With so many activity trackers (a.k.a. fitness tracker, wearables) on the market it’s easy to measure health related behaviors. It doesn’t matter which tracker you use, it’s how you use the information that you are receiving to create change or progress. Below are 5 tips to get your activity tracker up to date for the new year and working to keep you accountable! The tips below are geared towards the Apple Watch, but the information is relative for any activity tracker.
1) Make sure your weight is accurate. If you’ve gained or lost a substantial amount of weight since you last set up your tracker, it’s time to update that information. Your weight is one factor that determines how many calories you burn during physical activity. Make sure it’s correct.
2) Evaluate the quality of your physical activity. This is your 30-minutes-per-day-of-moderate-intensity-physical-activity goal. Also known as your EXERCISE goal on the Apple Watch. Strive to reach this goal at least 5 days per week. Your tracker should be able to tell you what you accomplished over the past four weeks. Use that data to make improvements.
3) Evaluate the quantity of your physical activity. This is the 10,000-step-per-day goal or move-your-body-more-through-out-the-day goal. Also known as your MOVE goal on the Apple Watch. Look at your daily steps over the past week. Over or under? On a daily basis, if you meet your EXERCISE goal (30-minutes) but fail to meet your MOVE goal, it’s simply because you aren’t moving enough throughout the day. Increasing your steps per day will help you meet this goal.
4) Reassess your MOVE goal. This is your how-many-calories-do-I-want-to-burn-daily goal. If you fail to meet this goal on a regular basis even with 30-minutes of activity AND 10,000 steps, it’s probably set too high. MOVE goals need to challenging, but not unrealistic. Depending on the individual, MOVE goals can range from 300-1000 calories per day. Take some time to look back on your MOVE history. This is where you take the information provided by your tracker and make adjustments for the new year.
5) Make sure you are standing and moving for at least 1-minute every hour. If your tracker monitors this, great! Is there room for improvement from last month? Let the data motivate you to make improvements.