If you’re wearing a fitness tracker for the first time, you might be wondering what exactly it is that you’re supposed to do with it. It’s not like your phone where there are thousands of apps and functions or even your TV where there are plenty of channels to flip through. Fitness trackers are pretty simple devices, and in some ways that can make them more challenging to use.
But once you get into the habit of using your fitness tracker, you’ll never want to go back. I’ve been wearing one almost every day for the past year and a half, and it makes me feel naked if I leave my wrist bare. Here are a few tips to make sure you get the most out of your fitness tracker:
- Use it in your daily life — not just workouts. Trackers should be able to act as a watch, distance meter, and sleep monitor, among other things. If you tend to wear it only during exercise sessions, try putting it on first thing in the morning and keeping it on until bedtime. That will give you a better idea of how much activity you’re getting throughout the day, not just when you’re working out
- Get inspired by friends and family. Many trackers let you compete with other users who have similar devices (not all brands are compatible with one another). Try setting up weekly step challenges with friends or family members who also have trackers
- Pay attention to sleep. It’s easy to ignore your sleep score since you’re not awake to see it. But the goal here is good quality sleep, not just how many hours you were out cold. If you feel groggy when your alarm goes off, look at your sleep stats later in the day to see how much time you spent actually sleeping.