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Fitness Tracking & Motivation: Top 10 Tips


Plastic Surgery in Charleston, SCWearable activity trackers like FitBit, Jawbone, Nike trackers and iPhone based apps are sweeping the nation, creating competition among friends and family, and motivating Charleston residents to achieve their fitness goals.

We at Port City Plastic Surgery love staying fit and living a healthy lifestyle. This spring, we are falling in love with our activity trackers too! Dr. Widenhouse and his wife Cindy use the social component of FitBit to keep tabs on their fitness goals, and find a little healthy competition to be a motivating tool.

“One evening I found myself actually sneaking out to exercise!” says Cindy. “I couldn’t believe that my husband was so far ahead of me on the leaderboard that day. We have found that activity trackers, when combined with support and encouragement from friends and family, are a powerful motivator to stay on the right track.”

Here are our Top 10 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Wearable Activity Tracker:

1. Choose the activity tracker that works for you

Activity trackers come as clip-ons (Fitbit One, Withings Pulse) which may be carried in your pocket, clipped to a waistband or even hidden in a bra. There are also wristbands you can wear (Fitbit Flex, Nike Fuelband and Jawbone Up) to automatically track your activity. Picking a device that you’ll be comfortable wearing all day – with all of the features you want – is key to actually using it. For example, if you care about sleep quality tracking alongside your step counts, you can automatically rule out certain devices.

2. Don’t expect perfection

Reviews have found that activity trackers don’t always agree on how many steps someone takes during a day. While these discrepancies can be frustrating, it’s important to remember that the larger activity patterns are what will help you change your habits for the better. Most devices on the market today are very effective at tracking these larger patterns.

3. Customize it

When starting out with an activity tracker, it’s important to take a look at what your life is like now. Are you sitting at a desk for the majority of the day? Do you bike to work? Decide what you want to achieve with the activity tracker. What are your goals? Many activity trackers automatically set a goal of 10,000 steps per day. This can be a lot for someone who has a basically sedentary lifestyle, or not enough for someone who is active. Make sure you tailor your tracker to YOU, and don’t try to do it all at once or you could burn out.

Plastic Surgery in Charleston, SC4. It only works if you use it

Make it a habit to check in on how many steps you’ve taken in a day. This could be right before you go to bed, right before dinnertime, when arriving home from work etc. Keeping tabs on yourself will help you stay as active as you want to be.

5. Integrate with smartphone apps

Third-party developers have built a whole range of smartphone apps that integrate with wearable activity trackers, allowing you to use the data that is collected by them in ingenious ways. Many have an added social component that allows you to track how you stack up against your friends. If you’re already on your way with an activity tracker, take the next step and check out apps like LoseIt!, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal, Runkeeper, Sleepio, Strava, Withings and more. Pick the one that helps you achieve goals that are relevant for you and you’ll be “off to the races.”

6. Find healthier options

Many apps that integrate with activity trackers allow you to track what you eat, and have enormous databases of food in their system, including food and menu items from popular grocery chains and restaurants. Checking the database via your smartphone can actually help you choose a healthier option when you’re on the go.

7. Create reports

When you’re using all of this technology day by day, it makes sense to use it to create reports of your “macro” activity patterns. Most activity trackers have an automatic reporting function, but you have to go in and actually run the report. If you are doing well, positive reports will keep the fire alive. If you are slacking a bit, they can provide the motivation needed to pick up the pace.

8. How you wear it

How you wear activity trackers can help them deliver the best results. We’ve heard that wearing wrist activity tracker on your non-dominant hand can deliver more accurate results, for example.

9. Go social

Researchers have found that those who post their activity, number of steps or runs and get encouragement from – or compete with – friends and family are more likely to make lifestyle changes and stick with them.

Working out gets easier with a buddy, and it can be fun to compete with people who are aiming for the same level of activity you are. Having someone a few hundred steps ahead of you on the leaderboard can be a great motivator to get off the couch and stroll around the neighborhood.

10. Keep learning

Getting stuck in a rut or going on “auto-pilot” can derail even the most well-thought-out and monitored fitness goals. Most activity trackers and fitness or weight loss apps have active communities of users on their message boards, groups, and blogs. On the message boards people ask questions, discuss experiences, share recipes, and offer encouragement and support to other members. The groups offer a smaller community of members that have specific interests in certain topics. For example, you can find groups on Couch to 5K users, Fitbit Users, Weight Lifting and more. So for best results, reach out to others and never stop learning.

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Brian G. Widenhouse specializes in body contouring, breast surgery, tummy tucks, CoolSculpting, liposuction and more to help you look great for whatever is on your schedule this summer.

Take some time for yourself and schedule your evaluation today! We are confident you will be thrilled with your results – and more motivated to stick with your exercise and healthy living routine – if you work in collaboration with Dr. Widenhouse to choose the procedure that is best for you. Get ready to truly become yourself this summer! Contact us today.


2683 Lake Park Drive
Charleston, SC 29406


125 River Landing Drive
Suite 101
Daniel Island, SC 29492