It is important to stay active, more so as you get older. Aside from the health benefits it increases and broadens your quality of life. It also enables you to keep on doing the things you have a passion for, even in later years. Maybe even try something new?
So how active should you be? Well, NHS guidelines recommend that you should do 10000 steps per day. In reality the average daily number is probably nearer 3000/4000 for most people. They also recommend undertaking at least 150 active minutes during the course of a week. Active minutes can be achieved through brisk walking as well as through other aerobic exercises.
I always thought activity trackers were for joggers and young people. I could not be more wrong! I purchased and started using one about a year ago when I was in my early sixties. Why, you may ask? I was overweight and unfit – a combination of not being active enough and a sweet tooth!
Over the initial six month period I lost over two stone in weight and four inches on my waistline firmly placing me back into the normal weight category for my height. It made a massive difference to my feeling of wellbeing and confidence levels. The only drawback is I have had to buy a new wardrobe of clothes!
I found my activity tracker and the supporting software application easy to use and understand. For me it was a lifestyle changer. So how are they so effective?
There is good evidence to suggest that people who keep track of what they do can improve their health. Tracking this data encourages people to follow a healthier diet, exercise more and sleep better. Activity trackers make the tracking easier and give feedback in real time and tell us the areas to improve.
Monitoring alone, however, is not enough as enthusiasm can wain after the initial period. The addition of fitness goals assist in keeping your interest focused, particularly as these goals can be revised and further goals set. The goals add a competitive edge to the process which also helps with motivation. The activity tracker can monitor both activity and sleep patterns, suggesting goals and offering encouragement alerts to the user. This helps set easily manageable health changes to your daily routine which might include going for a walk in the afternoon or encouraging a longer sleep duration. This goal setting will continue until you reach your desired level of fitness and then you simply maintain that activity level.
Enthusiasm and motivation are key factors but activity trackers also encourage social support. How do they do this? Most activity trackers will let you share your progress with private and public groups. Aside from monitoring each others progress, this adds a competitive edge. Further encouragement can be promoted through setting and taking part in group activity challenges over specific periods. This provides added interest and impetus for the user especially when friends and family are involved.
Aside from helping with your personal fitness they can also help you lose weight as they did in my case. They give you an indication of calories you have burned on a day-by-day basis and will calculate a personal calorie intake level for a weight loss program.
The health benefits are immense from adopting a more active lifestyle. It is good for heart health, keeps your blood pressure under control and increases your energy levels. This lifestyle change can also motivate you to embrace new activities and challenges that previously you would not have considered.
So can you afford not to step out?
For more information why not check out Get Fitter, Get Leaner, Get An Activity Tracker!
Available at Amazon.co.uk at a reduced price of £0.99p until 26 November!