In recent years there has been a massive boom in wearable technology. Traditional watches are being replaced with fitness trackers that can monitor everything from the number of steps we take to our sleeping pattern. Apple Watch, Fitbit and Garmin dominate the market but are they just gimmicks or useful methods of keeping track of our daily health and fitness? We take a look at how to get the most out of them if you plan on using one as part of your fitness lifestyle.
10,000 STEPS IS NOT ENOUGH
There are many sources stating that we should be walking 10,000 steps a day to be healthy, however no research has suggested that this figure is not enough and that 15,000 steps a day should be the goal. Many people may find this target to be a bit too high or unachievable, especially if you drive most places. It might seem daunting at first but the data provided by fitness trackers can be extremely useful in helping to achieve your health and fitness goals so motivating yourself to get the most out of one can put you on track to reaching them.
The best way to reach your daily activity is simple; stay active. If the weather is nice and you can get to your destination without transportation then walk or cycle there. If you're in a building that has an elevator then use the stairs. Walk around more and think of different ways you can add movements into your day to break up long periods of sitting. Nothing is set in stone. You don't have to walk up 50 flights of stairs if you've just come back from lunch and had a big meal. Don't feel like you have to follow these ideas but try and implement them at least a few times per day to increase your activity levels.
MAKE BETTER USE OF BREAKS
If you work in a office or a sedentary job that involves sitting for most of the day then you should do whatever you can to increase your activity levels. During your breaks is one of the best times for this as it's usually the only time during the day that you get to leave your desk for a prolonged period. If you have certain things you do during your breaks then little changes can be made to make them more productive. For example, if having a tea or coffee or eating something that doesn't require you to sit down then go for a walk outside with your colleagues and do this on the go!
Not only is it good for your circulation but standing often will encourage you to be more active as it will encourage more movement. You can also stretch out your tight muscles, prevent cramping and improve posture. The biggest benefit has to be the extra calories burned as standing causes the body to use up more energy stores. Unless you're in the middle of something that requires your utmost attention, time should be made often to get yourself up from your desk and if you don't remember then the Apple Watch has a feature that will remind you!
DON'T GET OVERWHELMED
We tend to get bogged-down with endless streams of data which causes us to stress and give it all up altogether. If that doesn't happen we may just get caught up in all of it and confused as to which information is beneficial and what isn't. The main thing to remember is that this technology is designed to keep us motivated and more importantly, make things easier to track! Keep it simple and start by focusing on your activity levels like steps and duration of activity. Later on you can gradually add the other functions that you find beneficial and fun to use.