MyFitnessPal. A Kaiser Permanente Center for
Health Research study found that people who
kept a daily food journal lost twice as much
weight as those who did not. By monitoring
food and exercise on the same device, you can
see a complete picture of how your diet and
;tness work together for your calorie count.
“I don’t care how much time you spend on
the treadmill or how many crunches and
push-ups you can do in a day, you just can’t
out-exercise a bad diet,” says Petrina Hamm, a
certi;ed personal trainer in North Carolina
who uses an electronic tracker herself. “;ere’s
no better way to keep your nutrition on track
than food journaling.”
Check your zzz’s
Many people overlook the sleep function
of ;tness trackers and focus solely on the exercise function/features, but sleep patterns contribute to your overall health and can give
clues about lifestyle changes you should make.
“;e amount of quality sleep you’re getting can have a profound impact on weight
loss and overall health,” says Hamm. “Using
the sleep tracker can let you know if you’re getting enough sleep and clue you in on things
that may be impacting your sleep.”
One of the bene;ts of ;tness trackers is
the ability to connect with others who use the
same device. “People o;en ;nd that they get
better results with strangers, because they are
not experiencing negative emotions from
friends or families,” says Vickey. “People who
use the social aspect of trackers are more likely
to stay engaged and get better results.” C
Jennifer Goforth Gregory has been writing
professionally for 20 years.
By Jennifer Goforth Gregory
FITNESS TRACKERS CAN have a lasting
impact on your health and weight-loss e;orts.
A study at Indiana University found that people who wore a ;tness tracker walked 16 percent more on average. But they can’t provide
any bene;t if they are kept in a drawer. Even
if the trackers make it onto a wrist, people
who use only the basic features don’t receive
the full bene;ts of the devices.
Here are ;ve tips for getting the most
from your electronic ;tness tracker.
Find out where you are
Ted Vickey, senior consultant for ;tness
technology with the American Council on
Exercise, recommends wearing your ;tness
tracker for a week without modifying your
activity to determine the baseline of where you
currently are. A;er the ;rst week, increase
your activity by 10 percent each week until you
reach the goal of 10,000 steps per day.
If you start out walking 6,000 steps a day,
aim for 6,600 the next week and 7,326 the following week. “A lot of people forget that it
takes time to build up to 10,000 steps and
will not stick with it [if they are] immediately
aiming for 10,000 steps,” says Vickey.
Check your activity at lunchtime
Sync with a food journal
Many ;tness trackers have an option to
sync with an online food journal, such as
The Costco Connection
Costco members will find fitness trackers in
the warehouses and on Costco.com.
HERE ARE FIVE fitness apps that can
help you increase your wellness.
You Are Your Own Gym
($3.99; iPhone/iPad). Bored with your
current routine? Or not able to make it
to the gym? Bodyweight Training
includes more than 200 different
exercises, with detailed instructions
and customizable workout plans.
Fitwatchr ( 99 cents; iPhone/
iPad, Windows and Android). So
you’ve got lots of information from
your Fitbit, but it can be challenging to
know what it means and what to do
with it. This app uses scientific formu-
las to analyze the data and help you
see what you need to do to meet your
MyFitnessPal (Free; iPhone/
iPad and Android). Next time you want
to know how many calories are in the
chili cheese fries you are about to
order, pull out your phone to look it
up. This extensive food-journaling app
integrates with most fitness trackers
to give you a complete picture of how
many calories you have eaten and
burned, compared with the daily goal
needed to reach your target weight.
Yoga Studio ($3.99; iPhone/
iPad). Pull out your mobile device and
hit the yoga mat for a complete work-
out wherever you are. Yoga Studio
creates a customized yoga workout
for you, with instructions for each
pose based on your ability level.
Zombies, Run! ($3.99;
iPhone/iPad and Android). Everyone
runs faster when being chased, espe-
cially by zombies. This app puts you
in the middle of an action chase game
and delivers the story through your
headphones while you run.—JGG
Making the most of
your daily fitness tracker