Wearable fitness technology – gadgets that can track your every move, the number of calories you burn, even your quality of sleep – mean big business today. An IHS report states that sales are expected to grow from $8.6 billion in 2012 to almost $30 billion by 2018. But while wearable tech is a powerful tool that can help you lose weight, that power is meaningless unless you know how to use it.

Here are some important things to keep in mind if you’re using app-based fitness tools:

 5,000 steps will do

Most wearable tech devices will work as pedometers, and most are pre -programmed to 10,000 steps a day. That is no accident. Studies have suggested that people who increased their walking to 10,000 steps daily experience health benefits, but walking 10,000 steps a day is not an official recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Instead, they recommend adults engage in 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, like brisk walking. To meet that quota, you need to walk about 7,000 to 8,000 steps a day. Though it may seem little, it will improve your insulin sensitivity and ability to deal with carbohydrates. Even if you hit 5,000, that’s the basic threshold at which you’re going to get some sort of weight loss response.

Monitor your ‘inactivity’

Fitness bands with activity monitors can help you achieve consistency in your exercise regime. When you are not exercising, they encourage you to keep moving – to talk to a colleague, take the stairs at work – which only adds to the calories that you burn. So make sure you keep yours on at all times.

Diet digital diary

People can lose a lot of fat just by improving their dietary habits, and one way to do that is to count the calories you consume. It’s important to ensure you choose a wearable fitness device that can sync with your nutrition tracker as weight loss involves balancing the two.

It’s also important your app track your hydration levels, as water can help control calories and helps prevent muscle fatigue.

Sleep tracker

Another fairly useful function that most fitness devices come fitted with now is the sleep tracker. Getting a perfect eight hours isn’t going to make a massive difference to your weight loss plan but noticing if you’re coming up seriously short on an alarmingly regular basis is. An extended period of lack of sleep will reduce insulin sensitivity over a long time; a week of fewer than 5 hours of sleep can prove detrimental to the body.

Train SMARTER

Last of all, the key, according to the world’s number one body compositions expert Ultimate Performance, is to train SMARTER. Your regime should be Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic, Time-based, Exciting and Recordable. That’s a lot of things to take care of manually, most of which a wearable companion can manage for you.

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