Fitness Trackers : What You Need To Know
One thing I’ve noticed about people who embark upon their fitness journeys, is that their first purchases tend to be fitness trackers. I remember being really thrilled when Fitbit gave me one for the TwitterGetsFitter movement too, so believe me, I understand the appeal!
I can’t claim to be an expert on fitness trackers myself. But I’ve definitely come a long way from the days when I would simply be swayed by “Oooh look, pretty!”. That said, I must admit that my first reaction when I saw my gorgeous Rose Gold edition Fitbit Charge2 was “Ooooooh, pretty!”
But seriously, look how pretty! 😀
But I digress. Ever since I started TwitterGetsFitter, I’ve started reading up on exercises, equipment, nutrition — everything related to healthy (and unhealthy) fitness journeys. After all, the more I know, the better I can be, and the better information I can offer to all my participants.
For this post, I teamed up with the amazing guys at Reviewsbee to share all the stuff you should be looking for in your fitness trackers. Here are some things I’ve learned from my research, as well as from owning and regularly using a fitness tracker.
What Can A Fitness Tracker Tell You?
There are dozens of fitness trackers available in the market today, and they all offer various combinations of features. A few basic features that are common amongst trackers though, are step count and calories burnt. More premium models can also track heart rate, sleep patterns, smartphone notifications, and even automatically log certain activities or sports.
It’s also a great way to monitor your progress. When you can see empirical evidence that you’re able to run faster, or for longer durations, it can be a great motivator!
What Can’t A Fitness Tracker Tell You?
How many calories you’re really burning. Let me explain. Every fitness/activity tracker works on approximations and some assumptions. They calculate approximate calories burnt using data like your average heart rate, and the numbers of steps you’ve taken, or the number of active minutes. The catch is, the data a fitness tracker gathers is never 100% accurate. Before you believe this is a point of outrage, none of them claim to be 100% accurate. Every fitness tracker in the market bears a disclaimer that their data is not perfect, and that it shouldn’t be used for medical evaluations. Even step counts can be gamed by simply shaking your arm. So while it can give you a ballpark idea of how much you’re burning, or still need to burn, it isn’t gospel.
So, Do You Need A Fitness Tracker?
There’s no universal answer to this. It isn’t really necessary, but it can be helpful if you’re just starting out on your fitness journey, or if you’re a very serious athlete or bodybuilder. The data a fitness tracker offers can help you gauge how much activity you’re really getting. If you’re someone who leads a largely sedentary lifestyle, the initial days or weeks of working out can feel like a lot. You might even feel like you’ve absolutely crushed your step goals, or burned more than enough calories for the day. A fitness tracker can help give you a clearer picture.
Also, if you have a smartwatch (which so many people own nowadays), then you don’t really need an additional fitness tracker. Most new smartwatches have in-built activity trackers and heart-rate monitors. So yay!
This Is Also Important…
It’s very easy to become obsessed with what your fitness tracker tells you. A fitness journey is usually riddled with a lot of self doubt and insecurities anyway. Having a tiny gadget tell you that you haven’t taken enough steps, or that you still need to burn more calories each day, can easily add to that. Speaking from my own experiences, I remember jogging around my house for 5 minutes before I went to bed, all because my Fitbit told me I needed to take 200 steps more to achieve my target for the day! See what I mean? It can easily turn into a nagging little voice in your head, and that can get really dangerous.
So What’s My Verdict?
Fitness trackers are a great way to get a look at how many calories you’re burning in the day, how active you’re being, and whether you’re creating a calorie deficit (the only real way to lose fat!). If you feel like you could use fitness trackers to help you gauge these metrics, without getting obsessive about it, then by all means, get one. The models available nowadays are also really stylish and come with tonnes of customisation options. But if you’re considering getting one just to jump on the bandwagon, then don’t do it. They definitely aren’t mandatory towards getting fitter. After all, there were fit people in the world long before there were fitness trackers!
That said, for those of you evaluating getting a fitness tracker of your own, the team at ReviewsBee have published their picks for the Top 10 Fitness Trackers available today. It’s a well-rounded look at the various devices available in the market, ranked by features, expert ratings, and consumer ratings.
What are your thoughts on the subject? Are you pro-fitness tracker, or do you prefer to go old school? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
This post was written and published in collaboration with ReviewsBee.