fitbit and apple watch laying on table waiting to be set up

How to set up your FitBit or Smartwatch

A Fitbit or Smartwatch can be a boon to one’s life. Setting it up the right way is easy. Ah, the fitness tracker! Still a favorite holiday gift and new year gift-to-self as fitness goals are committed and resolutions made. This year, get off to the best start possible by setting up your fitness tracker or smartwatch the right way, so you’re getting the most out of it from day one.

  1. Charge it up – This seems like a no brainer, but many smartwatches burn through battery power like crazy, so make sure you have a full charge before you start the setup. Some fitness trackers and smartwatches come with a USB charging cable and an AC adaptor plug. Others are supplied with just a USB charging cable, which can be used with an AC adaptor plug that you already own – such as the one for charging your smartphone or tablet. Alternatively, you can plug directly into a USB port on your PC or laptop. Whatever type of charger is supplied, check your manual and charge the device up before you get started.
  2. Install the app on your smartphone – All fitness trackers and smartwatches pair with a companion app on your smartphone. Most are compatible with Android smartphones and iPhones, but Apple Watches can only be used with iPhones. You’ll need to navigate to Google Play or the App Store on your phone, search for the companion app – for example, the Fitbit app or Garmin Connect – and click “install.”  
  3. Set up an account – Once you’ve installed the app, you’ll be prompted to set up an account or log in if you already have one. This may involve creating a username and password, selecting your device from a list, and entering biometric data such as height and weight. You’ll also be asked to agree to any terms and conditions. 
  4. Pair the device with your phone – Make sure your device is near your phone and that your phone is connected to the internet. You’ll also need to ensure your phone’s Bluetooth is on (find this in your phone’s main “settings”). If the pairing process doesn’t start automatically, then look for an option for pairing or setting up your device on the phone app. Most companion apps will walk you through the pairing process.
  5. Sync with other apps – If you use fitness apps habitually, like MyFitnessPal to track food, Noom for your diet, RunKeeper to log your miles, you’ll want to connect your smartwatch or fitness tracker to these apps so you can access your fitness info in one place. Use the fitness tracker app on your phone to set up the integration. In the case of the Apple Watch, you can add the app of choice directly to the device.
  6. Enter your data – Hop onto the app to enter your starting weight, height, gender, age, goals, sleep goals, etc. This is how you’ll track your progress and monitor how you’re doing.
  7. Connect with friends – Most companion apps allow you to find friends with the same devices so that you can watch each other’s fitness activities. It’s a great way to stay accountable and make the process more fun.

Now that you have what you need to set up your fitness tracking device, get out there and hit some goals!

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