The fitness world, brings around many fads and trends year in, year out. However, a fitness fad, which seems to be standing the test of time, is the one of the fitness tracker. The question is, do these popular devices actually help to get us fitter, or is it all money for nothing.
I think the biggest thing which activity trackers bring to our lives, is awareness. Prior to now, we could fool ourselves that we were relatively active, that we probably averaged about 10,000 steps per day, and that we didn’t have long periods of rest. However, now, there is no need to fool ourselves. Our phones or watches can now give us an accurate display of how much, or how little, physical activity we are actually doing. By highlighting this, we can make plans to increase our physical activity, if it isn’t where it should or where we would like it to be.
With leagues and competitions on most activity trackers, it seems we are competing daily to increase our steps and keep ahead of our friends with activity levels. In addition to these leagues, many workplaces are also seeing the benefit of the fitness tracker, and are offering incentives to keep activity levels high. Another bonus, is insurance companies, and similar, who offer reduced rates, or incentives to people who track a high activity level.
Many fitness trackers also monitor your heart rate, and some even offer a fitness score. Having these health details clear to see on a daily basis, is encouraging individuals to keep themselves healthy like never before. People are tracking their recovery rates, their resting heart rate, their cardio score and more, making us realise that being healthy is within our control, and that by making simple changes, we can improve our health.
In a fast-paced, ever moving world, many of us are sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation can affect our health drastically. Whereas before, we may not have been aware of how long we were sleeping for, we can now monitor our sleep and see that we need to make more effort to get to bed earlier and get more rest. In return, we can see that this can positively affect our heart rate and our overall health.
In short, wearing a health tracker does not automatically improve your fitness. However, by raising our awareness and increasing competition in our every day lives, it appears that wearers of such trackers are seeing more positive health benefits than those who don’t.
If you own one, ensure you use the app to its full extent to get the most out of your tracker. Take part in the challenges, see what benefits you can earn, compete with your friends and set yourself a goal of steps, calories burned, hours slept, or whatever it is that you can see you need to focus on.
Enjoy the benefits technology can bring to you.