When it comes to staying healthy, some of the biggest struggles people face are accountability and motivation. A fitness tracker is one solution that promises to help with these issues. But do they really?
A recent study found that a whopping 1 in 5 Americans use fitness devices (a fitness tracker or smartwatch). Everyone from athletes to people just trying to be fitter relies on fitness trackers—perhaps, a bit too much.
Keep reading. We’re going to help you navigate the world of fitness trackers so you can see if this tech is worth it or not.
What Can Fitness Trackers Offer You?
Let’s start with the basics for those of you that aren’t familiar with fitness trackers. What is a fitness tracker?
A fitness tracker is a wearable device (usually a bracelet) that compiles data on your movement for the day (even sleep). Whereas smartwatches—like the Apple watch—can also track your movements (to a lesser extent) but their big claim to fame is app integration: the ability to place calls, pay for a coffee or text.
Fitness trackers are focused on fitness, not frills. What makes fitness trackers all the rage is all the features they come with can help you reach your fitness goals, like:
The Benefits of Fitness Trackers
Why track your fitness? Glad you asked: it’s called personal accountability. These devices can be used as a tool to help motivate you to reach your goals. Some of the benefits to fitness trackers are:
Sport Specific Modes: One of the best parts about fitness trackers is the wide variety makes it easier to find the right one for your preferred activity.
1. Battery Life & Design: Fitness trackers have a longer battery life (days or weeks) than smartphones because they're built exclusively for fitness purposes so they contain more sensors to measure your daily activity level, meaning they put a premium on analytics, not app integration with your phone. This also equates to longer battery life and design flexibility, in that some devices don’t need a screen—better yet, you can now buy a ring instead of a bracelet.
2. Fitness App: The final benefit to fitness trackers is the companion fitness app that it comes with. The app stores all the collected data and allows you to visibly track your results. This is next-level accountability, and when used for your greater good, it’ll motivate you to go that extra mile to meet your goals.
The Bottom Line: Are Fitness Trackers Worth It?
There’s a reason 1 in 5 people use fitness trackers: because it’s your high school gym teacher, cheerleader, sleep coach, personal trainer and so much more all rolled into one band that you conveniently wear on your wrist. While you absolutely do not need a fitness tracker to smash your health and fitness goals--some people, like those with eating disorders or exercise addictions, may find this constant feedback does more harm than good. However, for people who are approaching its use with a balanced, healthy attitude about fitness, then having one certainly won’t hurt. In fact, it can help you reach your fitgoals, faster.
What do you think? Have fitness trackers helped you live a healthier, fitter life?
Share your thoughts in the comments.
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