Are you one of the millions of Americans who have trouble staying workout-focused? Do you find yourself losing track of your daily and weekly calorie expenditures?


New technology has made it more possible than ever to monitor your daily calorie consumption and calorie burn. While discrete fitness trackers are very popular, smart phones make it easier than ever to manage your workout.

Decades ago, portable fitness trackers began as simple analog pedometers.

In 1965, Y Hatano developed the “manpo-kei” pedometer, a device that gained considerable market share as a cost-effective consumer option. Since then, more sophisticated units such as digital gyroscope-powered pedometers entered the market. By 2006, advanced total fitness trackers had evolved from traditional pedometers. 1 By 2009, major manufacturers such as Fitbit introduced consumer-level fitness devices that were more affordable to middle-class consumers.

Today, more and more people have moved from dedicated pedometers and activity trackers to smart-phone based fitness monitoring applications. With the creation of more advanced smart phones with built-in gyroscopes, one’s daily fitness can be monitored without the commitment associated with managing additional devices. Apps such as “Fit” for Android can run silently in the background while tracking your activities.

Once you’ve picked your fitness tracker, how do you configure the device to meet your exercise goals? One recommendation is to set goals that are feasible and realizable, according to LeeAnn Weintraub of the LA Daily News.2 For example, you might configure your fitness tracker to a daily running goal of 25 minutes if you typically run for 20 minutes daily. If remembering to wear a dedicated tracker is a hassle, consider configuring your smart phone to manage things instead. Whichever direction you go, remember to have fun!