The rising popularity of fitness trackers could very well be our answer to the problem of increasingly sedentary lifestyles, helping us focus on exercising more and eating better. However, fitness trackers are not magic wands. They are only tools that we can use in order to adjust our habits and lifestyle, provided we know how to understand the data they give us.
Understanding Your Health Data
Some individuals consider exercise to be so beneficial that they tend to ignore other things that can affect their health, such as diet. Exercise alone is simply not enough to balance out your entire lifestyle, but it can contribute to a healthy one if you also track these other health points:
1. Your weight. It is vital to understand that weight alone cannot determine health and fitness, because the scale does not report fat versus lean body mass. However, weight is an important health point to track.
2. Your fat mass. Fat can take up to four times as much space as muscle and tissue, which means that an individual could actually remain the same weight but get smaller in size while they lose fat and gain muscle. Getting rid of fat while gaining muscle can help increase your metabolism and overall health.
3. Your body mass index, or BMI. This measurement considers your weight and height in order to determine whether you are at a healthy weight. BMIs under 18.5 indicate that one is unhealthily underweight. BMIs between 18.5 and 24.9 indicate that one is in the normal range. BMIs between 25 and 29.9 indicate that one is overweight. BMIs between 30 and 29.9 indicate that one is obese. BMIs at 40 or above indicate that one is morbidly obese.
4. Your steps. Some individuals try taking at least ten thousand steps every day, which is roughly equivalent to walking five miles. However, you need to take into account where you are starting from and what goals you wish to achieve, and you may decide to start lower or higher.
5. Your sleep. The amount and quality of sleep you get every night is as important to your health as your diet and exercise regimens. Adults between the ages of twenty-six and fifty-four do best with anywhere between seven to nine hours of sleep a night, but you know best what your body needs.