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Wearable fitness trackers and smartphone fitness tracking apps are all the rage. They make it easy to track things like steps, calories, and even your heart rate. But does all that technology really help you become more fit?
If tracking steps is your goal, you might be better off using a device you already have — your smartphone — since recent studies show wearable trackers may be no more effective than using an app and carrying your phone in your pocket.
However, you shouldn’t have to invest in expensive devices just to improve your fitness. Let’s take a look at a few other ways you can track your progress without the use of technology.
With neighborhood pools opened and the summer sun burning strong, swimming laps can be a great way to improve your fitness while also escaping the heat. You can track your progress by increasing your number of laps and your speed throughout each workout.
Lifting weights and strength training is an important part of a well-rounded fitness routine — especially when it comes to controlling your weight and developing strong bones. Plus, strength training makes it easy to track your progress as you build up your weight amount and increase your reps.
The health benefits of yoga for both your mental and physical health are well-known. You can easily track your fitness progress by graduating to more challenging poses and extending the length of your practice.
You don’t need to know how many steps you’re taking to keep track of your walks or runs. Instead, measure your distance based on personal milestones. If you’re a novice runner, track your progress by reducing your walk breaks or increasing the distance of each run. If you’re a veteran runner, consider signing up for a race and track your progress by going for a new personal record.
Finding your target heart rate and maximum heart rate is a great way to know if you’re working out too hard or not hard enough. You can also track your fitness progress by gradually building up to higher percentages of your maximum heart rate as you increase your fitness level. Here’s how you can take your heart rate without having to buy a heart rate monitor.
While fitness trackers can certainly be a great motivator to get out there and exercise, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get in shape this summer. Instead, try these technology-free ideas for tracking your fitness.
Want more tips about getting fit and active? Download our physical activity guide here.