If you are really into fitness or are looking to get into shape, will a fitness tracker really give you an edge and help encourage healthy habits? Maybe! Read on to find out more.
In several not so recent studies, experts found that wearing a fitness tracker offered no real advantage or actually decreased your chances of success. A study from 2016 published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal, found that, after one year of use, a clip-on activity tracker had no effect on test subjects' overall health and fitness—even when it was combined with a financial incentive. Another study published in 2016, showed that subjects without fitness trackers lost more weight than their gadget-wearing counterparts—a difference of about eight pounds.
All of this may be really embarrassing for companies that make fitness trackers, but should you ditch your fancy fitness tracker or forego purchasing one altogether?
No, most of the studies conducted used fitness trackers that were several years old, and the studies were only recently published. Today's fitness trackers are different. They have more computing power than the first mission to the moon, and they are constantly evolving.
Today's fitness trackers not only measure steps and active minutes, but most have 24/7 heart-rate monitoring and sleep tracking for starters. The batteries in some devices can go several days between charges. Most manufacturers have listened to the users, and their devices are more comfortable and waterproof.
Manufacturers have also made considerable improvements to their software. The information is presented in a way that is comprehensible, motivating, and actionable. Consider a reminder to get up and move or another reminder to complete your exercise for the day.
If you have actionable goals, then a fitness tracker is definitely worth considering. Most trackers today are able to allow you to customize your goals. Several apps even allow you to set a goal such as running a marathon and they will tailor a program specifically for you.
Today's fitness trackers will customize their feedback to users' individual habits. Rather than tell you to take 10,000 steps in a day, most trackers will nudge you when it seems you are not on target to reach your goal. Most trackers are also able to tell you how much you slept and the quality of your sleep.
Fitness trackers have evolved and are continually changing to meet the demand of users. In the end, a fitness tracker only works if you use it. The information is only valid if you take it to heart. If your goal is fitness or knowing every detail of your fitness routine and the metrics of such, then a fitness tracker can be well worth the money.
Choosing The Right Fitness Tracker
Pick a fitness tracker that includes the functions you think you need or will use the most.
Find a fitness tracker that is easy to use. You're more likely not to use a tracker if it's difficult.
Look for design issues. Does it have a button that will constantly get in the way?
You should look for a fitness tracker that has customizable options.
If your tracker is not comfortable, you will not wear it. See what it feels like before you purchase.
Once again, you probably won't wear it if you don't feel it's fashionable. Tech typically isn't very fashionable, but there are plenty of options.