In the past decade, we have come a long way in terms of technological marvels. Well, it isn’t as futuristic as ‘Back to the Future’ portrayed it to be, but we are getting there. A tiny device that most of us wear on our wrists was literally the talk of the consumer market in terms of technology. Yes, you guessed it right, The fitness bands. A small device started as a pedometer, can even track your heart rate and blood pressure now.
There are still some doubts about how much these fitness bands help or do they actually improve our health? The answer actually depends on how you use the metrics and results to your advantage. I have summarized the whole answer in a few points below.
In this article you'll learn about
Mind Game of the fitness trackers
Activity trackers are meant to measure or keep a record of your daily activity. The whole concept or the aim of fitness trackers is to make us realize our activity levels. Whether they are appropriate or low, activity trackers help us in understanding it and making positive changes. We all know the benefits of physical activity and the disadvantages of a sedentary lifestyle (which most of us have). Fitness trackers push you to make a positive change and start a healthy lifestyle.
These fitness trackers help by ‘motivating us. They motivate and remind us to move, set fitness goals, compete with friends etc. Everything for motivating us. Think about it, we don’t feel motivated unless there is an incentive of some sort. We work extra for a bonus, a runner practices more to win the race in record time for fame, an actor will try different roles for self-growth, etc. The incentives may be different for everyone, but it is an important part of the fitness journey with activity trackers.
They only show you what you lack and what you have to do. The latter part, i.e. ‘THE ACTION’ depends on you. It’s like the saying, ‘You can only take the horse to the water but cannot make it drink’. Fitness trackers will show you what you need to know, you’ll have to take the effort to achieve the results you wish.
We tell our kids, ‘if you ride cycle daily you will have a good height’ or ‘if you finish your homework on time and revise daily, the exam pressure will be less’. This is an example of an incentive in terms of reward. You might also be doing this to yourself, in fact, a lot of people use it as self-motivation. You must focus on long term rewards and work towards them. That’s when you’ll start noticing a difference in your body.
When you start your fitness journey and start achieving some of your goals, rewarding oneself for the same is expected from an individual. After a great workout for a month or at least a week, you might reward yourself with a slice of pizza, or it can be the other way around, you ate a slice of pizza that’s why you do a heavy workout.
This might cause weight gain or slow down the weight loss process, but the fitness trackers are not to be blamed for this.
Fitness trackers and their Accuracy
Yes, it is true that different fitness trackers in the market give different results. This creates a trust issue in the consumer about the accuracy of these devices. Companies like Fitbit say their results are to motivate the users. So it’s safe to say that the results that your smart fitness trackers give are not 100% accurate.
Activity trackers do not actually count your steps. It senses the movement of your body with a sensor called the accelerometer and then converts it to steps as it is the universally accepted metric. The heart rate sensing technology that these bands use is far from perfect.
So even if these trackers are not 100% accurate, they help you out during your workouts. Fitness trackers have great potential and they can even be used as a personal health log with the introduction of new sensors.
As I have mentioned before, fitness bands have come a really long way. Now they are not just your activity trackers but are being called smart bands, and this technology will continue to become more amazing.
Final Words – Do they improve our health?
So with these points, we can conclude that fitness trackers don’t improve your health, but they help you improve your health. It all depends on your commitment and dedication. If you fail to lose weight, then it might not be because your fitness tracker showed you walked 6000 steps when you walked 5700 steps. The reasons may be a lot different. Like –
- Different metabolism.
- More calorie intake than calories burnt.
- Hormonal imbalance due to some medicines.
- Some foods might cause a spike in insulin levels.
Here are some tips to work for your weight-loss goals with fitness trackers:
- Use the tracker to get a baseline of your daily movement and then set a goal 2,000-3,000 steps higher.
- Use it as a motivational tool to encourage movement and as a historical record. If you have a bad day, you can look back and see that it was only one day among many good days. This perspective may keep you from falling off the wagon because of “all or nothing” thinking.
- Use the information from the tracker as a guide but not as permission to throw dietary discretion out the window.