Keeping fit is a difficult task, and in recent years it has become even more difficult due to various restrictions and quarantine measures. Many indoor workouts have been replaced by home workouts, and with them the methods of measuring progress have changed.
Fitness trackers came to the rescue, which collect data and convert it into various indicators: overall activity, number of steps, calories burned, sleep quality, etc. Estimated Market Data Forecast- The global fitness tracker market will grow by an average of 20% from 2021 to 2026. The demand for them continues to rise and we understand why. We will explain to you too.
What is fitness tracking and why is it needed?
Fitness bracelets are special wristwatch-like devices with built-in sensors. They have connected apps that allow you to track your overall progress, set goals, and offer recommendations to help you achieve fitness results.
According to the survey Better The reasons people use fitness trackers boil down to the following:
- fitness progress tracking;
- increased motivation;
- better understanding of your body;
- gaining a competitive advantage;
- using the bracelet without fitness goals
Fitness trackers help increase physical activity, at least because of their visibility. You begin to notice how active or inactive you are.
What metrics do you need to track on a fitness tracker?
- Pedometer… One of the simplest metrics that almost all fitness trackers record. For a long time, 10,000 steps a day was considered optimal, but the results of a recent study published in JAMA Intern Med have dispelled this myth. For people of the older generation, this value is practically unattainable, therefore, for 4.3 years, scientists monitored health indicators in 16.7 thousand women with an average age of 72 years. And they came to the conclusion that in order to reduce the risk of mortality from any of the reasons by 41%, it is enough to take at least 4,400 steps a day.
- Heart rate monitoring… It does not provide the same accurate data as chest heart rate monitors or special medical sensors, but it helps you track approximate values. This is necessary in order to understand which of the heart rate zones you are in during training. For example, in the aerobic zone, fat burning occurs most effectively, endurance improves, and the anaerobic threshold zone gives an understanding of what loads are the maximum allowable and helps to adjust the intensity of exercise.
- Sleep quality analysis… Many trackers let you know how much time you spend in different sleep phases and how restless you are at night. Thanks to this, you can track information about how well you are resting and whether you are giving yourself enough time to recover.
- Setting personal goals… For example, you can set a goal of 8000 steps, burn a certain number of calories per day, or specify a desired weight. Some fitness trackers can give you motivational reminders or vibrate at a pre-set frequency to get you moving.
- Detailed analysis of different types of training. Trackers measure various metrics, depending on the selected loads. For example, if you are running, the bracelet will help you determine not only your heart rate, but also the duration of your workout, average pace, climb, calories burned, etc.
How do you measure your progress in training?
Evaluating the results of your efforts should not only be done with a fitness tracker. Simple tools like scales and a measuring tape are also helpful in assessing your progress.
You should not blindly believe the numbers on the scales. If you are losing weight, be prepared for the fact that over time, the indicators will begin to fall much more slowly. And this happens not because you do not train long enough and diligently, but because muscles and bone density grow (by the way, bones make up about 15% of body weight). Accordingly, on the one hand, calories are burned, and on the other, muscles grow, which is why weight loss occurs less rapidly.
Remember, your path to a healthy life is a marathon, not a sprint. Daily changes are almost meaningless and difficult to quantify. Weigh yourself once a month or every 2 weeks to make sure you are heading in the right direction.
Remember that the scale will never show changes in body proportions. Equip yourself with a soft measuring tape and fix the volume of your waist, hips, chest, legs and other body parts that you see fit.
Regular measurements and comparison of indicators will clearly show what results you are achieving from month to month.
Think of the bracelet only as a self-control aid so that your workouts are effective and not harm your health.
An important detail that anyone who starts using a fitness tracker should consider to track progress is setting clear goals. And phrases like “get in shape” or “lose weight” are not. Set specific indicators, determine the motivation, otherwise it will lead to the fact that you will passively use the device, observing the data and not taking into account the detailed statistics.
When used correctly, a fitness tracker can be a useful tool offering detailed information about your activity level, your body condition, and your health. If you need extra momentum to get moving, or want to keep a close eye on your progress, this can be a worthwhile investment.