The new trend of fitness trackers and technology in our wellness activities to some may seem like just a new way for tech companies to drain our wallets. Now that we all have smart phones they need us to buy something else, but some do see a real benefit from them. Just a few months ago a study came out that when paired with similar lifestyles among young adults trying to get fit those with a fitness tracker lost less weight than those without that constant reminder on their wrist. This does seem like damning evidence, but the other parts of the study do muddy the results a bit. Everyone was losing weight and there were things like new diets and fitness regimens introduced to hopefully induce weight loss. Really the most important thing gleaned from the study is that everybody was growing closer to their wight goals.
For The Active
How many fitness trackers work is that they track your movement and heart rate, continually pushing you to burn more calories and take more steps. Your goals continue to grow as you meet them and the “gamification” of exercise hopefully motivates you to continue to push yourself. For those that already live an active lifestyle and are really just hoping to get up and out a bit more and track just how much they do, these are great devices.
For The Newly Active
If you are the type that just needs a bit of motivation to restart your fitness lifestyle then a fitness tracker may also be perfect for you, though in a different way than it would for the already active. While it is the holidays, giving a fitness tracker as a source of motivation may not be the best use of your holiday shopping. If you are starting a more active lifestyle with a fitness tracker and continue to use the fitness tracker the constant prodding and chiding from your wrist can help you keep on track and help you from falling into a rhythm of ignoring your fitness goals out of laziness and apathy. That initial excitement that comes from a new workout regimen, gym membership or new year’s resolution is extended because of the constant meeting and setting of new goals.
Other Health Benefits
One way your fitness tracker or smart-whatever can help you aside from just getting you to walk off that extra piece of cake is to track your sleep and motivate you to step away from whatever you are doing after you’ve been sitting for a long time or perhaps just staring at your screen a little too long. While these benefits might not instantly mean things like weight loss and visible improvements, they will have long term effects on your health. Less eye and back strain means you’ll feel up to walking around the block one more time for far longer than you would without the helpful distractions of your tech gear.
The sleep tracking is another way that you can improve your daily lifestyle without affecting your waistline immediately. While getting adequate sleep does lead to a healthier body weight, it can take some time for that to really make a difference. You also need to look at the data and make a real change in your lifestyle if you see that you’re not getting the right amount of sleep.
Whether it is weight loss, breathing exercises or your sleep, the main agent of change is going to have to be you. The fitness tracker should be able to help, but it is just a tool to help you better understand your body and what you’re doing with it better. There still isn’t any magic piece of technology that can make you instantly healthier. However, you can find the system that works for you with one of those new pieces of technology and get the ball rolling again.