Five pikes to take better advantage of the devices that monitor movements

Photo: wareable.com

An exercise monitor is a device that looks like a clock and has the goal, among other things, to keep a record of the daily steps and the calories consumed by physical activity. These gadgets are increasingly used by those who want to stay in shape. Whether it’s Fitbit, Jawbone, Apple Watch or Nike +, here are five tips to get the most out of these digital physical assistants.

Set up your profile

Do not skip the basic configuration process. Your activity monitor needs information such as your age, sex, height and weight to accurately determine the length of your steps and the calories you burn.

Calibrate it

Most of these devices offer some level of calibration to improve the accuracy of measurements, but the process is different for each brand. Learn the steps to maximize your performance on the official web pages or in the instruction manual.

Wear it on the right wrist

Your exercise monitor is like a clock and, just as you get used to these, you should also use it on your non-dominant wrist. That is, use it on your left wrist if you are right-handed or on the right if you are left-handed. The reason is that the dominant hand is the one that moves the most throughout the day and this can result in the bracelet incorrectly reporting a high number of “steps.”

Connect with other apps

An exercise monitor has its own application, but it is not the only one with which it can be synchronized. While not all of them are reliable and caution is advised, there are different health related applications and services that you can use as a supplement. Some of them are MyFitnessPal to control the calories you consume, MapMyRun to monitor your exercise sessions and MedHelp to monitor your sleep patterns and other health conditions.

It’s just a tool

An exercise monitor can be a very useful tool, but it will not do all the work. Remember that the device will not exercise or feed you healthily if you do not.

Watch out

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that those who use activity devices lose less weight than those who do not use them. “We hypothesized that using the technology would be more effective than not using it and we discovered the opposite,” said study author John Jakicic, according to CNN. “One of the things we did not study was the fact that maybe these devices are effective for people who gain weight, but maybe that’s different than helping people lose weight,” said Jakicic. Cases studied, those who used the device were less scrupulous about their diet, since exercise may lead some people to “feel that they have ‘gained’ the right to eat more.”

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