Fitness trackers have evolved and become more well-liked over the past few years. You might think about including one of these wearable gadgets in your wardrobe if one of your New Year’s intentions was to increase your fitness routine.
Recent research has examined the advantages and restrictions of fitness trackers. Here is a summary of the results and some advice on how to get the most out of your device.
How do Fitness Trackers operate?
In recent years, fitness trackers have become increasingly popular. These track a lot of significant motions and are often worn on the wrist. Similar to a pedometer, they count the number of steps a person takes. A fitness tracker continuously senses and record the movements of the body on a 3 axis accelerometer. This data is recorded for all time when you wear a tracker. Many modern gadgets also keep track of the distance walked and particular types of movements.
Additionally, with advanced sensors found in many newer models of fitness trackers, the gadgets can measure a user’s sleep, calories, and blood oxygen levels while also monitoring their heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels. To record and track user fitness progress, data from the trackers can frequently be uploaded to a smartphone or computer.
Do fitness trackers really help you get fit?
The primary premise behind the smartwatch industry is that calorie intake and expenditure are the only factors that count while trying to lose weight. Numerous dietitians, bodybuilders, and fitness professionals share this opinion. But not every.
According to a different camp, a sizable portion of the population doesn’t benefit much from calorie counting. This viewpoint contends that the solution is more closely related to factors like metabolism, insulin sensitivity, hormone balance, nutrient density, gut flora, etc. These individuals promote the paleo diet, intermittent fasting, and ketogenic diet.
Weight loss happens when you burn more calories than you take in. However, a lot of the time we are unaware of how many calories we are truly burning.
A statistic termed an active metabolic rate (AMR) is used by smartwatches and those who track calories to calculate their calculations. This represents the number of calories you expend throughout an average day of activity. This is then determined as your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the number of calories needed just to breathe and think, plus any additional exercise.
Enter your height, weight, and sex to obtain both your BMR and AMR. This is essential since taller people need more energy to carry out their daily activities, which is why larger people typically eat more. Men and women also expend slightly different numbers of calories, with women typically needing fewer calories each day.
The lack of muscle bulk is obvious. Because muscle is metabolically active, it needs energy to be used and maintained. Calories will be burned more efficiently by a 165-pound person with lots of muscle than by a 165-pound person with no muscle.
There are solutions to this. If you want to determine how many calories you burn each day, you may perform a similar BMR calculation using your lean body mass. There are very few fitness trackers that let you enter this data. I am not aware of some that require it as a mandatory question. Most consumers would also comprehend why that would be a concern.
But the issue is considerably more complicated than that. Individual variations in calorie expenditure go beyond merely body weight and muscle mass. It’s unlikely that two persons who are roughly the same height and weight will burn the same amount of calories.
You Can Move More With Fitness Trackers?
You can increase your movement with the use of fitness trackers. Getting enough activity into your day or week can be challenging if you have a sedentary job. According to studies, the average person only takes a little more than 5,000 steps every day, with some predictions as low as 3,000.
You can cut down on the amount of time you spend sitting down by increasing your step count. According to studies, people who use fitness trackers to monitor their daily step totals move more both immediately and over the course of time.
1. Improve Your Sleep Habits
Your sleep is monitored by a lot of fitness trackers in different ways. Your total amount of sleep time is frequently tracked by even the most basic devices. Sleeping heart rate, heart rate variability, restlessness, and breathing rate are additional tracking metrics.
The trackers utilise this information and others to calculate how long you spent in each stage of sleep and how well you slept. A number score is commonly used to express this conclusion.
Due to the absence of technology utilised during genuine sleep research, keep in mind that the data and reporting are only the best guesses and not always accurate. However, the information might show you where you might need to make changes to your sleeping patterns.
The quality of sleep improves when sleep and wake times are regular. You may make your sleep pattern more purposeful by using your fitness tracker to create bedtime and wake-up goals with reminders.
Try to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night, or between 7 and 8 if you are over 65 and don’t feel like you need more.
2. Increase Your Weekly Active Minutes
Adults should engage in at least 150 minutes per week of the moderate-intensity cardiovascular activity or 75 minutes per week of high-intensity cardiovascular activity (or an equivalent combination of both), as well as two days per week of resistance training that targets all of the major muscle groups.
According to estimates, 31 million persons 50 and older only engage in the minimal amount of physical activity required for survival. This kind of sedentary lifestyle can raise your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and several types of cancer.
Some fitness trackers capture active minutes, which are rated based on exercise intensity, like the more recent Fitbit Charge models. Examples of active minutes include deliberate exercise, heart-pumping activities like cleaning, and short walks.
The tracker’s software normally allows you to set objectives for how many active minutes you wish to get, though there is a default for reaching the advised 150 minutes. You receive a reward each time you reach active minutes.
3. Maintain a Balanced Energy Intake
Fitness monitors keep track of your overall daily energy usage. Even though this information is only a best-guess estimate, it may provide you a distinctive understanding of how much energy you use on a daily basis. You may balance your energy intake and output by using this feature to plan your daily energy intake, or how many calories you consume.
You may also be able to accomplish your weight-loss objectives by using this data. Although the calorie expenditure information might not be fully precise, it might give you an idea to help you plan your approach to gaining lean body mass, losing body fat, or maintaining your present weight.
Some trackers let you enter your daily caloric intake and provide graphs of your overall intake in relation to your daily activity level. They also provide suggestions for how much food you should eat to meet your weight-loss objectives.