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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > January 2019 > FITNESS TRACKER

FITNESS TRACKER

Whether you found one in your stocking, snapped up one in the sales, or you’re dusting off your old one, an activity tracker is a great way to achieve those new year fitness resolutions. Hannah Ebelthite rounds up tips from the experts

Make smart use of your

LOOK AROUND and it’s easy to spot the fit-tech trend that’s alive and kicking. Activity trackers and smartwatches are a wellbeing trend that’s no flash in the pan. One in five of us, from teenagers to grandparents, now choose to wear an Apple Watch, Fitbit, Garmin or other tracker rather than an old-fashioned watch. Recent figures from market researcher Mintel show around four million trackers were sold in 2017 in the UK alone – up 18% on 2016.

There’s also a product for everyone, from simple, cheap pedometers (step counters), to apps, wrist or clip-on trackers, to GPS-enabled smartwatches that can map and analyse activities such as cycling. Prince Harry caused a stir when he was seen sporting one of the latest ‘smart rings’ on his finger. Wearable-tech experts predict we may soon have fitness clothing that can monitor our muscle activity, heart rate and respiration. And, one day, we could even self-monitor via internal microchips and digital tattoos.

You may have just acquired a tracker, perhaps you’re pondering making the investment – or do you already own one you’ve never really got to grips with? It can be a valuable asset when it comes to fitness – once you know how to get the most out of it.

Why bother with a tracker?

At the most basic level, it’s a reminder to keep up healthy habits such as taking the stairs rather than the lift or walking instead of taking the car. Studies have shown people do increase their activity levels as a result of using one – and that they then continue to use it.

Plus it helps you see where you need to make improvements. ‘Being more active in daily life has more impact than squeezing in three gym sessions a week and doing nothing the rest of the time,’ says Nicola Addison, personal trainer for Healthspan. ‘For me, the real aim of tracking is to change behaviour and habits. With clients I find this is often the tipping point when it comes to weight loss – being that bit more active every day, burning a few hundred more calories without noticing, is what helps the pounds drop off.’

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About Healthy Food Guide

What’s your craving? Beat that sugar, carb or fat addiction and lose weight on our nutrition editor’s smart meal plans. Get into healthy plant-based eating with guest editor Deliciously Ella’s 25-page section of recipes and advice for healthy, tasty and filling meals. And face down winter by snuggling up in the bedroom – the experts explain how sex can boost your health!