Without a workable strategy, data is just a bunch of numbers and graphs. First and foremost, you have to use your personal health information to develop strategies to achieve your own lifestyle and wellness goals.
Here are some tips on how to be a successful tracker.
The Nightly Review
After your first day tracking – and every day after that – review your tracking data. This will help you identify where you’ve gone right and where you’ve gone wrong. Study your step count and active versus inactive minutes:
- Did you do all you could to meet your goals?
- Did you fall short on your step count?
- Did you burn enough calories?
- Were you active enough?
Review your day and ask yourself:
- Were there times you were sitting for more than an hour without moving?
- Did you miss opportunities to get more steps and active minutes (i.e., did you take the elevator when you could have walked up a flight or two of steps, or drive a few blocks when you could have walked?)
- Could you have fit in a brisk 10 minute walk in the morning either around your neighborhood or even up and down the hallway of your apartment building?
- Could you have fit in a Burst or two during the day?
- Did you get so engrossed in your work that you forgot to move?
Mentally, make a list of how you’re going to meet your goals the next day.
The Midday Check-Up
The beauty of real-time self-monitoring is that you can give yourself a check-up, assess how you’re doing, and make midcourse corrections throughout the day. Check your step count and activity level at least once during the day, preferably late morning or early afternoon. If you’re falling short of your daily goals, you still have time to make it up.
Tip: Studies show that people are most likely to achieve their fitness goals if they make it a point to do some exercise in the morning.