For the first instalment of our #WorkoutWednesday feature we turned to trainer to the stars Ben Camara. Ben is not only a celebrity personal trainer but he is also the co-founder of one of London’s leading private fitness studios, No 1 Fitness.
Wearable tech is fast becoming an essential part of working out but many of us aren’t reaping the vast benefits that technology can play in our fitness regimes. Here are 8 ways in which you can get the most out of your tech…
Get social with it
On average we check our phones over 150 times per day so staying up to date with any alerts is not going to be a problem. Stay motivated by adding your friends to the social health and fitness journey. Having them compete with you is a great way to smash through your target and be held accountable as people track your progress.
Focus on journeys rather than just steps
Counting steps seems to be the favourite ‘go to’ for tracking NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) throughout the day. Of course this may change considerably from person to person as some will be climbing stairs all day whilst others are walking casually around the city.
Take the time to focus on a journey or a destination rather that just hitting your step count. Staying active and increasing your healthy activity is a way of life and so living by numbers can become tedious rather than walking to and from your destination.
Fitness tracker calorie counts are inaccurate. Most of them base your readings only on a few vital stats like age, gender, height and weight. This means the results you get aren’t representative of what’s actually being burnt in your body. Pairing your device with a heart rate monitor or choosing a tracker with a bpm sensor built in can help to improve results…
Create mini challenges
One big problem with fitness trackers is that they’ll sit there recording what you do all day but won’t actually have any effect on your daily habits. One way to change that is to create micro targets during the day. Walk more steps on the way to work or at lunch.
Keep it on at all times
This one goes without saying, but remember that you’re only going to be counting steps when you’re actually wearing your new fitness band. Those precious steps taking you from your bed to the shower each morning should be counted towards your overall total for the day.
Many trackers are even equipped to monitor you while you sleep and see if you’re getting enough rest, so you can literally wear it around the clock.
Configuration is critical. When you turn on the app, fill in the requested criteria such as gender, height, weight etc – all this info is really important to achieving your desired fitness goals. Don’t skip it and be truthful. Also, specify which wrist you are wearing it on. Wearing it on your least dominant hand may help give you a more accurate read for less excessive motion.
Checking off a few items in your tracker’s settings can help you get the most accurate information. It’s important, for example, to specify which wrist you’re wearing it on. Everyone has a dominant hand and if you wear your device on that one, it may get an inaccurate read from excessive motion. You also need to enter your personal information like age and weight and keep it up to date. Some devices also include a calibration function that can be adjusted for your specific stride.
How you wear your tech is also critical. If it’s too tight the heart monitor won’t work, if it’s too loose the data will be inaccurate.
For any wearable tech to be effective the work starts with you – i.e. fitting your fitness into your lifestyle.
If you don’t move and improve – neither will your fitness. The tracker facilitates change but won’t drive change by itself. Think of your device as a tool and utilise it to reach your goals.
Don’t have the budget, there’s always an app for that?
In an age of ever advancing tech it’s always a good idea to think to yourself “let me check out the best software for this, rather than hardware”. What does this mean? Well in most cases, your latest iPhone or Apple watch will be last year’s big thing when the new ‘hardware’ comes out. Software in a shape of an app on the other hand just needs an update. That’s not to say don’t go for your favourite wearable tech as it will generally have all your needs in a one stop shop. However, nowadays if you don’t have the budget for the latest wearable tech there is probably an app for that.
Ben Camara is a celebrity personal trainer and co-founder of London’s private fitness studio, No 1 Fitness