Fitbits, Moovs, Jawbones, Apple Watches, and Samsung Gears are on many shopping lists for the holiday season. But, before you grab that hot tech device for Aunt Gladys or include it in your wish list to Santa, ask yourself if that fitness tracker fits into a larger eco-system of health for yourself or Aunt Gladys.
Fitness trackers are a fantastic way to track progress and monitor health. Unfortunately, about one-third of fitness trackers are abandoned after about six months, according to research firm Endeavor Partners. Guess you’re getting mittens next year, Aunt Gladys… One reason for that abandonment is that fitness trackers are not a cure-all to all fitness ills and don’t necessarily help with motivation.
Think of a fitness tracker as more like a bathroom scale rather than a coach: both devices tell you information, but it’s up to you to figure out what to do with that information. Some trackers have motivational aspects to them, such as the Apple Watch encouraging you to stand for a minute every hour or Moov’s digital personal coaching function. Measuring alone doesn’t burn calories.
One study, at the University of Pittsburgh, compared two groups of overweight adults on a diet and exercise regimen over a two-year period. One group wore fitness trackers for 18 months and the other group self-monitored food intake and exercise. Surprisingly, the fitness tracker group lost 7.7 pounds on average, whereas the self-monitoring group lost around 13 pounds.
This doesn’t mean that fitness trackers don’t work; they just need to be part of a larger eco-system of motivation and support. Reaching fitness goals is mostly about changing behaviors and monitoring that behavior is one of the best ways to reach those goals, but it’s not the only way. Fitness trackers help with recording all that information and give an objective snapshot of physical activity. Also, if you or Aunt Gladys are the type of people who find motivation from charts and line graphs, fitness trackers could be extremely helpful in the quest for a healthier life.
However, don’t fall into the trap of chasing the wrong numbers, sacrificing quality for quantity, such as getting in 10,000 steps instead of hitting the gym isn’t always the best strategy. Over-tracking is a real issue because the path to a healthier life is seldom in a straight line.Everyone’s motivation and dedication is different and you have to find what works for you. For most, it isn’t just about putting on a Fitbit and seeing the pounds shed or muscles grow. It’s about incorporating a fitness tracker into an eco-system of motivation and support. That motivation can come from goals, workout buddies, personal trainers, and dedication. As for the best fitness tracker to ask for this holiday season, the best one is the one that motivates you, or Aunt Gladys, the best.
Talk to The Alaska Clubs Fitness Consultants about a sustainable plan of diet and exercise that can help you achieve your fitness goals.
To learn more, visit TheAlaskaclub.Com