For many of us the new year is a time to change. How many people have made a resolution to be more healthy this year? With a global pandemic going into its second year, lots of us want to live a healthier life. Generally speaking a healthy body and mind are better able to ward off diseases. One part of this is physical wellness.
We can improve our physical wellness by exercising more, eating better and getting more and better sleep. It’s very difficult for the average person to initiate these changes in behavior all at once. Getting overwhelmed is easy just thinking about it.
Many of us have resolved to exercise more this year. For those that have tried this before, now is about the time that we start slacking off or losing interest. How do we keep ourselves motivated? Here is something that has worked for me. Using a Fitness Tracker.
Often, especially if just starting out exercising, it is hard to see progress. If you ‘re like me, seeing progress is what motivates us. This is where the use of a Fitness Tracker comes in.
What is a Fitness Tracker?
A Fitness Tracker is a wrist-worn device that can detect some combination of walking steps, running distance, heart rate and sleep patterns. Fitness bands interact via Bluetooth with an app in a mobile device that configures the device and downloads the wearer’s activity data.
By using a fitness tracker we can get a baseline of how much exercise we get going about our daily lives. This is done by counting how many steps we take walking about normally. From here, we can then know and monitor how much we need to increase our movements and exercise that we get every day.
This is a great incentive especially when just starting out. The average American walks 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day, or roughly 1.5 to 2 miles. It’s a good idea to find out how many steps a day you walk now, as your own baseline. Then you can work up toward the goal of 10,000 steps by aiming to add 1,000 extra steps a day every two weeks.
Which Fitness Tracker to get?
There are lots of products in this market! ranging from about $10.00 to $600.00. They all offer the basic step counting but also have more features and better Apps as they go up in price. I’ve used 3 brands in my time so let me just review my personal experience. Hope it helps you to decide which tracker to choose.
The first tracker that I bought a few years ago was the iFit Vue. It cost about $100.00 from Amazon. Being completely new to trackers I found that it worked well at counting steps. I didn’t really understand the other features and can’t say for sure how it did at counting my sleep time and quality. It started off well with holding its charge and only needed recharging every 4-5 days. This came down with time and needed to be charged every other day after about 6-8 months. After that, the band broke and that was the end of that. Lost it over the side of a bridge.
The next tracker that I tried was the fitbit Charge 2 (about $110.00). This was a really good unit and I liked it a lot. The App for my phone was great and the tracker had a lot of features and data on there. The battery was good with a 4-5 days before recharging. It had come down to 3-4 days just before I lost it. This was the big problem with it. The band came undone and it was not possible to replace the band on this model at the time. Tried gluing it but ended up losing it. Not sure if the problem has been fixed. Lasted me about 10 months.
Next I tried the fitbit Versa Lite Smartwatch (about $160.00). I really liked the fitbit product and app so I gave them another chance and sprung for a smartwatch with the option to replace bands. This was another great piece of equipment and worked really well while it lasted. The battery life started out at 4-5 days and within the year was down to having to recharge every day or so. Really annoying as it was not cheap. Still have it but don’t use it.
So, this brings me to my current tracker. The Pro Fit Active VeryFitPro (about $30.00). I’d had enough of expensive name brand trackers so have decided to try a cheap tracker to see how long it would last. I have this one for about 5 months now. From the first day until now it holds its charge for 7-8 days! The bands are made to come off and on easily to facilitate the charging. It does not have all the features of the fitbit app so the quality data you get is lower. Also, not sure how accurate is the sleep measurement. So far so good with its battery life and I continue to test its longevity. However, at the price, it has already out performed the other trackers. I can probably replace it 3 times if I had to in a year and still be cheaper than a fitbit.
I personally like using a fitness tracker so that I know how much or how little I’m doing or need to do. It helps motivate me to keep active on slow days. As is to be expected, the more expensive trackers have more features and better data than the cheaper ones. However, I can’t say that they are more durable or have better battery life. So far, my experience has been that the better data is not worth the extra cost as the durability is about the same. Really loving my cheap tracker now as I’m very happy with the simplified data. But it won’t be for everyone. Hope this has been helpful and am off now for a walk to build my step count.
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