Fitness Tracking Technology
One in five Americans own some sort of wearable fitness technology, like a Fitbit, Garmin, or an Apple Watch. Despite the love that America has for wearable fitness technology, whether they help us get fitter, move more, or even drop pounds is up for debate. Which side of this argument you fall on may come down to your fitness goals, fitness beliefs, training methods, diet, or several other factors. I am not going to tell you if these wearable fitness technologies work or not but I am going to give you a “Pros and Cons” list of these devices. Pros: Steps: One of the most underrated areas of most fitness trackers is the step counter. It seems so simple and is common to most if not all fitness trackers, but in fact, it is one of the biggest motivators to people to stay active. When a low step count is on display most people actively try to increase that count and work toward their daily step count goal. Heart Rate Monitoring: Fitness wrist straps can monitor your heart rate from your pulse, this will give your fitness tracker the information it needs to track when you are working out, at rest and generally track any change or spike in the heart throughout your day. The reason this is a “pro” is that it can give you more information and statistics on what point of your workout you are hitting your peak and how hard your workout is really pushing you. Sleep Tracking: Most fitness trackers are connected to an app on your phone with that app you can track more than just your fitness but also your sleep. Sleep quality is one of the most important components of a healthy lifestyle. Sleep affects your metabolic rate, mood, energy levels, and even cravings. This information will help you make better choices about what time you go to bed and how many hours sleep you need. Cons: Expensive: The first thing you need to do before you get any information or tracking done with your fitness is to purchase your fitness tracker. This step alone is something many people struggle with. Fitness trackers can range anywhere from $50-$500. Some of the prices can be off-putting at first but depending on how you plan to use it or how seriously you plan to use the information will help you make the decision on which one to buy. Battery Life: One major “con” of fitness trackers is the battery life, some can last up to 21 days without a recharge but most last 3-5 days without a recharge. This is also dependent on how active you are if you are using it regularly enough the battery will not last as long as if you do not look at it or use it for a couple of days. One “con” that comes along with this is that you need to take it off to charge and the fast way to stop using it is to take it off regularly. Accuracy: Some fitness trackers may not be as accurate as you would like. Some of the cheaper versions do come with less technology and may only be loosely tracking steps and calories to give you a little bit of information. To sum up, to be successful with a fitness tracker you need to have a plan of attack. Personally, I would opt for a more expensive tracker so that I know the information I am getting is correct and viable. From there, having an idea of what the right diet is for you and creating fitness goals to match will make using a fitness tracker easier to use and help you achieve those set goals.