by Kaetlin Zink
Tracking your fitness via a tracking device is one of the best ways to support and ensure to success toward your goals. Why? Fitness trackers allow us to hone in on an individualized approach to achieve our goals. It’s so easy to compare our progress with others, but we have to remember that no two bodies are alike — what works for me might not work for someone else, and an approach to fitness based on our specific needs is paramount. That’s why trackers are where it’s at.
Benefits of Fitness Trackers
Whether your goal is to gain muscle, lose weight, increase endurance, prepare for an event, or simply get a better night’s rest, fitness tracking can pave the way by helping you better understand your body. Let’s take a look at all the benefits they have to offer and two tools that are cutting-edge for tracking.
1). Measuring personal progress in numbers can tell us a lot about how our lifestyle choices are affecting our bodies.
Trackers are able to gather important data like the number of steps taken, number of calories burned, how many flights of stairs you took, heart rate measurements or capabilities, and other kinds of activity throughout the day. By seeing what areas are improving and what still needs to be improved upon, we can make more informed decisions about what we need to change or keep doing.
2). Fitness tracking devices are a huge time saver.
When you have a numerical guideline to follow, gauging the effectiveness of your diet and exercise plan becomes more accurate. Narrowing your focus on what gets results for you personally means less time spent in the trial-and-error stage.
3). The ability to visualize progress serves as sustained motivation.
When trying out a new workout routine, failing to notice progress soon enough can sometimes be discouraging. Fitness trackers are a great way to prevent this from happening. The ability to record info on a daily basis allows you to witness progress over time while serving as motivation to keep going. If you want to beat what you accomplished the previous day, you can challenge yourself by setting new goals.
4). It doesn’t even rest while you rest.
Many fitness trackers also have the capacity to track sleep patterns. Sleep has an impact on everything, from mental and physical state, mood, and energy level to metabolism and proper exercise recovery. Along with measuring sleep duration, some trackers can even provide detail about how heavy or light the sleep was, whether you toss and turn a lot, and the amount of times you woke up. Having this information can then help you make adjustments to the sleeping habits that could possibly be affecting present fitness levels.
5). Some also have the ability to measure heart rate.
This is the big one. Tracking heart rate is helpful for monitoring safe and productive heart rate levels during exercise. While there are many fitness trackers to choose from, the MyZone belt is a top contender. Let’s take a look at this tracking device as well as the test that can make your efforts even more meaningful.
Myzone™ & the Method™ Test
Myzone™ consists of a pod which, when attached to the MyZone™ strap and worn just under the chest, tracks your heart rate accurately and close to the source.
With the chest strap monitor positioned close to the heart and right up against the skin, you can say goodbye to any inaccuracies experienced with wristband monitors, which must be particularly and securely placed to gain accurate readings. And even then, readings can still be incorrect, says Dr. Steinbaum (cardiologist and director of Women’s Heart Health at the Heart and Vascular Institute of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City).
MyZone provides color-coded heart rate levels that manage your effort based on your age, height, and weight. While Myzone™ allows for an individualized approach, an even more accurate tool for gleaning which heart rate zones are most effective for burning fat for you personally is the Method™ Test. Coupling this with MyZone™ is ideal and suggested for best results.
The Method™ Test
The Method™ Test is a graded exercise test that provides us with key information specific to an individual. The data revealed speaks to how you’ve been training and where, metabolically, your strengths and weaknesses are. The modality chosen and protocol used is dependent on the client’s past exercise history and ultimate goals. For instance, we may have you deadlifting, running on a treadmill, biking, or rowing.
The test itself takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes depending on the individual. Throughout the test, we monitor several markers, such as blood lactate levels, heart rate, and RPE (Rate of Percieved Exertion). At the end of the test, this data is plotted on a graph, and through the use of proprietary technology, training zones are identified specifically to that individual.
Regardless of whether you are looking to lose weight, rehabbing an injury, or increasing athletic performance, these training zones — Prime, Peak, and Anaerobic — are the key to successfully reaching your goal. At the end of the test, the trainer who you tested with spends significant time reviewing your results and creating a program fit to meet your specific needs and desired outcomes.
Learning your zones can help you make the most out of your workout while preventing the risk of injury or burnout from overexertion. From there, you can wear your MyZone™ belt to track heart rate during all kinds of activities. When in close proximity of a MyZone™ console, your data will automatically and wirelessly upload. You can also easily view your heart rate by downloading the MyZone™ fitness app on your mobile device. Most cardio machines also have bluetooth connection, and most of the HAC’s studios — group fitness, small group, and personal training — have MyZone™ viewing screens, so you can even track your efforts while taking a class or training.
There are a multitude of factors that go into fitness, so why not use a fitness tracker to gain a better understanding of what may or may not be working for you?