Fitness is something that can be elusive. In our modern world, many of us have jobs that are sedentary. Sitting in a chair all day isn’t something that’s going to naturally work out muscles. Therefore, it’s important to consider every possible method to work on fitness.
One of the most popular ways to do so these days is with the use of a fitness tracker. Typically these are worn devices which link to a smartphone to give them added features. Fitness trackers will give a lot of information to the wearer about their daily habits and how they are managing the various aspects of their fitness. However, are these devices just gimmicks? Will using a fitness tracker really help me reach my fitness goals?
Answer: Fitness trackers offer data based accountability to keep you on track
Like any piece of technology, fitness trackers have come a long way. The earlier fitness trackers were essentially digital step counters that allowed people to track their steps throughout the day. While step counting is certainly still a feature of fitness trackers, they can do so much more now.
Almost any fitness tracker has a heart rate monitor. This is important because it will allow you to control your workout and make sure that you reach the optimal heart rate for burning calories without pushing yourself to an unsustainable level.
Fitness trackers are great for tracking the calories that have been burned by a person during their various fitness activities. Through the information provided by each user, fitness trackers can use an algorithm to determine approximately the number of calories burned during an activity. This relies on information like a person’s height, weight, age and BMI. This doesn’t just apply to activities like walking either. Almost any physical exercise or sport will be covered. However, for bouts of these activities, most trackers will require some manual input in regards to start and stop. It’s harder for a fitness tracker to differentiate those types of activities.
An underrated aspect to fitness trackers is that many of them also offer sleep tracking. Sleep tracking allows a person to learn just how well they are recovering from their fitness activities. Sleep tracking often might tip a person off that there are serious sleeping issues that are occurring. Typically they can monitor when a person is restless or has spikes or dips in heart rate due to stopping breathing, as people with sleep apnea do.
As mentioned, fitness trackers offer data based accountability. By easily tracking the various aspects of fitness each day, trackers can show when people have been slacking off, and many can set up reminders that goals have not been met and exercise needs to occur. Many people need outside accountability when it comes to their exercise regimen. That extra little push from elsewhere gets them over the hump with motivation.
There’s a lot of information about these growing technological devices. These additional resources can let you learn more about fitness trackers and the various features that different models offer.
- Johns Hopkins Medicine - This clinic turned information database is one of the biggest names in the medical field. This article focuses on fitness trackers and what they can do for a person’s heart health.
- Wired - Wired has been well known for technology information since its inception. Now mostly in an online form, this magazine continues to thrive. This article looks at various fitness trackers and watches and attempts to determine which reign supreme.
- NY Times - The New York Times continues to produce news and information for many people. They have expanded beyond a mere newspaper and offer information on many subjects. Their wirecutter blog focuses on tech and this article is about the best fitness trackers on the market.