There are mistakes we’ve all made when it comes to working out – like thinking we’re doing the right thing but we’re actually harming our bodies. Whether it’s the way we’re doing a certain workout move or exercising while dehydrated, it’s unfortunately easy to do. Thankfully, there are wearables to save the day. Here are 5 fitness mistakes almost everyone makes, and fitness trackers to help you avoid creating those problems.
Mistake #1: You don’t reach your target heart rate while working out.
Why it matters: In order to see the best results from an aerobic workout, you must achieve at least 55 to 80% of your maximum heart rate for at least a half hour. If your average heart rate during your workout falls below this number, then you won’t be burning as many calories, or building as much strength and endurance. On the opposite side of the spectrum, if your heart rate is too high, then you may be putting your health at risk. It’s important to know exactly what your target heart rate is, and then strive for this number while exercising.
Solution: First, calculate your target heart rate while working out as well as your resting heart rate. Then, use a wearable like the Garmin Vivosmart HR to easily track your heart rate. Next time you’re exercising, pay attention to what the number is and if the average is above or below the target number you initially calculated. It’ll be a lot easier than taking your pulse and you’ll be more likely to track the number and make sure that it’s within a healthy range!
Mistake #2: You don’t go to bed at an optimal time.
Why it matters: Numerous studies have shown that sleep is one of the most important factors when it comes to fitness and weight loss. Not only does sleep control your food cravings and therefore diet, but even has a role in the way your body responds to insulin in your bloodstream and stores fat. People may not realize it, but if you’re not getting enough sleep, even if you’re working out regularly and eating well, then you’re not going to see the same results from your workout. It’s important to figure out a consistent sleep schedule and stick to it.
Solution: Buy using a sleep tracking wearable like Bellabeat, you’ll be able to not only track sleep every night, but also see your sleep patterns. Over time, Bellabeat will recommend what the best time is for you to go to sleep and wake up, based off prior sleep data. This way, you’ll be able to sleep smarter and take advantage of those precious hours, not to mention see your workout efforts pay off.
Mistake #3: You remain inactive for long periods of time.
Why it matters: For most of us sitting at a desk for a good majority of the day is completely routine and normal. What you don’t realize is the detrimental effects on your body from being inactive for hours on end. Even if you workout regularly, studies have shown that sitting down for long periods of time increases risk of heart disease and diabetes. The good news is that the simple act of standing up can help counteract the detrimental effects of inactivity.
Solution: The activity app on the Apple Watch can help remind you to move throughout the day. The Stand feature will remind you to get up and move around for at least one minute, every hour for 12 hours everyday. Set custom goals for yourself so that you can track your progress over time. The notifications you can set will make incorporating movement into your work day a breeze.
Mistake #4: You think you’re shedding fat when actually you’re losing muscle.
Why it matters: When the numbers go down on the scale, oftentimes people will think it means that they’re losing weight, when really they’re losing muscle mass. If you’re not lifting weights and eating enough protein, then you may be unexpectedly burning muscle. In the end, it’s much more important to be building muscle than to be shedding pounds, but often times it’s hard to know which one is happening.
Solution: Instead of just relying on the scale, count on something a little more accurate. Use the Skulpt Aim to track your progress over time, and make sure that you’re building muscle in addition to losing fat. The Skulpt will measure body fat percentage and and muscle quality by simply holding the device up to the muscle you’d like to test. You’ll no longer have to guess whether or not your workouts are paying off.
Mistake #5: You never try out new running paths or workout routes.
Why it matters: Studies show that switching up your fitness routine can help motivate you to continue working out and lose more weight in the long run. Everyone knows that muscle confusion is a positive thing to have in their workouts, yet it can be hard to go down a new running path.
Solution: The built-in GPS in the Polar M400 fitness tracker will help give you the confidence to explore somewhere new. Know that you’ll be able to find your way home, and track other important stats about your run while you’re at it. Measure pace, altitude, and distance in addition to steps and calories burned.