One of the hottest trends in the fitness industry today is the introduction of wearable fitness trackers. Sure the information is cool, but is it really necessary? Companies like FitBit, Garmin, and Apple are flooding the market with different models, features, functions and looks. And with the wealth of information they can provide, personalized fitness and health care are right around the corner.
Depending on the brand, fitness trackers can record steps, calories, distance traveled, sleep, heart rate, and total activity level. Some more expensive trackers even have a GPS connection to more accurately track distance, steps, and pace. These numbers may not seem like a lot, but they can be very motivating and beneficial to much of the population. Here are other benefits of fitness trackers, giving them the boost they need to be around for the long haul.
- Accountability: One thing trackers can offer is a sense of accountability. Most fitness trackers will give you a daily step goal or calorie goal to meet. And with blue tooth capability in most, you can get real time updates on your phone or other device. This gives you the knowledge and accountability you need to ensure you move enough every day. You can even track day to day progress, ensuring you move more today than you did yesterday. It can be a great psychological boost to see your numbers on paper and push yourself to go further and further.
- Motivation: Sometimes the best motivation is a reality check right in your face. With real time tracking, fitness trackers can do just that. They give you a very real picture of your movement, or lack there of, during the day. Set a goal using the fitness trackers features and aim to meet or exceed it every day. As those goals get easier and easier, set a more challenging goal for yourself. Data can be very motivating, and there is nothing like seeing your activity level written down in front of you.
- Sleep Tracking: As is often the case with diet and exercise routines, people tend to think they are moving more and eating less than they actually are. Same goes for sleep patterns. People think they sleep a lot better and a lot longer than they actually do. Some fitness trackers will give you a picture of what your sleep actually looks like. Using motion sensors in the device, it can sense when you have fallen asleep and when you wake up and begin moving again. It can even give you a breakdown of how restful your sleep was. Consistent and restful sleep is one of the more important aspects of a well balanced exercise routine. So don’t forget the Z’s.
- Group Motivation: Some fitness tracker companies even have online groups and forums you can join to share success stories, what’s working for you, and what’s not. If seeing others’ success motivates you to go further and push harder, don’t wait to join these groups. There’s no better feeling than getting compliments from others on your progress!
- Personalized approach: Ever see those calorie counters on the treadmill and wonder how accurate they are for you? Chances are they aren’t because they don’t take into consideration heart rate, weight, height, and age. Fitness trackers do just that. They take your body and your fitness levels and turn it into a personalized program just for you. It’s like having a personal trainer on your wrist! In the coming years you may even see doctors and insurance companies using these to track patient’s progress, activity levels, heart rate, and calorie consumption. The years of a more personalized health care approach are coming.
With the growing choices of wearable fitness trackers, take time to do your research and find one with the right range of features and price to fit your needs. These truly are the wave of the future, and with so many potential benefits, it is hard to see this fad fizzling out anytime soon.