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Make the most of your wearable

A masked woman wearing a tank top looks at her watch.

Aug. 28, 2021—Did you just get a new smartwatch, fitness tracker or GPS device? Or maybe you've had one for a while but aren't sure what to do with it? It's time to put it to work. Wearables like these can be a great way to mix a little fun and motivation into your exercise routine.

Here are a few entertaining ways to use your wearable to challenge yourself, your family or your friends to greater fitness:

Be a virtual traveler. Track the mileage you walk, run, bike or hike over time. See if you can make a virtual coast-to-coast trek over the course of the year. Does someone else want to join you? Plot your progress on a U.S. map—and race to the finish!

Design your own HIIT parade. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves mixing short bursts of intense exercise with short periods of moderate activity. Next time you're out for a walk, use your wearable's heart rate monitor to give yourself mini HIIT challenges. Can you reach your target heart rate before the next telephone pole?

Go for the glory. Challenge your friends and family to a weekly step-counting contest. Award each week's winner with a silly prize—and bragging rights.

Stand up to the challenge. Does your wearable track your time spent sitting? Measure your baseline for a week. Then set a goal to decrease it by a certain amount. Musical chairs, anyone?

Reach new heights. Add another dimension to your workouts by keeping track of your elevation gain. Give yourself a little reward each time you reach the 1,000-foot mark.

Be a calorie-burning team. Challenge your co-workers to see who can burn the most calories at work this week.

Reap the rewards

Working hard toward a longer-term fitness goal? Use these strategies to stay on track and motivated.

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