How to get the most from your wearable fitness tech

Staff Writer By Staff Writer - April 9th, 2015
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We are now in a world of wearables. With a whole host of manufacturers offering products that claim they will benefit our lives discreetly, there can be little denying that with smartwatches, wristbands and even smartglasses out there and freely available, this is more than just a fad. However, are such devices really that beneficial?

Well, the simple answer is yes, but only if you use them in the right way. In the case of fitness wearables, not getting the best from the tech can leave you with varied statistics and information that doesn't really provide insights or, more importantly, help you achieve your goals.

With that in mind, here are three things you can do to make sure you're getting optimum performance from your fitness devices:

Be heavy-footed

This may sound like odd advice, but the vast majority of fitness wearables will often miss some of those steps you put in at the gym or out on the road if you're too light-footed. Nearly all wearables will use GPS, accelerometres or gyroscopes to register movements, but some can be less sensitive than others.

While it isn't necessary to completely change your walking, jogging or running style, being aware of the type of tech that's inside your device can help you better understand what you need to do to get the best results.

Motivate yourself

Many fitness trackers - such as the Garmin Vivofit - will vibrate or give an audio and visual warning as to when your targets have been hit. This may sound like a relatively rudimentary feature when compared with other areas of consumer tech, but it can be used to garner more motivation.

Optimising your goals is, of course, key, and having alerts set up and in place can provide a digital pat on the back when you've done well and achieved your hourly, daily or even monthly targets.

Keep it on at night

A big part of any health kick or fitness regime is making sure that you're getting the right amount of sleep. After all, those eight hours or so are what effectively recharges your body.

While many fitness wearable users will want to get the best out of them in the gym and nothing more, it's actually beneficial to keep the devices on at night. For example, the Fitbit Surge can track your sleep patterns and then display data which shows when you were getting the deepest type of rest and the temperature of your body during that period.

You can then match the rest of your training programme accordingly, safe in the knowledge that the insights from the data are helping you reduce the risk of over-fatigue and burnout.

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