As we head into a new decade, Fitness Trackers and Fitness Apps are an integral part of everyday life for many people. Maybe you are one of these people, maybe you are wondering if you should add one to your Christmas list, maybe you’ve got one but have never really used it, or maybe you think it would be a bad idea for you. There’s definitely pros and cons to Fitness Trackers/Apps, without choosing a particular model.
Here we are going to talk more generally about Fitness Trackers/Apps; there are many reviews on different models, and it depends what you really want it to do, your budget, and possibly aesthetics, as to which brands and models are most suitable for you.
Fitness Trackers can be very basic, such as a pedometer for counting steps, to the latest high-end models, monitoring training, sleep, heart rate, calories in/out, and syncing your phone notifications and more.
The basic use of a Fitness Tracker is to enable users to aim for 10,000 steps a day, but they can motivate in many ways, including competing with other friends using the same brand of tracker. One of the downsides of Fitness Trackers, compared to specialist athletic watches for serious sports people, is that they aren’t as accurate. However, as an approximate guide to your activity levels, they are great!
Things to look out for, depending on what you want to track, are:
• Altimeter – to count flights of stairs climbed,
• Sleep Tracking – if you want to improve your sleep then a tracker can give you some insights,
• App for mobile/web software – so you can store your data and view trends etc,
• Waterproof – initially most trackers couldn’t be worn whilst swimming, however now, many mid-range trackers are waterproof, and some can even track your swimming.
• Heart Rate – although not as accurate as chest strap Heart Rate Monitors, wrist monitors are much easier to use.
Other things you can often find are modes to help you relax, reminders to move if you are inactive for too long, and even to monitor your monthly cycle!
Fitness Tracker are great for people looking to move more, or for those that workout regularly and want to track progress. However, it is possible to get obsessed with the data; do you know anyone who walks around the house just before bed to get their last few steps in, to meet their goal?! Since we know they aren’t 100% accurate, this action is unnecessary. However, going for a mile walk after work as you haven’t done much during the day is a good idea. Balance is key!
So, really the sort of questions you need to think about are:
• Will I wear a fitness tracker instead of my watch?
• What data do I want to monitor, and what will I do with it?
• What are the goals I am looking to achieve by using a fitness tracker?
• Do I easily get obsessed with things – could it do me more harm than good?
• What activities do I do/want to monitor?
• What is my budget?
• Is the look of the tracker important?
By answering some of these questions you can decide if you want/need a fitness tracker, or maybe just getting an app for your phone to count your daily steps may be enough!