Fitness trackers are convenient, relatively inexpensive and can help you track your progress on your health and wellness journey. If you have goals like monitoring daily blood sugar levels, lowering your blood pressure or starting a routine workout plan, trackers can help you reach them.
There is a catch though. You have to use that device every day to get its many benefits. For a lot of people, their Fitbit, Garmin or whatever they chose gets tossed aside after the excitement of a new gadget wears off.
If you’re finding it hard to stick with your tracker, we’re here to help. Try these six easy tips to stay motivated and get the most from your gadget. One tip could even help you win a $50 gift card.
Set realistic goals
Monitoring how much you walk, run or cycle can help motivate you to do more in the short term, but you need to set targets and slowly build up to them to keep the momentum up. Pick metrics like time or distance and give them a number. It could be running for 10 minutes without stopping or cycling 5 more miles. Whatever you choose, just make sure the goal is reasonable. If you aim too high, you’ll be disappointed if you fail and are more likely to give up all together.
Here’s a real-life example from one of our coworkers: she tries to walk just one more step today than she did yesterday.
Put your tracker to work as a wellness manager
These gadgets can do more than manage stats. They can also sync up with wellness management programs to help you live a healthier life. HAP’s iStrive for Better Health does exactly that. It’s a personalized digital wellness manager with free tools and programs, powered by WebMD®Health Services. And it’s compatible with more than 140 fitness trackers. Log in to hap.org and select “iStrive for Better Health” to sync your device and get started.
The sense of achievement you feel after a hard workout can be its own reward, but you should look for ways to reward yourself too. Give your body a break and get a massage. If you’ve lost weight, buy a new outfit to celebrate your progress. Whatever you do, make sure you reflect on how far you’ve come. It’s easy to forget just how hard you’ve been working. Little choices lead to big results.
Log your food
Exercise is only one part of the fitness puzzle. To achieve or maintain good health, you need to watch what you eat, so it’s important to log your food too. Most devices can’t track food, but there are apps out there to help you out. You don't need to be exact every time you enter a meal or snack. Just keep logging things and you’ll start to get a better picture of how your food choices add up.
Wear it every day
A tracker is only useful if you’re wearing it. Many, such as the UA Band, are water resistant so you can use them at the beach or pool. Try and charge your device at the same time every day so you get into a routine. Or set a reminder on your phone to put it back on later. One coworker charges hers while she gets ready in the morning, and another charges his in the USB charger of his car on his ride in to the office.
A little friendly competition can be good, healthy fun. That’s why we’re challenging you to up your step game. For the month of May, use your fitness tracker, pedometer or smartphone to track your daily steps and record them in iStrive® for Better Health. The best part? You’ll have a chance to win a $50 gift card as a reward for your healthy choices.
How to participate:
Log in or register at hap.org/istrive then click “Step It Up Challenge” on the iStrive® for Better Health home page.
From May 1 through May 31, record an average of 7,500 steps.
If you record your steps for at least 21 of the 31 days and post at least once to the message board, you’ll be entered to win one of 20 gift cards worth $50 each.*
Have questions? Contact email@example.com for more information.
*You’re eligible to participate if you are a HAP member or covered spouse. At this time, HAP members with Medicare and Medicaid plans are not eligible to participate. Also, HAP and Henry Ford Health System employees and their spouses are not eligible to participate in this challenge because they are being offered a different health challenge.