Posted on 28 August, 2017

Are Fitness Trackers Worth It?

By Sam Todd in Exercise, Fitness, Health, Personal Are Fitness Trackers Worth It?

[Image source: Consumer Reports]

Fitness trackers – whether you have one, want one are think they are a complete waste of money, there is an existing and growing market that we can’t ignore.  What started out as a humble pedometer now seems to do everything except cook you breakfast.

There is a bigger emphasis on health and fitness now than there ever has been before... fitness trackers are here to stay.

From the everyday fitness tracker, we can not only count our steps, but floors, calories and track our sleep, heart rate and fitness activities.  We can even get smart phone notifications.  “Life data” has become so popular that GPS watches are no considered inferior if they don’t have the features of a fitness tracker.

I myself have a Garmin watch that does it all. Originally used for GPS tracking of outdoor activities, the new Garmin watches now track every kind of activity, count your steps, record sleep, take your heart rate and give you smart phone notifications.  I think mine can even control the music on my phone?

Anyway, what you need to get out a fitness tracker (if you do decide you need one) is completely personal.  I got mine (with all the features) because I was actually wearing both a Fitbit and Garmin when I went out running.  It was easier for me to just find a watch that did it all.  Do I use all the features?  Well, yes, most of them (although I have been known to turn smart notifications off mostly every day just because of the annoyance factor).

When I reached out to fellow fitness tracker wearers about what they liked best about their tracker, I received the following responses:

“It keeps me up to date with my steps and looks pretty”

“I can set up interval timers which I love the most because I love doing circuits/HIIT”

“It motivates me to achieve 10,000 steps per day”

“It has everything I need to pursue my current and future trail running endeavours”

“It reminds me to move”

“It tells me I’m really unfit these days, lazy, and I should sleep more”

“Runs out of batteries lots but helped me work out how much sleep I need”

Evidently, we all have different reasons as to why we have/require a fitness tracker.  I’ve compiled a pros and cons list on fitness trackers, just in case you are yet to make up your mind on our new-found technological advisors.

PROS

  • Accountability 
    Back before modern day fitness trackers, keeping track of your stats was hard.  For food, a small notebook was required.  For steps, well… there was nothing.  Now, a fitness tracker can help you keep yourself accountable with all the right tools.  You just need to get in the habit of using them.
  • Weight loss 
    Studies have shown that fitness trackers can result in weight loss. This is mostly because of the honest activity levels it shows.  You only need to get an idea of how many steps you take a day to increase them, therefore increasing your daily activity levels, which is pretty much how weight loss is born.
  • Style 
    Although the fitness tracker didn’t start off as the prettiest thing you could wear on your wrist, modern day trackers are slimmer and sleeker than ever.  You can even change bands on most of them, allowing for individual style to come through.

CONS

  • Cost
    If you aren’t going to really analyse or use the data a fitness tracker gives you, it can come across as an expensive watch.Before you invest in any technology, you need to look at your life and whether it will benefit.Otherwise, you’re better off just sticking to good ol’ Swisse.
  • Battery life
    Like most technology these days, fitness trackers run off a rechargeable battery.This can be really inconvenient at times, especially when you are away and depending on it when it dies.Also like most technology, the battery life gets worse the older it gets, so you will almost be guaranteed to need a new tracker every 2 years or so, just to keep it alive for longer than a day at a time.
  • Band troubles
    Over the past couple of years, some fitness tracker companies have had trouble with its bands, and skin.Because you are encouraged to wear a tracker 24/7, this does not leave any time for the skin to rejuvenate.It is important you follow the company’s dermatology and skin care guide (yes, they all have them), to prevent any nasty rashes you may get from wearing your tracker full time.

There is a bigger emphasis on health and fitness now than there ever has been.  Therefore, I believe that fitness trackers are here to stay.What will be interesting is to see how they develop, and what the next thing to track will be.  Whether you are a fan or not, they definitely have their place in this world.

Do you have a fitness tracker?  What is your favourite thing about it?

For more information on the types of fitness trackers and to find which one is for you, visit http://www.reviews.com/fitness-tracker/

About Sam Todd

About Sam Todd

Sam is a mother of two, a personal trainer and a positive body image enthusiast.  Her hobbies include running, mucking about in the gym and watching her Melbourne Demons play.

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Are Fitness Trackers Worth It?A quick start guide to losing weight and staying on track. Learn the strategies I use to eat and move for optimal health. Includes worksheets to enhance your motivation, commitment and discipline, along with a sample eating plan and exercise program.