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Activity Trackers – are they worth the investment?

Costing upwards of £100, an activity tracker is a sizeable investment – something many of us are happy to make - providing they add benefit.

Since they arrived on the market a couple of years ago, activity or fitness trackers have made a huge impact, becoming the must-have gadget for those looking to boost their activity, get fitter and shed the pounds. Millions of activity trackers, from a range of brands are sold worldwide every year, so clearly there is something about these wearable tech gadgets that has people hooked.

Able to track and monitor a range of variables, can what is effectively a souped-up pedometer really help people to get fit and shed the pounds?

In short, the answer is yes! Thanks to the information an activity tracker provides wearers are better able to see where they need to up their activity levels. However, an activity tracker only provides information and it is up to the user what they then do with this data, after all, just wearing a tracker, while it might make you look a bit sportier, won’t help.

Logging everything from movement to heart rate, calories and sleep, activity trackers are marketed at everybody, irrespective of current fitness levels, although it is perhaps those who do not live a particularly active life that will feel the most benefit.

Once your activity, or lack of, is highlighted to you it becomes easier to tackle it. Small changes in your NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) activity – those everyday movements, excluding sleeping, eating and sports, that help to burn calories – can have a big impact. In fact, NEAT activity could be an important element of overall fitness. It is estimated* that highly active individuals expend 50% of their energy through NEAT activity compared to just 15% for those who live a more sedentary lifestyle.

For those who spend much of their time sitting, such as office workers and those who drive for a living, activity trackers with features such as a ‘move prompt’ can be really useful. Simply set the tracker to prompt movement every 30 minutes or so and wearers will soon find their NEAT activity levels rising.

I myself wear an activity tracker and find it a useful way to encourage myself, monitor my performance during a workout and set new goals.

My top tips for improving your fitness:

·       Up your NEAT activity
Little changes such as parking the car further away from where you are headed, taking the stairs and walking more will all help to burn calories and boost your energy levels.

·       Find a fitness activity you enjoy
As with everything in life there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to getting fitter. Try as many different activities as you need to until one sticks.

·       Add HIIT and LISS to your workouts

LISS workouts such as running, power walking, cycling and swimming and HIIT sessions work to get the heart rate going and the fat burning making them a must-have addition to your workouts.

·       Plan your meals
By planning and prepping your meals you can reduce the risk of being tempted by junk food and sweet treats – a sure fire way to derail your good intentions.

·       Make fitness a part of your day
Rather than viewing physical activity as just another job to get done, by integrating your workouts into your day you’ll be less likely to skip sessions

If you are serious about improving your fitness then the 12 week Back2Fitness programme is for you. A choice of packages is available, each of which helps you to take control of your health and fitness. Click here for details of the packages on offer.





Sam Yassin

With a degree in Sport and Exercise Science and coming from the country’s most elite sporting town, Loughborough, Sam Yassin is an experienced strength and conditioning coach. He is a member of the UKSCA and is currently working towards his full accreditation. Having passed his examination and LTAD (Long-term Athletic Development) case study, he is well on his way to becoming a gold standard S&C coach. Sam has long been involved in the sporting world, having competed in a wide range of sports from a young age, despite being born with bilateral talipes and having had more than 5 lower body surgeries. In his final year of university, he gained valuable insight into what it takes to be part of a professional team as he interned at Leeds United Football Club as a strength and conditioning coach.

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