Should you buy a fitness tracker? Wearable fitness trackers have been all in the rage nowadays. It seems fitness enthusiasts from all over the world are raving about wearable fitness technology from different brands and with different capacities.
But before you allow the hype to carry you away, let us first sit down and talk about the pros and cons. Is there an actual benefit to fitness trackers or are they merely a fad? Are they a sound investment?
Let’s go find out!
What Is A Fitness Tracker?
A fitness tracker is one of the types of wearable technologies. When worn, a fitness tracker is able to monitor various fitness-related factors such as your calorie and caffeine intake, daily steps, heart rate, and even sleep quality! More advanced trackers even have a GPS function as well as a sports-coaching AI.
The most popular form of a fitness tracker is undoubtedly the wristband-type. This type looks much like a digital clock but functions as a fitness tracker (although most models can also tell time too).
Other types exist, however. There are your usual clippable trackers which you can clip unto your bra strap or waistband. There are also ring-types which you can wear on your fingers. Cute and classy necklace-types for fashionistas exist as well. And finally, there’s the ankle strap for those who want something less obvious but comfortable.
Pros of Buying a Fitness Tracker
Assess Your Progress with Objective Data
How do you know you’re making progress with your current workout plan? More importantly, how do you know you’re making the kind of progress you want?
“Feeling” like you’re making a progress is one thing, sure. But actually seeing and reviewing objective data – one that came right out of your body’s activities – might be better.
Now your fitness tracker is capable of measuring a lot of things about you. Aside from your physical activities, it can also measure your vital statistics and your substance intakes. Now you can compare your current workout routine to the kind of progress you want to see. If it’s working, carry on! If it isn’t, then perhaps it’s time to up the ante.
Objective data gathered from your own body is also a great guide in setting your goals. When you know just how much your body can take and how it responds to your activities, you’ll be able to set more realistic, achievable goals.
It Keeps You Moving Towards Your Goal
Tracking your progress can also give you valuable encouragement to keep going, especially when you’re a beginner.
And with a fitness tracker, you can keep track of your workout progress, starting with your calorie count and your step count. Seeing your numbers rise up and meeting goals you have earlier set and specified can help you push through with your healthy lifestyle, even in days when getting out of bed to workout proves to be such a chore.
It Also Keeps You Moving… Literally
Part of keeping a healthy lifestyle is keeping yourself moving. But that’s easier said than done when you’re stuck in a day job that requires you to sit in front of a computer for the better part of your day.
With a fitness tracker, you’ll be able to not only track your movements but also set alarms and reminders to get moving. Imagine, you can be sitting at your office desk and an alarm comes off – that’s your cue to get up and walk around for a bit! Do this every day and it’ll become a habit soon enough.
Cons of Buying a Fitness Tracker
Recommendations Can Be Inaccurate
The science behind fitness and working out is constantly changing and improving over time. Like any other branch of science, hypothesis and claims abound and most of them are conflicting, more often than not. So it might be safe to assume that at some point, your fitness tracker would churn out numbers and recommendations that aren’t exactly what you’d call accurate.
So it’s also best to operate under the assumption that fitness trackers should only be used as a supplementary device. It shouldn’t be used as a replacement for a doctor’s or a nutritionist’s advice.
Are You Using the Right Fitness Tracker for Your Goals?
Because you’re using the fitness tracker to help you set and meet goals, ideally, you’d want something accurately fits your needs.
Thankfully, a variety of fitness trackers are available in the market and they offer a buttload of features that might just make your dreams come true. This might be good news for people who already know what they want. But how about those who are still exploring?
Moreover, fitness goals are not and should not be set in stone – they should evolve according to your body’s needs. So imagine buying a fitness tracker now and finding out six months later that its features are now too limited for your tracking needs.
Or imagine buying an expensive feature-packed fitness tracker but end up only using a feature or two. Whoops.
Fitness Trackers Can Be Quite Expensive
Granted, there are plenty of fitness trackers out in the market right now. Each is offering various arrays of features and price ranges. Looking at the options, a fitness tracker can range from P700 to P70,000 depending on how sophisticated you want your tracker to be.
This is good and all. Obviously, no one can stop you from splurging on a device that can help you pursue a healthier lifestyle. Still, buying a fitness tracker can also be like buying a gym membership. Either you maximize it by actually using it or you just wasted a few thousand pesos from your wallet.
Fixation and Fatigue May Happen
Observing and tracking your progress via numbers and figures is a great thing. But getting fixated on them can eventually lead to discouragement, boredom, and fatigue.
It’s easy to get disheartened when your pace was a little slower today than yesterday, for instance, despite doing such great job the past few days. Or you can easily convince yourself to slack for a day or two just because you did well the day before.
Left undealt with, an attitude like this can very well lead to your burnout.
Wearable fitness trackers are very in nowadays but that doesn’t mean you should rush headlong into buying one without considering the pros and cons first! And now that we’ve laid down the details of buying a fitness tracker, maybe you can tell us what you think. Should you buy a fitness tracker? Is it a sound investment?
Let us know in the comments section below.