Fitbit, Garmin or Samsung brand activity monitors – also known as “fitness trackers” – provide a mountain of data about your health and performance. But do you know how to use them well? Here are 5 tips to get the most out of your activity tracker.
1. Forget the number of steps
The minutes of activity are more important than the number of steps. The more you move, the better your heart is.
An adult should do either:
• 150 minutes or more of moderate activity per week or
• 75 minutes or more of sustained activity per week.
2. Move to lose weight
An old theory indicates that it takes a low-intensity activity to eliminate fat …
“It’s true, but it takes hours and hours of walking, for example, to get there. It’s unrealistic, ”according to Mickaël Martin, kinesiologist at the University Institute of Cardiology and Pulmonology of Quebec.
To lose weight, it is better to do more intense activities, in the “cardio zone”. And ideally incorporate strength training into your routine.
3. Improve your VO2 max
Vo2 max is one of the best indicators of your health. This is the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use during an activity.
Have realistic expectations: training will allow you to increase it by 10 to 20%.
4. Don’t count calories
The monitors calculate calories burned from data such as height, weight, age, gender, number of steps, heart rate, etc. This data can help motivate you to get moving. But be aware that these are rather rough estimates.
5. Get enough sleep
Knowing how long you spend in slow, deep, or REM sleep is of no use. It is the total length of your night that matters most. Get 7-9 hours of sleep a night and your body will take care of the rest!
>> How to choose a good activity monitor
>> How to use the activity tracker to stay motivated