Vail Daily health feature: Get the most out of your fitness bracelet with these tips

They monitor your movement, heart rate and blood pressure, calories burned and sleep quality. Some even alert you if you’ve been inactive for too long.

Fitness wristbands are all the rage, and for many, they inspire healthy changes. These high-tech devices — popular models are made by Fitbit, Jawbone and Nike, among others — can serve to increase awareness, according to some experts. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of these activity-trackers:

Ignore it at first

That’s the best way to establish your baseline. Just slip on the wristband and go about your regular routine for the first few days, to help you see how much activity you typically get, suggests the Mayo Clinic.

Give yourself goals

The trick is to start small so the goals are attainable and then improve in increments. Say you want to walk 10,000 steps a day, but your baseline is 2,000. Try to add 500 steps a day for a week, suggests the Mayo Clinic. After you meet that goal, then add a little more until your reach your target.

Check out the charts

Many devices chart or graph your data on a mobile app or website, which makes it easier to follow your progress and can offer some insight. If you see your exercise levels are highest in the morning, but stop past 6 p.m., then that may motivate you to take a quick walk after dinner.

Share your stats

Some wristband technology lets you connect with fellow users so you can encourage and root for each other; others have websites where you can challenge others and compete. Some thrive on that motivation; but even if you’re more private, talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.

“The Doctors” is an award-winning TV show. Check local listings.


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The VailDaily Updated Jun 9, 2014 04:00PM Published Jun 9, 2014 12:27PM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.