It’s 2024. The new year is full of possibilities. Champagne has been toasted, poppers have been popped, and resolutions have been made. With the dropping of the ball in Times Square comes a blank slate, a fresh start, and renewed motivation.
It probably won’t come as a shock to you to learn that the top three most common New Year's resolutions all have to do with health. People want to exercise more, have a healthier diet, and lose weight. Ranked number one among the resolutions is the goal to exercise more frequently and effectively.
But if you’re like most people, your resolutions might start strong only to fizzle out (like those fireworks you bought on the side of the road) before the dust has settled from the ball drop. Sadly, an estimated 23% of resolution-makers don’t make it past the first week, and only 36% make it into February. When all’s said and done, a whopping 9% of determined resolutionists actually keep their New Year’s resolutions.
But wait! Before you start wallowing in despair and resign yourself to being part of the sad 91% that won’t make it, hear us out. What if there was a tool that could help? One that could keep you on track with your wellness goals, and keep you looking cool at the same time?
“What is this miracle accessory?” you ask.
Ladies and gentlemen, we give you…
The sports watch.
What Kind of Fitness Tracking Features Can a Sports Watch Have?
A digital sports watch can boast a variety of features to meet many fitness and wellness-related needs. These features include:
- Heart rate monitor
- Step counter
- Calories burned tracker
- Chronograph with lap memory
- Water resistance
- Sleep tracking
- Route planning
Some of these features may be more useful than others, depending on your level and mode of fitness and the goals you want to achieve. However, anyone looking to improve their health with the help of a watch should choose one that can count steps and calories burned.
What are the Benefits of Counting Steps and Calories?
Monitoring your daily step count and finding out how many calories you burn each day during your regular activity can give you a better idea of how active your lifestyle is. In some cases, you might be surprised how much exercise you’re getting without even going to the gym. Maybe running up and down the stairs at work isn’t such a bad thing after all. Or, if your life is mostly sedentary, tracking your steps and calories will help you determine where you need to make changes and how much additional activity you’ll need to incorporate into your daily routine to meet your goal.
Having the numbers right there in front of you can be pretty motivating. Just like some of us might be motivated to drive a *tiny* bit faster to beat the ETA, having a step counter and calories burned tracker can give you daily motivation to increase your numbers. Play a game of “beat your daily record” and see if you can get those numbers a little higher each day.
Being able to count and record your fitness and health stats is essential if you want to be held accountable for your wellness goals. Find a friend who is also seeking to improve their health, and send each other daily updates of your total steps and calories burned. This way you can encourage each other to keep up the good work.
How Can You Best Utilize Your Watch to Improve Your Health?
1. Determine Your Baseline
Before you jump into some crazy new fitness routine, try taking a week to determine your baseline. This means living your life as per usual and recording your stats each day (with the help of your handy dandy watch, of course). Understanding your baseline will give you a better idea of how much activity you should add into your routine in order to meet your fitness goals.
2. Set Wellness Goals
Speaking of goals, make sure yours are specific. Vague goals, such as, “I want to be more active” can leave you without a clear sense of direction. Try setting goals, such as, “I want to go for a 30-minute walk at least five days a week.” Or, “I want to build up the strength and stamina to run a half marathon by the end of the year.” This way, you’ll be able to make a game plan and stick to it.
3. Be Consistent
You’ve probably heard that it takes 30 days to make or break a habit. This is especially true when it comes to your health. If you want to create healthier habits, you have to be consistent. Commit to incorporating specific habits and activities into your daily routine. For example, set a step count goal that you will commit to reaching each day, or determine to burn a certain number of calories. Then, use your watch to help you track and meet your daily goals.
4. Be Mindful
The right watch can also help ensure that you aren’t overdoing things or pushing yourself too hard. Keep an eye on those stats and know when it’s time to take a break. For those with underlying health factors to keep in mind, choosing a watch that can monitor heart rate might be the way to go.
5. Incorporate Activities You Enjoy
If you’re not one for running marathons, don’t give up on creating a more active lifestyle just yet. Search for activities that you enjoy, such as hiking, biking, swimming, or rock climbing, and engage in them frequently. Make it fun, and you’ll forget you’re getting in a workout.
6. Don’t Forget Diet
Setting daily fitness goals is crucial to improving your overall health, but it goes hand-in-hand with a good diet. Those laps can only do so much if you’re still pounding gallons of soda and consuming ungodly amounts of fast food, right? By incorporating nutrition into your lifestyle, you’ll give yourself the fuel you need to meet those goals.
7. Make it a Competition
Nothing motivates like a bit of healthy competition. Get the friend group or office together and have everyone pitch in for a prize. Whoever has the highest step count after a month wins.
8. Celebrate Achievements
When you reach a milestone, get a little closer to your goal weight, or go a little further than you were able to before, take some time to celebrate the achievement. Your brain thrives off of positive reinforcement and is more likely to continue a behavior that is rewarded. So, call a win a win and congratulate yourself for the effort you’ve put in.
Give it Time
Although it would be great if we could all see drastic changes by January 2nd, that’s just not how it works. So try not to feel discouraged if you don’t see the results you want right away. Good things take time. Keep going, and remember that change will come. And when it does, you’ll be glad you stuck it out.