Using a fitness tracker to change your habits

I first started using my fitbit last December and I can honestly say I didn’t expect to love it as much as I do. Today I’m sharing how using a fitness tracker helped me change my habits, and giving some tips on how it could help change yours too.

The fitbit I have is the Alta HR with a grey strap. I’ve recently grown a bit bored of the grey though and ordered some replacement straps from Amazon in pink, teal and plum. I’ve read mixed reviews on the quality so don’t take this an endorsement, but if they’re really naff I’ll probably get one of the Jivo mesh straps just to switch things up a bit. I think it’s nice to have some different coloured straps to use so that it feels less like a fitness tracker and more like an accessory!

My main reason for wanting a fitbit was to monitor how much excercise I was actually doing. I intended to wear it to the gym mostly, but over time I’ve just begun wearing it constantly. I really love the insights I get from wearing it all the time and it helps me feel more in tune with my body.

My Fitbit Alta HR

My most frequently checked stats are:

  • Daily steps
  • Daily ‘active minutes’
  • Sleep
  • Heart rate

Out of these, I think the bottom three are the most accurate as steps can fluctuate depending on how much you move your arms around etc. but it’s still a good indication of how much you’re moving. Having an office job, I do sometimes forget that I need to get up and move around during the day and my fitbit massively helps with that. You can set it to remind you every hour to do a certain amount of steps. I have mine set to 250, and I can see on the app at the end of the day how many times between 9am and 6pm I move 250 steps. Sometimes I only hit it between 1pm and 2pm which is when I’m on lunch, and that’s a massive help for me when thinking about habits I’ve developed and trying to change them.

Sleep is another important one for me, as I know I don’t have the best sleeping habits. My fitbit shows how much sleep I got in each of the zones (awake, REM, light, deep) and is really useful if I’m feeling particularly tired as I can see if I spent more time awake than usual, or didn’t get enough deep sleep. Obviously these stats don’t necessarily tell you anything on their own, but I like having some data on what’s ‘normal’ for me so I can compare when things seem off.

When I first started looking at active minutes, I was surprised to see that walking counted towards it. My goal is 30 active minutes a day, which I always hit when I walk to and from work but struggle with if I don’t. I’ve always known I need to do more exercise but being able to track to the minute just how much you’re doing is a real help. I’m trying to make sure I go for a walk every lunch time and make more of a conscious effort to walk to work in order to meet my targets.

Having a fitness tracker (or heath tracker, whatever you want to call it) has made a real difference for me when trying to live a healthier lifestyle. The fitbit app can also track your water intake, what food you’ve eaten, your total weight loss and even your menstrual cycle if you choose to give it additional info. I’m not organised enough to remember to add all my meals/drinks into it all the time, but it’s so useful when I do! You can see how many calories you’re eating compared to how many you’re burning which is such a useful insight.

Do you have a fitness tracker? Has it helped you reach your fitness goals or make small improvements to your habits? I’d love to know!

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