It can be difficult at times to keep track of our progression toward fitness goals in finer detail. It could be ages until we see physical differences in weight or tone or feel fitter during day-to-day activity. But, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t slow progress. One way to measure this progression in our fitness and abilities is to keep track of our activities on exercise machines. But, what is the best way to do this? We can’t always rely on ourselves to make manual recordings of every detail. However, there are tools within smarter machines that can help.
Many top exercise machines will have an on-board profile to help you keep track of data
The first approach when keeping track of your fitness progress is to take advantage of any user profiles that are available in your machine’s software. Some smart consoles around these days will have enough memory to create a user profile for both you and other members of the household. The bigger the memory, the larger the number. This is great for those that work out often because it allows you to keep track of specific settings that are preferable for your style of workout. You can just go to your profile when you set up the machine and the speed, incline, resistance and style of programming should be to your liking.
The other benefit of setting up a user profile like this is that it should be able to store your progress over time. When you finish a session, you can log your data and, over time, create a detailed list of everything that you have done. Eventually, you will start to see patterns and progress. It could be small progress in a few extra miles a week or longer spend on higher resistance levels. But, that accessible data is clear proof of your gains
How to choose the best machine for on-board data tracking
If you want to take advantage of an exercise machine that has these user profiles build-in, make sure to check the specifications and the capabilities of the software first. Read the details to see how many profiles it will hold and for how long. There is the risk that data will be erased after a time limit. This isn’t much use if that limit turns out to be only a week. It is also worthwhile checking user reviews about the reliability of these functions. Have there been any glitches where the profiles have been misplaced or had the wrong readings? Also, what happens if there is a disruption in the power supply?
Have you considered upgrading to a machine with built-in apps or connectivity to mobile devices?
An alternative option to using a built-in memory with a user profile is to work with an app. There are lots of machines now that are Bluetooth compatible or simply Wi-Fi enabled for connectivity to apps and other systems. This means that you can link the machine up with devices like tablet and smartphones to transfer the data.
This approach can be preferable for many fitness fanatics that want a more fun and user-friendly approach to their data tracking. You might have a fitness app on your phone that you swear by as the perfect way to keep an eye on your steps taken, calories burned or general activity levels. It helps to be able to add in the efforts on an exercise machine for a true reflection of your daily activity. A strong wireless connection to the phone or an app on the console can help. It may also provide more options than a basic profile on a standard console.
How to choose the best machine for app-based fitness tracking
Again, you have to be careful to choose products that have a good system in place that is reliable at all times. There is nothing worse than sweating it out for 40 minutes on an exercise bike to find that there was no connection to the app or that there was a software glitch. Also, what if the machine has a habit of losing the Wi-Fi connection? Will this erase your progress and will you have to reconnect manually mid-session? User reviews are a great source of information on the pros and cons of these systems.
There are more pros than cons to these apps and profiles with the right machine
As you can see, there are pros and cons to relying on the software and consoles of your treadmill or exercise bike to record all of your data. Power issues, glitches and poor connectivity could make this more hassle than it is worth. On the other hand, you might end up with a machine that is smart and reliable and that takes all the guesswork out of data tracking.
In the end, it is safe to say that some form of electronic app-based tracking is a helpful tool for tracking your progress and goals. Those apps and profile will be objective with real data at all times – even the negative data you might like to avoid. You can see all the positive steps forward and progression through specific settings. But, you can also see the time where the session didn’t quite go to plan. You might not be so inclined to record these manually but you can’t avoid them on the app. Therefore, you can still learn lessons from every workout.
Fitness tracking doesn’t have to be a chore with the right machine
In short, if you are keen on keeping track of your fitness goals on an exercise machine, you need to be sure that the machine can handle your needs. Start with the onboard profiles to be sure of consistent settings and data logging for each workout. If you get really serious about working towards specific goals and need all the help you can get, invest in a machine that has those built-in apps and connections to other devices. It may cost more in the short term to buy a machine like this but the long term benefits could make it all worthwhile.