You have more options in fitness tracking than you ever have before. Once upon a time all you’d have was a notebook and pen to serve as food diary and exercise log combined. While this still works for some people, many prefer the options and convenience that comes with turning their tablet or mobile phone into their best fitness tool to date. If you’ve tried to get fit before and failed, you can try again using technology and you might find that you get a better result. A smartphone app means that you can log diet and exercise events as they occur; this helps boost your accountability and makes sure that you’re not going to let things slip just because they slip your mind. Add that to your other options and getting yourself on the right track to your fitness and exercise goals has never been easier.
Pick a Calorie Counter
The first thing you should do is pick a calorie counter. This is true even if you’re not trying to lose weight. If you think that you can maintain your weight while working out by intuition alone you’re going to be surprised. Either you’re going to end up underfueling and losing muscle mass as a result or you’re going to end up overeating. You’re going to need to take in an extra hundred to two hundred calories on days when you work out, but it’s easy to go overboard if you’re only listening to your hunger.
Pick an Exercise Counter
This is where the money is. You should find something that appeals to you and is optimized for the style of exercise you’re going to do. It’s hard to find one app that’s amazing for both strength training and cardio work, for example. A good workout includes both, but there’s one that matters more to your personal fitness goals. Figure out which that is, and then pick the app that gives you the best encouragement and tracking for this side. If you’re only doing cardio to build your endurance for weight lifting, for example, you don’t have to worry about getting a running app when a weight lifting app will do.
Don’t Choose an Always on Option
One thing that you need to be careful of is battery life. Having your tech always with you isn’t going to help if you can’t access it. If you choose the wrong program it’s going to want to log every single step that you take. That might sound encouraging, but actually it doesn’t matter. The point of exercise is to go above and beyond what you normally do. If you walk five miles as part of your daily routine you’re going to have to step it up and walk ten before you start seeing an increase in fitness. Your body is already good at doing what you’re doing now.
Look for Fun and Active Games
One thing that you should do is check out active games. These can be apps that let you earn points by walking around certain areas in real time, or games like geocaching where you have to go to certain coordinates and find something that’s been left there. Using technology to make these games possible means that you’ll be able to stop wherever you are for a quick game if that’s what you want; you’re going to be able to fit these activities into the natural flow of your life. This means that you don’t have to set huge chunks of time aside in order to get fit. You’re actually going to be just fine fitting it in as you go along, which makes it a more natural part of your life anyway.
Compete with like Minded Friends
Nothing stirs the blood quite as much as a little healthy competition. One thing that you should always remember is that this is really just to motivate you both. This means that you don’t want to get too extreme, but a little trash talk can go a long way towards getting fired up. There’s nothing wrong with bending a little bit of backtalk your friend’s way if it’s going to be the thing that keeps you both pressing on to the finish line. Now you don’t even have to exercise together in order to compete.
Remember These Are Estimates
When you’re looking at the calories you worked off, remember that this is a machine’s estimate. Nothing is perfect to the calorie.