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Fitness trackers are the size of a wristwatch but can provide endless data to help you remain physically fit. FitBit

Let’s be real: Strapping a piece of electronic jewelry to your wrist won’t make you any more fit or attractive. Simply counting steps isn’t going to increase anyone’s cardio or melt away the love handles. But for those willing to pick up the pace, increase the steps, and do the work that fitness trackers are meant to monitor, these high-tech devices can instill the digital discipline necessary to improve anyone’s health. For sportsmen, that means charting those weekend hikes, morning runs, weeknights at the gym, or whatever it is you do to stay in shape for the great outdoors. No matter whether you are preparing for a Rocky Mountain elk hunt or just want to increase your endurance for long days behind a rangy English setter, here are three ways you can benefit from a fitness tracker.

Activity Awareness



The first step toward improved fitness is understanding just how active you currently are. A fitness monitor is the best way to come to grips with how much—or how little—effort your daily routine entails. From there it’s a matter of setting fitness goals, then monitoring and sticking to them.

Cardiovascular Health



A fitness tracker gives you a real time view of how your ticker is reacting at any time of day, whether at rest or under stress. Monitoring heart activity is the easiest way to establish a fitness baseline and then chart gains in cardiovascular endurance as your activity level increases.

Sleep Monitoring



Sleep patterns have recently become a hot topic in the world of health and fitness. A fitness tracker can’t improve your sleep, but it can help you understand how common habits (turn off that tablet at night!) can disrupt sleep patterns and will give you some insight into ways to improve your rest. Fitness trackers are all about understanding your activity level first and then making positive adjustments.