PTD0215_RunnerActivity trackers are very popular these days. These devices can track the amount of your activity throughout the day and night. Many people wear them on their wrists or clip them to their clothing. Even many smartphones are now equipped with an activity tracker function. So will an activity tracker make you more fit? Not exactly—but it can help motivate you.

Depending on the brand and level of sophistication, activity trackers may monitor any or all of the following:

  • steps taken
  • miles traveled
  • calories burned
  • heart rate
  • sleep patterns

Just as research has found that people who track their food intake with a journal make healthier choices, people who track their movement throughout the day are likely to exercise more. For example, a person wearing one of these devices may take a lunchtime walk, use the stairs instead of the elevator or park far from his or her destination in order to get more steps in. In other words, an activity tracker is a good reminder of what you are—and are not—doing, if you pay attention to it.

Be sure to wear your activity tracker regularly and monitor your progress daily. Most activity trackers have a default goal of 10,000 steps per day, but not everyone who uses a tracker will have the same goal. Talk to us or to your physician about a target that suits your age and fitness needs, and adjust your device accordingly.

Experts suggest that if you wear a tracker on your wrist, put it on your nondominant arm for more accurate results. We can also calibrate your device to accurately measure the distance of your stride and give you more accurate results.

Before you begin an exercise program, come see us. We will review your current fitness level and your future goals. Then we can design a program that lets you use your new tracker to help you meet those goals.

February PTEdigest includes:

Do Muscle Creams Eliminate the Need for Exercise?
Giving Your Knee a Lube Job
Rewiring the Brain After a Stroke
Unjamming a Jammed Finger
Activity Trackers: The Ideal Motivator

Download PTeDigest February