If you just bought a Fitbit or a smartwatch to track your activity, you need to take steps to ensure you will continue to wear it. No matter how much it cost, the abandonment rate for wearable fitness trackers is 75 percent in the first three months, according to Dan Kinsbourne of YOO Fitness. To make good on your wearable fitness investment, Kinsbourne challenges you to use it smartly for the 66 days a research study says it takes to make a habit stick. These seven life hacks can help.
1. Hack: Read the Manual
It’s easy to abandon a wearable fitness tracker when you don’t know the basics of what it can do and how to get it to do it.
But “read the manual” is easier said than done as many come with only a quick set-up pamphlet. They are often written in mice type and in low-contrast yellow on white. Some only have cryptic drawings. Get out the reading glasses and then head to the website or app to get more information.
You need to look through the app menus and the website to find detailed instructions. Once you find them, download, bookmark or print them out to study.
At a bare minimum, you need to know:
- How to charge it or activate the battery, and how often to recharge or replace the battery
- How to sync with the app on your mobile device or computer
- How to set it and personalize it with your height, weight, age, and stride length. These need to be accurate to get the best readings for calories, distance and speed.
- What it tracks and how to view that data on the fitness tracker, app, and/or website
Once you have read through the manual, you won’t feel as confused or intimidated. Knowing the basics, you can get going and then learn the more advanced features.