Got a new fitness tracker? I've got some bad news for you - just wearing it won't help you lose weight, at least according to the recent study by University of Pittsburgh.
That doesn't mean you can't use your new gadget to help you exercise in a more efficient way. It just means you can't strap a FitBit on your wrist and expect your weight to start dropping magically on its own. Here is some information on how to get the most out of your fitness tracker. These tips will teach you how to make that FitBit, Jawbone or Apple Watch work for you better at least for six months before the device is thrown into your desk drawer to collect dust.
Customize your profile.
Almost all fitness trackers have a companion app. You'll need the app for various things like tracking data over time, so I'm sure you've already downloaded it. Don't skip the basic settings. Your fitness tracker needs basic information: your age, gender, height and weight numbers to improve its accuracy in determining things like walked distances and burned calories.
Setting up your profile is the first step to getting the most accurate information; you have to dig into your fitness tracker's settings and calibrate some features (in the FitBit Flex, the dominant arm setting, for example). Most fitness trackers do offer to calibrate a large number of settings.
Wear the bracelet on the wrist of your non-dominant hand.
Most people wear a watch on the wrist of their non-dominant hand. Your fitness tracker is like a watch (and, in some cases, is a watch), it should be worn on the wrist of the non-dominant hand. It means if you are right-handed then wear it on your left hand and on the right hand if you are left-handed. The reason is simple: you engage your dominant hand more often throughout the day, and this can lead to a bigger number of "steps" counted by the fitness tracker. While some fitness trackers, such as the Fitbit, allow you to identify the hand you wear the tracker on (and which hand is dominant), many manufacturers do not do so, so wear the wristband on your non-dominant hand.
Connect with other apps.
Your fitness tracker has its own app, but it's probably not the only app that you can sync it with. If you're trying to improve your lifestyle, there are many, health-related apps and services, including MyFitnessPal for food tracking and calorie counting, MapMyRun for mapping and tracking workouts, and MedHelp for tracking sleep and other health conditions-they can also be connected to your fitness tracker data.
Remember, it's just a tool.
You already know that wearing your fitness tracker 24/7 won't magically help you get fit or lose excess weight. And even if you've personalized your tracker and calibrated it to your physical characteristics, the data you get, especially energy expenditure (burned calories), is not necessarily a super-accurate measurement, according to relevant studies. Your fitness tracker can definitely be a useful tool in your lifestyle, but it is only one tool among many more. Don't make a mistake of thinking that wearing a fitness tracker and reaching its built-in goal (like 10,000 steps a day) will make you work out more and eat well.
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