'How the Spark Activity Tracker Changed My Life'

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Now that thousands of people have had the chance to use the Spark Activity Tracker, we decided to find out how SparkPeople members were enjoying the Spark. We were wowed by some of the reactions we received from everyday people who used the Spark to reach goals and stay motivated. Here are three stories of our favorite "success stories" so far.

Fran (SPARKFRAN514) received her Spark Activity Tracker as a Christmas gift from her brother. She had recently rededicated herself to being more active and was looking for motivation to add more fitness into her day. She was already going to the gym two or three times a week, but since using the Spark, she has added a walk to her routine every day, too. "When I started, I was excited to get 10 minutes of exercise in at a time. I set my daily tracker goal for just 3,000 steps at first, but I've already increased that to 8,000 steps!"

Now, when Fran discovers that only a couple of lights are still "missing" from her tracker (the Spark lights up fully when you've reached your daily step goal), she finds herself walking around the house or riding her stationary bike to accumulate the steps she needs to reach her daily goal. Even better, her walking speed has increased dramatically. "When I started walking at the mall it took me 90 minutes to do one and a half miles," she says. "Now, I can do the same four loops in an hour." The Spark also motivated her to challenge herself more thoughout the day. Now instead of "stopping," she aims for bouts of 10 minutes at a time and pushes herself to add 10 more minutes every week. 

Fran says she feels lost if she ever forgets to clip her Spark on in the morning (which has only happened twice since Christmas). "It's such a great tool to see how far you walk each day. It's so much better than a pedometer. And much more rewarding when you see the green lights on your tracker and the trophies and medals appear on your Spark Activity Tracker page!"

Janet (JMOSESRN) is a mother of five who recently became a registered nurse. Her goals are to be strong and healthy and have the energy to enjoy her family. She received her Spark Activity Tracker in December as a gift from a friend. And since then, she has found herself taking extra walks throughout the day to see all the lights on her Spark glow. "My Spark has kept me moving to get those 10,000 steps in each day," she says. "I have even used it while snowshoeing. I go out of my way to light up those lights! And the tracker has been a fabulous conversation starter for 'Spreading the Spark' to others."

She's found the extra bit of motivation she gets from her Spark to be invaluable during this very cold winter. In the past, she'd usually gain 10-20 pounds during the cold months each year, but this year, she's managed to lose 5 pounds instead! "Those little green lights are so satisfying," she explains. "And it's helpful to see that every single step you take during the day can really count for something. You'll find yourself taking the long way around more often than not, just to rack up those steps!"

Kim (MIFITNOW) is a busy wife and mother of four who started using the Spark Activity Tracker in January. She was already very active with a weekly walking routine, kettlebell classes, yoga, Pilates and playing sports with her kids. But the Spark taught her to look for new ways to add 10-minute fitness bouts to her day. She now finds herself cleaning more often (hey, it's activity!), parking farther away, taking her dog for extra walks and shoveling snow--including her neighbors driveways. Instead of sitting in the car while her kids are at a sports practice, now she's out walking while she waits.

Photo by Belle & Blanc Photography, 2013
Even better, Kim says that since she starting using the Spark, her mood has improved and she's lost 4 pounds! "Plus, our house is cleaner and our dogs are happier," she says.

Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

Have you tried the Spark Activity Tracker? Has it helped you be more active?