It wasn’t that long ago when all you really needed to exercise was limbs. Now, it seems like you can’t walk into the gym or hit the pavement without several hundred dollars worth of merchandise.
If you aren’t used to the idea of devices that share information to the mysterious Cloud in the sky, that can all seem terribly whacky to you. I assure you that it’s not, and it isn’t even that hard. Each of the fitness tracker devices that do more than track only steps offers a way to “sync up” the information from your wrist to your profile in their proprietary software.
That might sound scary if you’re not particularly tech-savvy, but I promise you that it isn’t. In fact, once you get into the (very simple) hang of it, it should actually be pretty easy, and you’ll like the information that you get from it.
Getting Used To The Cloud
There are a few basic ways that fitness trackers sync to “the cloud”.
Just to clarify, the “cloud” that I’m referencing is the servers that hold information for you and upload it to the website that you use to store your information. In this case, the servers and websites belong to the company that makes your fitness band. The information that they get is about your fitness habits, your sleep habits and maybe your eating habits, but they shouldn’t be able to see where you’re going, what you’re doing, who you’re talking to, etc.
How To Reach The Cloud
The ways that fitness trackers sync to the cloud varies by device. The older models tend to sync manually. That means that the band has a hidden USB port that plugs in to your computer and uses the software from the device to share with the cloud-based software.
Once the information is transmitted through the USB port, it is stored in their software so you can look at your progress through graphs, charts and numbers. They also use the data to show you how close you are to your goals and, in many cases, award with you “badges” that work as rewards for your progress.
Once the information is on the computer and headed to “the cloud,” it can usually also be accessed from your phone. Most fitness bands have a partner app that lets you look at your information whenever you need it. The apps are downloaded from whatever application store your phone or tablet uses, and you just log in to them with the same information that you used to set up the account on your computer.
Getting To The Cloud Without Wires
Newer model devices usually sync wirelessly. That means that you don’t have to use the USB port on your computer. In fact, you might not have to use your computer at all. Current model phones often have Bluetooth 4.0 capability. What that means is that the phone and the fitness band can talk without wires up to a distance of 30 feet, all you have to do is open the app on your phone and have your band nearby. You will be able to watch the devices connect from the phone screen and then see all of the information for your workout once it’s done.
Regardless what way your device syncs with your phone or your computer, it’s supposed to require very little work from you. In fact, the only work that you’re expected to do is either plug it in and press sync or turn on your app and watch them wirelessly work together. That’s it. Well, you’re expected to do the exercise to have something to sync from your tracker to your phone, but you know what I mean.
Data is GOOD
Once people realize the kind of extensive information that they can get from their fitness tracking devices, the confusion of figuring out how to make it all work gets eclipsed by the awesomeness of having all of that information.
If you’re still hesitant, just keep in mind that these things are made to be easy. People don’t use devices that require a lot of effort. You may need to do a little bit of work up front to set up the necessary account so you can access the software, but once that’s done, it should be an easy transition after that.
You will want to remember to sync things up a few times per day if it syncs wirelessly. If it has to be manually plugged in, it might not be very convenient to sync it up a bunch of times through the day, but you may be able to do it once a day or once every few days.
It Isn’t Difficult
The technology part of fitness trackers is the simplest part of the whole ordeal. The hard part is doing the physical work. If you can manage to kick your own behind enough to have information to sync, you can totally figure out the procedure for getting everything in one place.