Walking is basically a superpower: It can strengthen your heart, improve your mental health, and make you live longer. With all these benefits, upping your step count is a great New Year’s resolution to help you live your best life in 2021. It may seem hard to get in more steps right now, with the weather getting colder and lockdown becoming more severe. Thankfully, researchers have discovered a simple trick to help you meet your fitness goal in spite of the challenges—a new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that just using a fitness tracking app can up your step count by 1,850 steps per day on average.
Researchers analyzed the results of 28 different studies of adults ages 18–65 years old, looking at the activity levels of over 7,000 people. They concluded that “Interventions using apps or trackers seem to be effective in promoting physical activity,” with fitness tracker users walking about a mile more every day than their non-tracking counterparts. If a mile is about 2,000 steps, then that means that using a fitness tracker can up your distance walked by about 28 miles a month. So, just by checking your app, you’re upping your monthly mileage by more than a full marathon! (Related: 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.)
Fitness tracking was even more effective, the researchers found, when coupled with text message alerts and features that personalized the app’s function to its user. With this in mind, if you’re looking for a way to start 2021 off on the right foot, start using a step-counting app today. Or if you want to really reap the benefits of fitness tracking, invest in a wearable tracker that will help keep you updated on your progress in real-time. After all, how are you going to meet your goal if you can’t measure it?
To learn more about simple routine changes that can help you live a healthier life, check out these 30 Healthy Habits Fit People Live By, and sign up for our newsletter for more daily tips.