful for women.

Type of Tracker

Basic fitness trackers will be able to track your steps and work out how far you’ve walked – useful for people wanting to track a casual daily fitness workout. Some trackers come with heart-rate monitoring which is handy for seeing how many calories you’ve burned, and vital for people looking to lose weight. Advanced fitness trackers will have the above features and also GPS, which lets them track your exact route – a great feature if you’re a hiker or cyclist.

Features and Capabilities

Common fitness tracker features include heart rate and calorie intake monitoring. These are useful statistics to make sure you’re getting the most out of your individual workouts. Along with this, some models also offer sleep tracking and even electro-cardiogram (ECG) functions – sleep tracking can make sure you’re getting the quality of rest you need and ECG can make sure your heart is healthy. As well as these technical functions, some models also offer success notifications when you hit a target, water reminders so you stay hydrated and integration with social platforms so you can be part of a community.

Comfort and Style

Three noteworthy options when it comes to styling include the Garmin, FitBit and Apple watch. FitBits tend to be the most minimal and offer some very small options, whereas Garmins tend to be larger with clearer displays and offer more features and options. The Apple watch is also an eye-catching option because of how popular Apple products are – it also offers more features than just fitness tracking.

woman using laptop on yoga mat

How to Use Fitness Trackers Effectively

If you’ve got your sights on a fitness tracker, you might be wondering how to make the most of your device. Look no further because we’ve got a few tips for you…

Set Realistic Goals

The main reason that fitness trackers have become so popular is their ability to track your walking, running, cycling and other aspects of your workout. This lets people rely on accurate monitoring of their performance, and accurate goal setting. Workouts should be progressive and challenging; ambition is important but should be expressed over long-term goals rather than short term unrealistic targets.

Track Your Progress

Tracking your progress is vital when it comes to accountability. When we don’t time or measure our workouts, we may not pay attention to whether we’re working hard enough, whether we’re making progress or how well our workout is going. The advantage of fitness trackers is that they take the subjectivity out of the process and let you know exactly how you’re doing.

Use the Data to Make Changes

Some fitness trackers will show you your daily movement stats, whereas others will upload your workout history. Whether you’re walking, cycling or hiking, the main benefit of a fitness tracker is to track your progress. Knowing exactly how you’re performing allows you to experiment with your routine to accurately see what gets results quickest.

Get Motivated with Friends and Family

Having actual data is a great opportunity to tell your friends and family just how much progress you’re making with your workout routine. It’s a boost to motivation, a chance to celebrate and sometimes a well-deserved pat on the back. Some fitness trackers on the market even have social networks where you can upload your data and reap a sense of team spirit.

woman with fitness tracker while outside

Fitness trackers are increasingly affordable, wearable tech that helps you know exactly how your workout went. They’re great for accountability, checking your vitals and sharing your workouts with friends. We think they’re a great way to get extra support and supervision even when you’re exercising alone, and you can even share the data with your dedicated coach at your next gym session.

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