5 Things You Didn't Know a Fitness Tracker Could Do
by Rachelle Dragani
There's more to fitness trackers than just, well, tracking fitness. These connected solutions are affordable and easy to integrate into your lifestyle, and they do much more than just count your steps. From helping you monitor diet and sleep to encouraging some friendly competition between active friends, there are several ways that fitness trackers can guide you towards an active, well-rested and overall happier lifestyle. Read on to learn a few of the ways a top fitness tracker can enhance your well-being.
1. It can help you analyze your sleep. Top fitness trackers are designed for both daytime and nighttime use in order to help you monitor your sleep patterns. Sure, it's easy enough to wake up and recognize that you've had a restless night, but fitness trackers provide users with more in-depth information about the quality of their slumber. In the morning, you can open your device's sleep-tracking app to check out how many hours you were in different sleep cycles, including REM. Once you track some good and bad nights of sleep, you should be able to figure out the daily habits (such as exercise or caffeine intake) that contribute to the quality of each night's rest.
2. It can remind you to get moving. You've probably heard all about the dangers of being stationary. Often, spending too many hours per day sitting in a cubicle, car or couch without movement can lead to overall poor health and sluggishness. Top fitness trackers are proactive in making sure you get moving. You can set a reminder so that every 30 minutes, a gentle buzz on your wristband encourages you to get up and do something, even if it's as simple as walking to the kitchen for a glass of water, so you don't get those sedentary blues.
3. It can encourage friendly competition. Fire up that top fitness tracker and get your friends to do the same. Then, connect with them via the accompanying smartphone app, check your friends' progress and set up challenges. Maybe the last person to hit 200,000 steps buys the first round of drinks next weekend. It's the perfect incentive to light a little fire under a stuck-in-a-rut exercise routine.
4. It can help you monitor your daily calories. A top fitness tracker is easily synced with apps that help you track caloric intake and diet. The integration here is what's important: data regarding your daily activity, everything from steps taken to sleep and workouts, is essential for determining what kind of calories you should put into your body. This is especially helpful if you're working towards nutritional goals such as putting on muscle, or adjusting your diet while training for a triathlon.
5. It can draw a map of your walks or runs. If you're the kind of runner who sets off on foot without knowing exactly what path you'll take, you need a fitness tracker that can help you on your way. Some fitness trackers use GPS data to track your path. That not only means your exercise info is more accurate, but also that you can map out your favorite routes and save them for later or suggest them to friends. Plus, this feature allows you to integrate your music player with the activity tracker, so you can run free to your favorite tunes.
Counting your steps is one way to see just how much you're doing each day. To get a better idea of your daily activity and to figure out what steps you can take to be your healthiest self, you need much more information than just your step count. A fitness tracker can help you monitor your calories and sleep quality, as well as your activity level, to give you a full picture of your health progress. Your first day with a top fitness tracker will be the first day of the rest of your life.