You may have seen people walking around with rubber wristbands containing exercise trackers. Perhaps you wondered if it was something you could use or felt intimidated out of fear that you wouldn’t be able to figure it out. Well, if you are interested in staying in shape and want something to monitor your progress, a fitness tracker is a technologically advanced way to do it that actually isn’t all that hard to understand.

Take for example, FitBit, which is the most popular gadget currently out there. Right out of the package, you simply insert the tracker into a charging cable that is plugged into a USB port on your computer. The tracker charges (it usually lasts about a week before you have to recharge it) and the website asks you to enter some basic info, like your height, weight, and your weight goal. If you have a smartphone, you can download the app and it will sync with your FitBit periodically throughout the day. You can buy a clip to attach the tracker to your waistband or you can just slip it into your pocket. Most models come with a wristband so you can wear it like a bracelet. The tracker counts your steps and calculates how many calories you have burned. Depending on the model, it can also track how many flights of stairs you take, your heart rate, whether or not you have had restful sleep and can send you texts to keep you motivated to stick with it. The gadget serves as an electronic workout partner.

It is recommended that the average healthy person aim for at least 10,000 steps per day, which is equivalent to about 5 miles. It sounds like a long way, but you actually can gain a lot of steps during routine daily activities. Take a quick walk around Juniper Valley Park after dinner, or stroll home instead of waiting for the bus, and you’ll likely hit your target. As the warm weather is here to stay for a while, now is the perfect time to try start on the road to better health.

You can track how many calories and the amount of water you are consuming via the FitBit app, and some other apps will transmit the data you enter to your FitBit or vice versa. You can even set up contests between you and your friends who also use FitBits to make it more fun.

Fitness trackers range in price from $40 to more than $200, depending on how advanced the model is. Compared to the money that some spend on weight loss pills, gym memberships and special meal plans, the cost of a fitness tracker is minimal. Think of it as a little bit of technology that not only can assist you in dropping a few pounds, but something that will also help you maintain a positive and permanent lifestyle change. The hardest thing about using it is remembering to wear it!