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Fitness and family health

March 09, 2017

6 ways to stay on track with a fitness tracker

Ready to track your fitness with wearable technology? Before you don your device, check out these popular targets for steps, sleep and more.

Are you one of the many Canadians now using a fitness tracker to monitor your physical activity, sleep patterns or general health? According to the 2016 Sun Life Canadian Health Index report, Canadians most often track their daily steps, calories burned, active minutes, sleep, stairs climbed, heart rate and weight loss.

Check out these common targets for daily fitness tracking – and some tips to help you reach them:

These tips can help you use your fitness tracker to take aim at good health.

  1. Daily steps and distance

    It takes about 5 minutes to walk 500 steps.

    Tracking tip: Under 50? Aim for 7,000-13,000 steps/day; 50-70? Take 6,000-8,500 steps/day.

  2. Daily calories

    Consume 500 – 1,000 fewer calories = weight loss.

    Tracking tip: Try an online calculator.

  3. Active minutes

    Aim for 150 minutes/week – just 21 minutes a day!

    Tracking tip: Be active for at least 10 minutes at a time.

  4. Sleep

    Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

    Tracking tip: Use your tracker to wake you at the optimum time in your sleep cycle.

  5. Heart rate

    Maximum rate during exercise: no more than 220 minus your age.

    Tracking tip: Aim for 50-70% of your maximum heart rate during moderate exercise.

  6. Weight loss

    Find your healthy weight range with a body mass index calculator.

    Tracking tip: Ready for healthier eating? Start with Canada’s Food Guide.

*These target numbers are simply suggestions for people of average age, health, weight and fitness level. Be sure you set targets that are right for you and, if you’re new to regular exercise or have health problems, check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

For more information, visit:

Sun Life Financial


Daily steps/distance: Heart and Stroke Walkabout

Calories burned: Health Canada; American Cancer Society Calorie Counter

Active minutes: Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, How much physical activity do you need?

Sleep: Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Sleep Problems

Heart rate: Mayo Clinic, Healthy Lifestyle: Fitness

Weight loss: Health Canada, Canadian Guidelines for Body Weight Classification in Adults; Canada’s Food Guide

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