Undecided on whether to use a fitness tracker? What is the buzz surrounding fitness trackers all about?….
The use of technology in the sports and fitness world has massively grown in popularity within the last decade. This popularity keeps growing by the day. Fitness trackers, in particular, have taken over in recent years. These trackers have become very fashionable and provide users with advanced and more in-depth fitness data.
So what is the fitness tracker hype all about? A good look at the pros and cons of fitness trackers should more or less give us answers to this question.
Fitness trackers are basically hi-tech devices and gadgets that measure our motions and activity with the help of sophisticated integrated sensors. The sophisticated sensors help to collect in-depth data and convert them into an easy-to-understand metric such as heart rate, calories burned, distance covered, step count, sleep quality, general activity and some of these advanced devices come with a Global Positioning System (GPS). The accuracy of your fitness tracker is improved by the number of sensors it has.
Having a keen eye on your daily activity with the help of fitness trackers is a great way to enhance your health and overall well-being. Let’s take a good look at some pros and cons of fitness trackers to see how they can best support your everyday life. This should hopefully help you decide whether a fitness tracker is a good option for you.
FITNESS TRACKER PROS
Enables You To Track Your Progress
Getting hard data on daily fitness performance and activity is an essential component of tracking progress. A good fitness tracker provides visible data and gives you the option of tracking your progress. Especially for those of us starting a new workout routine, having the luxury of seeing evidence on progress encourages us to stay consistent and keep working hard.
Having that visible data on our physical activity helps us to develop awareness on habits and routines to adopt or avoid in order to improve our overall well-being. A good fitness tracker helps us to track progress on steps per day, calories burned, distance covered, sleep pattern and heart rate. These provided hard data help us to understand the implications of our daily activity and improve them.
Provides Much-Needed Motivation
This advantage goes hand-in-hand with progress tracking. Getting visible evidence of progress motivates you to keep going. Seeing those increases in miles covered, steps taken, or calories burned, just to mention a few, is indeed a helpful motivator.
It helps you to keep going on those ‘lazy’ days when it would have been easier to just give up and call it a day.
Provides A Reality Check On Your Level Of Activity
Have you had those days when you actually believe you’ve moved a lot? Well, thinking you’ve been active doesn’t necessarily reflect your actual activity level. Using a fitness tracker gives you much need reality check on your level of activity. The fitness tracker is a great tool in checking how active or inactive you really are.
You might be surprised by what your fitness tracker says on those days you perceive to be the most active. This reality check improves your overall health awareness in the long run.
Measures The Quality And Pattern Of Sleep
Quality of sleep has a great impact on one’s health and overall fitness level. It has on impact on mood, metabolism, stress level and levels of energy. Fitness trackers of today are that advanced that they are able to track your sleep pattern, how long you sleep, how often you wake up while asleep and how deep or light you sleep.
These data provided by the fitness tracker helps us to make right adjustments to our day and night routines in order have a positive impact on our sleep pattern in the long run.
Monitor’s Heart Rate
Advanced fitness trackers have integrated sensors that aim light towards the blood vessels in the wrist, in order to detect changes in blood volume as blood gets pumped by the heart. A less amount of light indicates a high blood volume was pumped and vice versa.
This helps to monitor and keep an eye on our heart rate. Knowing your heart rate while performing a physical activity helps to know when to increase the intensity of your physical activity and when to ease off.
Improves Interaction By Staying Connected
Fitness trackers give you the ability to build a community of people using the same fitness tracker. Individuals with similar goals are brought together by these fitness trackers and help to create a space needed for users to support and motivate each other.
Having such a network of fitness tracker users, friends and family who share workout results on a regular basis can provide the support system needed to stay highly motivated.
Provides An Easy Means Of Communicating
With some modern fitness trackers, there is no need to reach out for your mobile phone while working out. These advanced fitness trackers allow users to answer phone calls, read text messages, read emails and see notifications from your social media platforms without reaching out for your smartphone.
This feature is made possible by the Bluetooth and or Wi-Fi capability our smartphones have.
FITNESS TRACKER CONS
Accuracy Is Very Questionable
Recent research into the mechanisms of fitness trackers has proven these trackers to be inaccurate. Its measure of the heart rate, in particular, has been shown to be inaccurate, resulting in an inaccurate measure of one’s level of fitness. The calories burned, as indicated by your fitness tracker is not a 100% accurate.
Fitness trackers estimate calories burned based on BMR(Basal Metabolic Rate) and daily detected level of activity. BMR is the number of calories you burn at resting state.
Despite these inaccuracies, it is worth mentioning that data provided by the trackers are estimates, therefore the average user can stick to its long-term trend and use and achieve long-term fitness goals. So even though provided data is not a 100% accurate, your result will still be thereabout.
Users Get Fixated On Numeric Data
Fitness trackers do indeed help develop a good awareness of our overall health and well-being. The format and kind of data provided by fitness trackers means that users are very likely to get obsessed with performance and specific data. Such obsession can put users under undue pressure and stress as they get fixated on the numeric goals they are after.
Getting fixated on numeric data can lead to injuries, burnout and the loss of joy we derive from our past workout sessions. It could become a tool we use to judge ourselves, resulting in constant self-doubt.
Poor Battery Run-Time
The battery run-time of most of these fitness trackers is very disappointing. Charging these devices on a daily basis can be very frustrating. Forgetting to get a charge means your tracker’s battery will drain off while working out.
Most Don’t Come Cheap
Yes, there are some cheap and free fitness tracking apps and devices on the market, but the very good one’s out there can be very expensive. Hi-tech fitness trackers of today are everywhere on the market and have gradually become items of luxury.
Spending a lot of money on a device that is not 100% accurate and could probably end up sitting idle in our drawers is a tough decision to make.
ARE FITNESS TRACKERS FOR YOU?
We’ve now had a quick look at the pros and cons of fitness trackers. The next question then is, are these fitness trackers for you?
There is no right or wrong answer here. Why? This is simply because you don’t need a fitness tracker to ensure you live and maintain an active lifestyle. But at the same time, they are great devices to guide us towards achieving our fitness goals
I do find fitness trackers very helpful and a must-have. Using a fitness tracker is always an individual choice at the end of the day.
The key point with fitness trackers is that, the data provided are merely estimates. So your daily workouts, level of activity, intensity of activity, and daily caloric intake should not be entirely based on these numeric data. Consider taken a break anytime you realise you are becoming fixated and obsessed with the numeric data provided by your fitness tracker.
Hard work, consistency and commitment to your fitness goals are the keys to your success!
There are other pros and cons of fitness trackers not covered in this blog. Feel free to give us your contributions, questions and suggestions in the comments section below. Hope to see you here again soon!