Fitness tracking and all the technology surrounding has become big business these days, so lets take a first hand look at it. 

  • Name: Alexa
  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5ft 9”
  • Duration: 12 weeks
  • Starting weight: 12st 0lbs
  • Weight loss: 9lbs

I wouldn’t say that I was overly weight-conscious, but when I changed jobs, I was stuck working long hours and started eating convenience food – grabbing anything and everything when I had a break.

Being tall, I once could carry a few extra lbs, but after a few months, my clothes began to feel tighter than normal. And certainly tighter than I was comfortable with!

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Like many people during their 20s, I had semi-committed to various fitness regimes, declaring that this time it was a ‘permanent lifestyle change’ rather than just another faddy diet. And obviously I had been wrong, every time.

Once I hit my 30s, something in me clicked. My attitude stopped being so weight-focused and began to be more health conscious (partly due to a fear of getting older and less nimble). Now it’s no secret that your metabolism slows as you age, but with that, the level of activity you do also decreases.

Mindless eating whilst sitting at my desk for 13 hours straight ensured that in the space of a year, I had become the not-so-proud owner of not one, but two ‘spare tyres’ around my waist. Realising that if I didn’t do something about it soon, I knew this collection of mine was only going to increase in size (but not value). Consequently, I resolved to make some small, but beneficial changes.

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Being the odd mix of competitive but not particularly motivated, I needed something that was going to get and keep me active. I had heard about pedometers before, but that didn’t seem enough for me and I didn’t want to have to clip it onto my clothes (fashion victim). Around that time, fitness trackers had started to really take off, but as most of them were quite bulky, I opted for a screenless Jawbone UP2.

Getting a tracker made me realise how little I was moving around during the day. I was so horrified at my lack of inactivity, I began walking into work everyday. The 2.5 mile journey set me up nicely for the day as by 11am, I would have already completed 5,000 steps.

Being able to set targets such as ‘complete 12,500 steps per day’ or ‘do 30 minutes of exercise four times a week’, and compete in challenges against friends was exactly what I needed to spur me on.

It was so easy to fit into my life; rather than use public transport, I simply started walking everywhere instead. Whilst I didn’t change my diet drastically, the mere fact I was exercising regularly meant I wanted to make better food choices. Yes I still had the odd burger, but this time it would be without fries and included an extra helping of salad. I also started working out at my local gym at the weekends to complement my mid-week activity.howtouseafitnesstracker_2Slowly, but surely, the weight began to fall off; I was so pleased and totally sold on the benefits of fitness tracking. Although I liked the subtlety of the Jawbone, I did however, manage to go through three bands within a six month period due to some over-enthusiastic dancing (the fastening somehow didn’t survive doing the Macarena. Twice.) And the third time, the band snapped of its own accord.

Due to a change in career that brought with it a change in transport preference, I decided to also change my tracker (the losses were getting costly!) As a new (but keen) cyclist, I wanted the ability to track my heart rate as well, and an automatic activity logger.

Research lead me to the FitBit HR 2 which now dons my wrist in all its tech gadgetry glory. It’s not perfect (for example it’s not waterproof and the movement-sensor screen is not ideal for those who are professional night toss and turners), but it’s a great piece of equipment for anyone wishing to take their fitness more seriously and likes a bit of healthy competition (literally).

I wouldn’t be without my tracker now; I see it as an essential part of my daily life – one that makes counting calories as easy as consuming them!

Connect here with WatchFit Expert Roseanna Miller

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