5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Fitness Tracker

One in six Americans now owns and wears a fitness tracker. If your New Year’s resolution included a fitness goal and you purchased a fitness tracker to help you along the way, check out the tips below to get the most of it! 

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Image via Flickr/ Vic

1. Wear it consistently

Just purchasing a fitness tracker won’t do much for your activity level. If you want your wearable tracker to work for you, you’ll need to keep it on consistently. Not only does wearing your tracker remind you to stay active, it also gives you the ability to have a complete picture of your activity data. If you forget to wear your tracker every Saturday and Sunday you may not realize that you’re much more, or much less, active on the weekends than during the week and won’t be able to as just your behavior accordingly. 

{ MORE: Moving Forward with a Year in Review }

2. Set long-term goals

Many people purchase a fitness tracker in hopes that it will help them lose weight, increase their activity, or both. If these are your goals, and you want your fitness tracker to help you achieve them, you’ll need to set a long-term goal. Think about what you want to achieve and how long you think it’ll take and set your goal accordingly.

3. Set short-term goals

As important as it is to have a long-term goal, you’ll also need to think about what you want to accomplish in the short-term. Your short-term goals should be driven by your long-term goal and should focus on objectives you can meet each week or each day. Whether is five minutes of activity per hour, or 3,000 steps by lunch, setting and meeting your short-term goals will keep you on track to meet your more ambitious ones.

4. Don’t be afraid to reassess

Once you’ve begun to integrate more activity into your day, the original 8,000 steps per day goal you set for yourself may no longer feel like a challenge. When this happens, it’s important to reassess and decide if you’d like to increase your goal. 

{ MORE: 11 Easy Ways to Get Your Kids Off the Couch from Autumn Calabrese }

5. Involve your friends

Most tracking apps now have the ability to add your friends and challenge them to a daily or weekly competition. If regular tracking starts to feel boring, adding a little competition can re-energize your quest for steps.

Good luck out there all you fitness trackers!

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5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Fitness Tracker

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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