Stay engaged and consistent with your physical activity with an activity tracker.

You know the benefits of getting fit and staying in shape. You have made it your goal to chalk up at least 10,000 steps a day. But wait, why are you still sitting there? Get moving!

Grab an Activity Tracker

Perhaps the first step you can take to nudge yourself towards the goal is to get an activity tracker, which may also be known as a pedometer, step-counter, fitness tracker, etc. In fact, studies[1] show that activity trackers help their wearers engage in longer and more frequent activities to reach their fitness goals.

1. When Physical Activity Is Measured, Exercise Goals Are More Easily Achieved

Using a fitness tracker helps you track your physical activity. 

With a little gadget reporting on your physical activity level constantly, it’s hard not to sneak a peek at them throughout the day and start getting interested in those numbers. Now you know how many steps it takes you to walk to the MRT station. At the end of the day, you have a good idea of the distance you’ve covered.

Over time, you’ll know your baseline activity level, and it becomes easier to set a goal for yourself. For example, if you are averaging 8,000 steps a day, you can target to add another 1,000 steps in the following week and progressively work up to your goal.

Related: How to Lose Weight the Healthy Way

2. A Little Nudging From a Fitness Tracker Motivates

Many activity trackers work with corresponding apps on mobile devices. They become your friendly workout companions and remind you to start exercising if you have been inactive, and send you motivational messages to cheer you on during your workout.

Some activity trackers and fitness trackers are linked to social sharing platforms, where you can motivate your friends by encouraging and cheering them on to reach their goals. Why not engage in a little friendly competition and vie for titles such as “Sprint King” or “Sprint Queen”?

3. Collect Points and Badges for Workout Motivation

Like games that let you earn XP (experience points) and bump you up the levels once you have accumulated enough points, an app-based activity tracker or fitness tracker “promotes” you to different statuses and awards you with badges based on how much you have exercised. Join the National Steps Challenge which rewards you with Healthpoints for clocking your daily steps and exercise minutes!

4. Sweating It Out is More Fun with an Activity Tracker!

Stay motivated to exercise with a fitness tracker or activity tracker. 

Friendly messages from your activity tracker, collecting badges and moving up leaderboards… all these together make working out fun! Besides, devices with in-built GPS capabilities let you visualise on the map the route you have ventured. You can even try GPS doodling to plan your running route before “drawing” the picture with your feet. Keeping it light-hearted and entertaining helps to keep you on target.

Related: Health Can Be Fun and Free

5. Cultivate the Habit of Engaging in Regular Physical Activity

Use a fitness tracker to stay consistent with your daily workouts. 

Habits form when something is done so often that you don’t even think about it anymore. Once you get used to wearing an activity tracker, it becomes a natural part of your outfit and a physical reminder to exercise. Checking on the progress in the activity tracker can also be a part of your routine, just like checking your phone for messages or email.

In the same token, small changes to your lifestyle to increase your activity level, such as walking to the supermarket instead of driving, can gradually become a habit. With perseverance, the need to exercise will become a habit too.

Related: The A-Z Guide To A Healthy And Active Lifestyle

Customise Your Activity Tracker or Fitness Tracker

While it’s good to know exactly how many steps you have taken in a day, some people are put off by too much information presented in the form of data, graphs and scoreboards, especially if you see them at work all day.

To avoid information overload, just pick one type of data to focus on, such as the number of steps taken daily. Start slow and let motivational messages from the activity tracker help you reach your exercise goal at a realistic pace or gradually increase the amount of physical activity.

On the other hand, not everyone likes to wear a gadget throughout the day. Others may simply forget to take it out of the drawer at times or lose interest in it over time. To lower the chances of chucking your activity tracker, choose one that will match your outfits and looks. Alternatively, wear clip-on activity trackers, which are more discreet.

Compare models and choose activity trackers within your budget as they can cost anywhere between $10 to $500 and more. Higher-end models with greater accuracy and more functions typically have steeper price tags.

Get Active — With or Without a Activity Tracker

You can also download an activity tracker app instead of getting a fitness tracker.  

An alternative to wearing an activity tracker is to make use of the in-built accelerometers in your smartphone as your activity tracker instead. Using mobile apps to transform your smartphones into pseudo activity trackers. They may not be as precise, but they can do the job well enough for most people to have a gauge of whether they have met the physical activity recommendation of 10,000 steps per day.

What is more important is to get up and get active. With or without an activity tracker.

Download the HealthHub app on Google Play or Apple Store to access more health and wellness advice at your fingertips.


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References

  1. Merom, D., Rissel, C., Phongsavan, P., Smith, B. J., Van Kemenade, et al. (2007, Apr). Promoting Walking with Pedometers in the Community. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 32(4), p. 290-297.
    Retrieved July 2016 from http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(06)00556-3/abstract