By Melissa Buscetta, RD

You don’t need a smartwatch, fitness band, or even a pedometer to track your steps. Your phone can track how many steps you take and how far you walk all by itself, assuming you carry it with you in your pocket.

Sure, fitness trackers have a lot of useful features, but if all you want is the basic stuff, your phone allows you to track those things without actually wearing and charging another device. It’s built into the Apple Health app available on iPhones and the Google Fit app on Android phones.

To access this information via iPhone, just tap the “Health” application icon on your home screen. By default, the Dashboard will appear with the “Steps”, “Walking + Running Distance”, and “Flights Climbed” cards. You can tap the “Day”, “Week”, “Month”, and “Year” cards to see how many steps you’ve taken, how far you’ve walked and run, and how many flights of stairs you’ve climbed, complete with averages. It’s easy to see how active you’ve been and how that’s changed over time, complete with your most active and least active days.

Google Fit is Google’s competitor to Apple Health, and is included on some new Android phones. To get started, Install Google Fit from Google Play if it’s not already installed. Then launch the “Fit” app on your Android phone.

You can also sync your Fitbit, Jawbone, and WiFi scales to our new Mather Bariatric App to keep track of your fitness journey. Go to your App store, either Google Play or Apple App and search Mather Bariatrics (must be exact search).

Here are some other easy ways to sneak in a few extra steps every day:

  • Park far from the office, then walk.
  • Walk kids to school or to the bus stop.
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Go for a walk with a friend or walk the dog.
  • Walk to a co-worker’s office instead of calling or emailing.
  • Go for a walk instead of watching TV or scrolling through your Facebook timeline.
  • Use different walking routes to avoid monotony

Melissa Buscetta is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is currently working with Bariatric and Medical Weight Management patients. She is very enthusiastic about teaching others how to live a healthier life before and after bariatric surgery.