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Keeping track

If you're looking to lose weight, increase your physical activity, or simply improve your overall health, a personal activity tracker can help you hit your target. Being able to see how much activity you do and sometimes don’t do, each day could motivate you to start taking the stairs instead of the lift or walking the dog an extra lap around the block. At the very least, it will make you more aware of your activity levels, which is a huge step to getting fit.

The devices on the market today are a highly updated version of the pedometer that at some point most of us have had clipped to our waist belts counting out our steps. They're much smarter, more accurate, and do a lot more than just measure how much you walk. Paired with their Web account and mobile app they give you a better look at the habits that make up your daily life, including sleep, calorie consumption, heart rate, blood pressure, and more.

If you're looking for your first activity tracker, you'll find that there are so many choices for you to choose from. The only problem is then finding out which one is going to be best you for to hit your specific goals.

Whether your health goals are only small or you're hoping for a full fitness transformation, using a personal activity tracking device can help go a long way towards helping you understand if the exercise and health habits you currently keep are contributing to the new you.

Another great tool that most of these trackers have is being able to share and monitor other people’s habits and activity. This can be great to build competition between friends and groups, which in turn can be great for support and encouragement. We all have good days and bad, and having those other people to help push you and support you can really help keep you on track and not let you lose focus.

The best thing to do once you have bought your new tracker, is to not start a new regime or programme. Stick to what you are currently doing. This will build a good baseline for your current activity levels and habits and will be great to show how far you have come in the coming months. Once you have found your baseline, then it’s time to set your new goals. As I have said in previous articles, be realistic with your goals. For example, most devices will set you a 10,000 step target. If yours is currently 3,000 then this is obviously way too big a jump to start with.

Personal activity tracking devices take the guesswork out of your workout. By letting your device track your heart rate, calories burned and steps taken, you're free to focus on getting in shape and enjoying your health.

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