Fitness trackers are all the rage these days. They are on our wrists and in our phones. They offer us a whole bevvy of valuable information from heart rate and steps taken, to body fat percentage and calories burned. They can track our sleep, log the food we eat, and remind us to move when we've been idle to long.They can, and often are, incredibly useful. But are you relying too heavily on this electronic device?
You may love seeing how many calories you can burn during your workout but sometimes, this data checking, can get out of control. If you find yourself doing extra workouts to hit a desired number of calories burned, you could be doing yourself more harm than good. Over exercising can be counter to your fitness goals and sacrificing valuable rest time can actually stall any progress you may have been making.
Same goes for food trackers. If you are substituting your better judgement, for data, you may need to take a step back. Logging every piece of food you eat is a great way to get a handle on your diet but it can also distract you from your natural rhythms and hunger cues. And just because something is high in calories doesn't mean it is bad for you! Sometimes a healthy diet (like the one laid out in the BodyRock Meal Plan
), includes foods that are high in healthy fats or complex carbohydrates. These foods have a place in your diet and in neglecting them, you create a situation where you may be at a nutritional deficit.
Thinking and feeling like you are not working out enough, or you are not eating the right foods (when you are), can create feelings of guilt, shame, and anxiety. If you base all of your lifestyle decisions on this, let's face it -- unreliable data, you aren't listening to what you body is telling you. If you need to rest, it is okay to rest! The device you wear on your wrist doesn't know better than you do! All of this can totally zap your motivation! If you constantly feel like you aren't doing the right thing, why would you bother even continuing?
Here are some things you can try instead:
Track for yourself:
"Rather than looking at the numbers, use mindful awareness to notice how your body feels," says Michelle May, M.D., founder of the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Program. Don't let the data tell you what's happening in your body. Stop and check in. Check your breathing, your heart rate and your aches and pains. At the end of the day, there is no app that can tell you more than an internal check in.
Reconsider your goals:
Too keep yourself moving forward, have a look at your goals once again. Are they attainable? Setting goals is great but if you can never reach them, there is no way you will stay motivated. Set yourself some small goals so that you can celebrate when you reach them. If you want to walk 10,000 steps, that's great, but don't make it a goal that makes or breaks your day. Sometimes things happen and you can't move as much. Don't lose heart and don't forget the bigger picture. If you don't hit the goal today, you can tomorrow. Maybe you can make it work 3 times a week, next week, you can up it to 4. If you are enjoying your activity, you are more likely to keep doing it!
Don't forget why you're doing it:
"It’s not failure, it’s data," says clinical psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D., author of Better than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love
. "Instead of beating yourself up or being obsessed about it, just ask yourself why: write out a list of why you’re doing this. What are the benefits?" Look at all the good things your healthy lifestyle has set in motion. Your confidence has no doubt grown, your energy levels have likely improved, and you've made gains in strength and endurance. Keep that list handy and look at it whenever the numbers get you down. They are, after all, just numbers.
"Focus on the wins," says Lombardo. Did you set a goal of 10,000 steps but only manage 5,000? Well, good on ya! That's better than zero steps! Some movement is better than no movement. Be proud you did something, and know that you will own it again tomorrow! You're great and you can do it!
Do you find yourself relying on your fitness app a little too much?
Source: Women's Health