By 2019, more than 125 million fitness trackers will hit store shelves. Already, the fitness tracking industry is a $3 billion industry. Its value is expected to grow to $4 billion in 2017. If you’re not yet using or wearing a fitness tracker, why not? No matter what your fitness goals are, a tracker can help you meet them and provide guidance to help you out along the way.
One of the major reasons people get fitness trackers is to find out how much they are exercising. Just a few years ago, many people wore pedometers to count their steps and see if they were reaching 10,000 a day. High quality yet cheap smartwatches are available now and they are far more advanced than their predecessors.
You can use your tracker to set daily goals, such as 30 or 60 minutes of exercise or a certain number of steps. Although 10,000 serves as the baseline, you can set your goal higher or lower based on how active you are to start with. If you’re already walking 10,000 steps a day, you can try to reach 12,000 or 15,000 daily. If you use your tracker when participating in other activities, such as running or cycling, you can program it to measure your speed and the incline of hills, so you can push yourself to go faster or to go up steeper hills.
It’s not just getting a certain amount of exercise each day that helps you get fit. You also want to make your heart work hard. Modern fitness trackers will monitor your heart rate and will let you know if you need to increase the intensity of your workout or if you’re already pushing your heart to its limit.
Although some fitness trackers claim to monitor the number of calories you burn during a workout, a study from Stanford found that the clear majority of trackers are way off when it comes to calories burned. What you can use your tracker for is to record how many calories you’re consuming daily, so you can get on track with your eating goals too. Many devices will sync with food diary apps or have apps built-in.
What should you look for in a tracker? Here are a few important considerations: