This article originally appeared on Fit Bottomed Girls, a health and fitness blog by Jennipher Walters, Erin Whitehead and Kristen Seymour. FBG offers tips, workouts, reviews, personal accounts of their exercise endeavors, tidbits on healthy food, workout music suggestions and fitness humor.
Like we always say, all good things in moderation — including being a slave to your step count or feeling the need to track every little move you make. A fitness tracker is awesome, but it’s just one way to check in with yourself and one way to monitor your progress. The best way to know how you’re really doing? Check in with yourself often, see how you feel and remind yourself on the reg that you are awesome.
1. Let it motivate you but don’t be a slave.
Use it as a guide, but don’t let those numbers drive you insane. A couple of hundred or even thousand steps here and there aren’t going to make or break your health. If you see you only take 1,000 steps a day: Walk more. But if you make it to 7,000, be happy with it instead of going to bed feeling defeated.
2. Trust it.
Have some faith in your technology. Most trackers have a 3-axis accelerometer, which measures your motion however you move. According to Fitbit, there is an algorithm designed to look for motion patterns that indicate walking. So yes, while it might miss some steps here and there, it also likely counts motions as steps on occasion when they’re not. In my opinion? It all evens out, so trust the general trend your tracker shows.
3. Use it for stats.
Steps? Who cares! Focus on the more important parts of the tracker, where these pieces of technology really shine. Heart rate monitoring, the ability to set personalized workouts and tracking pace and distance are way more useful than any step count will be.
4. Turn off notifications or goals.
If “encouraging” notifications are driving you crazy, turn them off. If it drives you bonkers when you don’t hit a 10,000-step goal, either decrease the daily goal, or shut off that feature. You don’t HAVE to walk 10,000 steps in order to be fit!
5. Put on a real piece of jewelry.
Remind yourself of what it was like to wear a shiny piece of silver or gold instead of black. Try just wearing your tracker for workouts.
6. Bathe without it.
It may be waterproof, but you can do without those 15 shuffles you’ll do in the shower.
7. Take a break.
If you find yourself stepping like a fool — like when you’re waiting for food at a restaurant, tucking your kids in at night or chatting with your neighbor in the front yard — you might need to lay off. Go tracker-free at least once a week — or more — as needed!