So, you’ve finally decided to get serious and purchase a fitness tracker, but wearing one when you work out will not guarantee instant fitness and weight loss. For maximum results, you need to know how to game the system so that you make the most out of it.

Here are a few tips that you can follow to get the best out of your fitness tracker, get your money’s worth and achieve the results that you want.

1. Approach with the right mindset

It is important to approach your new gadget with the right mindset. Just because you bought one and started using it does not mean that you are going to get fit right away. Keep in mind that all you have right now is a tool that you need to use correctly to help you change your fitness habits and motivate you to continue what you have started.

By having this in mind right at the start, you have a higher chance of succeeding and achieving your goals.

2. Set your own goals

Speaking of goals, fitness trackers come with a preset goal. This is usually around 10,000 steps per day. While this may be standard, this preset goal can be too much or too few for you. When you start using your tracker, try to see how many steps you can take on a typical day and work with that. For example, on your first day you clock in only 6,000 steps, then you might want to place your goal at 8,000 steps first before moving on to 10,000.

Likewise, if 10,000 is easy for you to achieve on a typical day, then you may want to set a higher goal, like 12,000 or even 14,000 steps a day. Remember, it can be tempting to challenge yourself and try to achieve the presets of your tracker, but sticking with more reasonable goals help you achieve more and motivate you to do a little bit more over time.

3. Don’t leave it at home

Make it a point to wear your tracker all the time. Missing out on wearing it a couple of times a week creates gaps in your data and may even lead you to lose interest. The next thing you know, you’ve fallen off the bandwagon and your tracker is back in its box.

If you are still planning to buy a device, consider getting a tracker that does not need charging and/or are waterproof, so you do not need to take it off even as you shower. Or, make it a habit to charge your band when you sleep and place it next to your mobile phone so that you will not forget about it the next day.

4. Make it social

Using your brand new device can be exciting and challenging during the first few days or weeks, but once you get past that honeymoon stage, you’ll need other ways to keep you motivated. One of the best ways to keep yourself interested is to get social.

Interact with people in social communities (trackers almost always come with this) or – get friends and family involved in the process. Apparently, it’s not just encouragement and support that keeps you motivated, it is also the feeling of competitiveness that helps you stick to your long-term plans, too.

5. Use it with other apps (and devices)

Many devices are great when it comes to capturing your everyday activity, but most are still quite limited in terms of tracking your workout. If you’re an enthusiastic runner or cyclist, then you might be using a separate device or app for that certain exercise.

If possible, try using an app that allows you to sync all of your devices. If you can get your daily activities, performance exercise and even food intake in one single app, then great, since this gives you a more accurate picture of your progress all in one place.

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