Should I buy that wearable fitness tracker?

I grew up in age where personal computers and cell phones were still in their infancy. To be very frank I have never tried a fitness tracker before. I already know that I exercise regularly. I train my girls in addition to my own personal exercise regime. My weight is stable within a range of 1–2 kg. I always prefer to remain accountable to myself, not to a gadget.

But at the same time several of my friends swear by their fitness trackers. Some experts also suggest that adults are most to gain from such devices. One of my friends calls her Fitbit her personal motivator who regularly asks her how much she has walked everyday. She has already improved her lifestyle by being more active and is well on her way to shed a few extra kilos which she gained during her pregnancy. But I am also privy to the secret that she had been a health enthusiast even before she got her Fitbit.

However there are certain aspects which have really improved how she views her fitness regime. She syncs her device with her smart phone and learns new ways to balance her calorie input with output and to eat more fruits, vegetables and fiber. She also uses her device to get a rough idea of her sleep quality and strives to get a full 7–8 hrs of sleep every night.

More and more studies suggest that the longer you sit, the sooner you die. These trackers encourage one to get up and move. Though the cheaper ones are not that accurate but still they do their basic job of encouraging one to think about health seriously.

 A word about the accuracy of these devices:

As it goes with most things in life the more expensive the gadget is the better is its reliability and accuracy. However the devices which work only on the basis of accelerometers can just give you a rough idea about your activity. Those which are equipped with GPS technology will be much better in measuring your total distance covered if used outdoors. The other features which measure your sleep patterns and heart rate and then calculate your exact no of calories burnt are iffy at the best. A lot of peer reviewed studies and clinical trials suggest that one really needs to get into a lab and wear a lot of tech to get an exact count of their calories burnt and other body performance statistics. To cut the long story short these devices do give an approximate idea of your activity and encourage a healthy life style.

The main motivator for those who love a fitness tracker seems to be a pat on the back it gives them when their goals are achieved. As my friend Opal puts it, “its kind of cool when you have reached your 10,000 steps, especially when it happens early in the day.”

There are several more aspects to this, but to cut to the meat of the matter, if you are a couch potato and need a tech boost to begin your fitness regime; you should spend a few thousand bucks and get yourself a medium price range tracker. However if you already giving yourself half hour of exercise each day and are true to yourself, then you probably don’t need one.

Anyway buying one can’t hurt if you treat with the respect it deserves which in turn depends on its price. I have seen people take up running just because they bought a tracker worth ten thousand bucks. Anything which gets you out of the bed and gets you running in the park is worth every penny spent.


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