Did you get your 10,000 today?

Did you get your 10,000 today?

If you looked at a device on your arm or your belt, than you knew what I meant right away.   If you thought, “What in the world is Amy talking about now?” Let me explain.

10,000 is the number of recommended steps you should get in one day.  Knowing how many steps you get is easy with one of the fun new fitness trackers.   They have versions that you wear on your wrist or fasten onto your clothing.  Along with their online applications you can measure steps, flights climbed, calories consumed and even how effective your sleep was.

I love data and know that “WHAT GETS MEASURED GETS IMPROVED”, so these new fitness trackers are not only a fun toy they are helping many improve their health.

Whether you are striving to lose a little weight or just get more active, here is why a fitness tracker should be a part of your plans.

IT CAN BE YOUR ACCOUNTABILITY BUDDY AND MOTIVATOR

For those of you who struggle getting out of bed or off the couch to get your exercise in, a fitness tracker is a MUST buy for you.   Most of the ones out there have applications where you can join a group and every week you see each other’s activity.   If you are at all competitive, this will get you out to take a walk after dinner.  Social exercise (through online programs or in a live group) has been shown to help most people stay consistent and avoid pulling the cover over their heads to sleep in.

Remember how good you felt when you earned that gold star for exercise in elementary school?  In many of the fitness trackers applications you earn badges.   You can post these on Facebook and brag to your friends.  Last year I earned my “Great Wall Badge”.  Since I started using my Fitbit I had walked 5,500 miles or the length of the Great Wall.   Elementary motivation right there!

IT’S A GREAT WAY TO EXAMINE YOUR DIET

We all know living a healthy lifestyle involves both regular activity and a healthy diet.  Along with tracking your activity, many fitness trackers offer ways to track what and how much you are eating as well as your daily water intake.  Unfortunately there isn’t a small camera you can strap on that can automatically capture everything we put in our mouths (well not yet) but you can log what you eat and how much water you drink.  With this data the application will help you evaluate the quality and quantity so you can learn to maybe make better choices.   I used my Fitbit application along with myfitnesspal.com many times to evaluate why my weight had crept up so I could make the right changes and get that scale back down where it should be.

IT CAN HELP YOU IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP

Sleep is as important as exercise and diet when you are trying to improve your health.   The quality of your sleep can affect everything from your metabolism, cravings, energy and mood.   Some of the newer fitness trackers will track your sleep patterns; how long you slept, how restless you were and how many times you woke up.   By itself it will not help you sleep better but having the data is a great way to start making improvements.  I’ve used this many times and have learned that when my sweet kitty Ciara curls up with me I do not get a good night’s sleep!

Ok, so which one to buy?  I’ve used the Fitbit and now have my iPhone6 but it’s all up to what data you want to measure.   I found a good site that rates them all so you can find one that will work for you (remember Christmas is coming so put the one you like on your Wish List!)

Best fitness trackers 2015  http://www.wareable.com/fitness-trackers/the-best-fitness-tracker

If you have any questions or need more help with improving your health it might be time to give me a call.  A fitness and health coach is a guide and mentor who empowers you and provides ongoing support and guidance as you set goals and make sustainable changes that improve your health and happiness.

As your coach, I will listen carefully and using my engineering problem solving tool kit we’ll navigate the world of contradictory fitness, nutrition and health advice together to explore what truly works for you.

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