It seems like everyone’s wearing a Fitbit these days. Whether your goal is losing weight, increasing your level of fitness, or just showing off how active you are, there are few key things you should be paying attention to if you want to get your money’s worth. Solely tracking your steps is not the best indicator of your activity and health level, so here are a few simple ways to step up your Fitbit game.
Monitor your resting heart rate
Not only is heart rate tracking helpful to show how long you spend in the orange and red zones during workouts, but looking at your resting heart rate is a great indicator of fitness and how well you’re doing on your long term goals. The average person has a resting heart rate of 70-75 beats per minute. A more aerobically fit person might have a resting heart rate in the 50's or 60's or even as low as 30's for a professional athlete, while an unfit person might be in the 80's and 90's. As your aerobic fitness improves, you’ll notice that your resting heart rate will start to decline because your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to distribute nutrients and oxygen to your body. As your resting heart rate goes down, it may be harder to get your heart rate up into those red and orange zones when you’re working out—but that doesn’t mean you’re not pushing yourself enough. It just means your heart is learning to work more efficiently. For more information on heart rate, check out this article.
Odds are that some of your friends have Fitbits too, so add them on the Fitbit app for some healthy competition. You can create challenges and compete with them for steps and active minutes, which will likely motivate you to run that extra mile. Fitbit connects to your Facebook friends and your contacts, letting you invite up to 10 people for every challenge.
Focus on accuracy
Fitbit needs many different indicators to accurately measure your activity level and heart rate. Make sure when you set up your app that your height, gender, and weight is precise. Also keep your Fitbit on the same wrist, whether it’s the dominant or non-dominant wrist so that Fitbit can adjust for the extra motion. It's also important to keep the band snug and two finger widths above your wrist bone while you’re exercising so it can track your heart rate accurately. However, if you don’t loosen it between workouts, it might leave some irritation.
The step tracker on Fitbit might not be it’s most accurate feature, but you can use MobileRun to more accurately track running and walking workouts. The MobileRun feature uses GPS data to more accurately track your distance and steps, overriding the regular recordings. You can also enable music control so you can control your music from within the app and get voice cues throughout your run.