Sure, they make your Instagram stories look like you're fit and fab but at what cost? Keep reading to find out if fitness trackers are a good fit for you.
Apple, Fitbit, Amazon-These are just a few major brands that sell fitness trackers. Are they worth it though? If you’re considering purchasing a fitness tracker to incorporate into your active lifestyle, you may want to read this article first.
Fitness trackers are typically worn as watches and they can track everything from heart rate to how many calories you’ve burned. Some even have built-in capabilities to track your sleep patterns when your body is resting!
They can be great when trying to achieve a fitness goal such as improving your running time or burning a certain amount of calories during a workout, but it’s a slippery slope for some between helpful and harmful.
Let’s break down the pros and cons of fitness trackers so you can decide if it’s the right accessory to add to your fitness routine.
Can Help Track Calories When Trying to Lose Fat
A pretty surefire way to lose fat is to place yourself in a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit is a lower amount of calories than what your maintenance calories are; the number of calories you typically eat to maintain your weight. By choosing healthier, lower-calorie foods and staying in a calorie deficit for an extended period of time, you can take some inches off your waist, thighs, arms, or wherever your body stores fat-it’s different for everyone!
Having a fitness tracker that tracks the number of calories you’re burning can help you better gauge how many you’re burning compared to how many you’re taking in. This makes it easier to be in a calorie deficit and lose fat.
Allows for Tracking Time and Analytics During Workouts
Sure, a simple digital watch with a stopwatch feature could give you similar information. For example, if you’re a runner looking to improve your mile-per-minute rate you could use a standard digital watch to track your time. However, most fitness trackers will not only track and time your current run but store that data to give you an overall assessment of your progress.
That’s pretty neat. This can also be used for tracking progress in cycling, circuit workouts, or any other timed activity. If you have a competitive mindset and love to beat your personal records, having a fitness tracker to provide you with those records can be helpful in reaching your fitness-related goals.
Can Become an Unhealthy Obsession
When you have the number of calories you’ve burnt right on your wrist and it’s easy to view at any time, it can be tempting to spend too much time gazing at that number. If you’re someone who struggles or has struggled with an unhealthy relationship with food, fitness trackers may be triggering. Fitness trackers are kind of like the new scale. You can weigh yourself obsessively and you can watch your fitness tracker obsessively.
I think it’s important to remember that fitness is a journey. It’s a process. You’re not going to see overnight success and eating a little excess of calories on a special occasion isn’t going to wreck all of your progress. It’s the habits you create, and a sustainable fitness routine that brings you the results you want to see.
Clashes with Dressier Outfits
I don’t care how many cute watch bands you have, they will never match a fancy cocktail dress or any outfit you wear to a nightclub. I know we all want to track how many calories we’ve lost while dropping it like it’s hot on the dancefloor, but it doesn’t look good to wear a fitness tracking watch with a dressy outfit.
Your watch can have the night off just like you. Let it rest on your nightstand or dresser and swap it out with a dazzling bracelet or cuff if you can’t stand the sight of your bare naked wrist. I promise, it’ll be okay and you’ll still stay on track with your progress and fitness goals without a fitness tracker on your wrist every minute of the day.
Personally, I think fitness trackers can be incredibly helpful when used appropriately. It all comes down to mindset and your personal approach and outlook towards fitness. If you generally have an optimistic mindset towards your body image and fitness, fitness trackers can be a great addition to fine-tune your athletic skills. If you have a hard time viewing yourself with love though and often obsess over what you eat, how many calories it is, and use fitness as a punishment, it can be a toxic addition to the pattern you already have going.
You know yourself best and know if fitness trackers will integrate into your life in a healthy or harmful way! You do you.