Copyright (c) 2014 LifeWorks Integrative health
It wasn’t that long along where people either tracked the number of steps they took in a day with a pedometer or simply did not track this information at all. In today’s fitness world, you are going to be hard pressed to find an individual without a fitness tracker at the gym, in your favorite fitness class or at your local track. Fitness trackers, whether they are attached to your wrist, ankle, neck or chest, have essentially become part of our daily wardrobe. But, do these fitness trackers really work? Let’s take a look at everything you need to know before you commit to one.
Just How Popular are Fitness Trackers?Many of us do not leave our homes without our fitness trackers. In a survey conducted by the NPD Group, results indicated that 58 percent of women intend to purchase one of these devices in the near future. What features are most sought after when it comes to purchasing a fitness tracker?
Tracking the number of steps you take in a dayT
hese are just a few of the basic features you’ll find on a fitness tracker. Some fitness trackers go as far as to track how well you are sleeping at night.
Why Fitness Trackers Work?
Research indicates that if you want to stick with a new habit (such as taking regular walks), monitoring is one of the best ways to change your old habits and stick with your new habits. As a result, the benefits of fitness trackers may seem like a no-brainer to some. These fitness trackers have taken the guess work out of keeping track of physical activity on your own. The set up of these fitness trackers is very easy and monitoring your own healthy habits has never been easier. Taking the guess work out of fitness monitoring is working. A recent study prevented at a meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine indicates that individuals who use pedometers are much more likely to spend less time sitting and more time being active than those who do not. Additionally, individuals who use fitness trackers lose more weight than individuals that are not sporting a fitness tracking device.
Fitness trackers also put into perspective how much you are actually walking. It may seem like you are parked a mile away from your office when it reality you are much, much closer. When estimating your physical activity on your own, chances are you overestimate how much physical activity you are actually doing. Fitness trackers provide you with the real numbers and bring you back to reality. With objective information, you can get more specific about the lifestyle changes you need to make in order to achieve your health and fitness goals.
Are There Downsides to Fitness Trackers?
As with any good thing, there is bound to be some downsides. Yes, there can be downsides even when you think you are developing healthy habits with fitness trackers. Relying too much on your fitness tracker can cause you to over-monitor everything you do. Over-monitoring can overtake you emotionally and psychologically. When you are focused heavily on the numbers your fitness tracker is producing, you may lose site of your overall goals while trying to meet a daily step goal. Sure walking is great, but meeting a goal of 10,000 steps per day may not be doing enough to meet your cardiovascular goals. In some instances fitness trackers can actually interfere with your workout instead of helping you to achieve goals.
Some individuals become so obsessed with watching the numbers change on their fitness tracker that they don’t give a specific workout as much as they possible can. For instance, stopping every couple of minutes to check your fitness tracker during a run is not going to make your run as effective as it could be. Tracking everything can also take a toll of your emotions as well. You are not going to have as many steps on your fitness trackers on a day that you consider to be a rest day as opposed to days when you exercise for at least 30 minutes in a row. This can be hard for some people to take, as a result they decide against giving their bodies a rest from time-to-time.
How Can Fitness Trackers Work for You?
As with all technology and all forms of fitness, there are going to be upsides and there are going to be downsides. Fortunately, if you choose to use a fitness trackers, there are ways that you can be successful when it comes to achieving your fitness goals. Before you begin heavily monitoring what your fitness tracker says, be sure to set very clear goals for yourself. Write your goals down and decide what you need to track in order to successfully achieve your goals (for example, steps or calories). Depending on what device you opt to buy, there are may be different features.
When using a fitness tracker, try to use as many of the features as you can. This can help you avoid getting too caught up in one feature (for example, the number of steps you take in a day) and allow you to see all the other great things you are doing for your body. Seeing your heart rate as well as your blood pressure can help you to see the bigger picture of your overall health. There is more to your overall health than just the number of steps you take in a day.
Remember, fitness trackers can be great tool to help you track your fitness, However, there is no replacement for listening to your body. Your body is the best tool you have for determining if you need more sleep, if you are drinking enough water and if you should push yourself harder with your workouts.
By Pexels from Pixabay