The million dollar question everyone wants to know. Do Fitness Trackers Improve Health? Well, let me answer a question with a question! Can a salad make you healthy if you don’t eat it? Of course not!
That is why we are going to take a journey to examine the features and potential benefits that come with owning a fitness tracker. However, before we begin, I have to be as clear as can… a fitness tracker is not a fat melter or calorie burner. It is a high tech powerful tool that if used in combination with persistence and motivation will help to get you to your goals.
The Fitness Trackers Technological Advantage
If, you are familiar with fitness trackers, then you all ready know that they are packed full of various types of features to help improve your health in an indirect way. But for those who are not proud owners of a fitness tracker, what are the features that will help improve my health? I’m so glad you asked!
Some more common features include:
A lot of fitness watches come with coaching features that have training plans from expert coaches that adapt to you and your goals. If, are a beginner they will gradually build you up to meet your goals. Why can this improve your fitness? Because, many people would like to get in shape, but get frustrated from the beginning due to either not knowing where to start or by starting with to difficult of a beginning that never lasts.
When you install fitness apps to your phone most will ask “What fitness level you are at?” Either minimal fitness, moderate, or a fitness pro. Although, I am not a doctor, but I would suggest that you would be hard-pressed to find a 6 pack athlete who sits around all day and does nothing. Step counting helps you to track your steps so that you can meet your goals. One perspective to look at is it will take 70,000 steps to burn 1 pound of fat. Considering the average person takes around 7,000 steps per day, in 10 days you could be one pound lighter assuming you ate the same or less amount of food.
Heart Rate Tracking
What does heart rate have to do with being healthy? Did you know there are different types of fitness heart rate zones? They consist of Resting Heart Rate, Aerobic Zone, Anaerobic Zone and The Red Line Zone. The zone most people want to be in when losing weight is the Aerobic Zone. However, if you are always living in the resting heart rate zone, while still consuming the same amount of calories your body goes into fat storage mood. And if enough fat accumulates it can lead to health problems. Ideally, you should workout at 55 to 85% of your maximum heart rate for 20 to 30 minutes depending on your present physical condition.
As most of us know, sleep, or the lack there of, plays a critical role in the health of your mind and body. At some point or another a lot of us have experienced sleep deprivation and have suffered through the effects mentally. However, sleep plays an important role in your physical health as well. Sleep is involved in the healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Prolonged lack of proper sleep can be linked to increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease and high blood pressure. Tracking your sleep will help you to determine if you are getting the proper quantity and quality of sleep.
Who Motivates You? Your Fitness Watch Does.
A fitness watch can track all the stats known to man, but if there is no will….then there will be no way! However, if you are like the average human being, you will not always wake up motivated to take that walk, get on the fitness equipment. Instead, especially on bad days, you may be motivated to eat that entire tub of ice cream or have a chip eating contest with yourself.
Fortunately, a fitness watch is there to help. No, it won’t stop those late night cravings, but it will give you gentle reminders throughout the day to get up and move. If, have enough determination to listen the that little buzz on your wrist then it will help to prevent you from having a sedimentary day of sitting and storing fat.
Some fitness watches have the ability to set reminders for workouts or even mild walks to get the blood flowing. Remembering, throughout your busy day to get up and get going will help promote better circulation and blood flow throughout the body.
Even child fitness watches promote a form of motivation by offering inspirational praise as an incentive to meet a certain fitness goal for the day.
Do All The Numbers Count For Anything?
There have been studies done that are questioning whether the numbers actually count. It is felt to maybe too much emphasis is being placed on knowing your numbers such as calorie count, heart rate, time and distance and that you should be more concerned with how exercising makes you feel on the whole. I Respectfully Disagree.
I believe that although this is probably sound principle for a lot of individuals, I don’t people that everyone should be lumped into this category of thought.
Myself, I prefer to know the numbers, because in a lot of cases it challenges me to do better, which in turn is improving my physical health. If I were to compare the feeling of total exhaustion and my legs feeling like burning jello to the feeling of eating a bag of chips… the chips would win every time.
However, if I compare the feeling of beating my time or distance or burning more calories than I did yesterday or even last week and I log my weight (Which is another number) and found it has decreased… then that is a feeling that is hard to beat.
At some point or another most of us have felt the shame of falling off our diet wagons. It hurts. But, there is always opportunity to pick yourself back up, setting and accomplishing goals that you set. Never give up.
Can Music From My Fitness Tracker Help My Overall Health?
My opinion… No doubt about it. Now, each to their own, but when I workout, I can watch my bike rpm go up when that Rockin`Song comes on. You know that one, that really gets your motor running. Did you know that most fitness watches are either capable of playing music or link to devices that do?
There are studies that have shown that music can help ward off depression and boost your mood. This in turn will give you a better frame of mind to get up and get going. It can boost your physical performance and even increase your endurance during those moments that your heart, lungs or arms are screaming I can’t do anymore. At those moments the song says “Yes you can!”
This increased performance and longevity can potentially lead to greater health benefits.
Some Say No. I Say Most Definitely! Your Turn To Decide.
Will a fitness watch solve all your health problems and be your miracle cure…. Not likely. However, will it improve your health. I say, when combined with the proper amount of motivation and commitment… Sure it will. There are many features that are offered in fitness watches that will either give you that gentle nudge that you needed throughout the day or will track certain aspects that will help you to reach your goals.
Now, you may be a numbers person or you may already love exercise just for the pure joy. However, if you ever struggled with your weight and fitness, then you would likely want to do what it takes to meet your fitness goals. For me, that means crunching the numbers. It gives me a sense of pride when I have accomplished a new record or when I’ve noticed that at a higher pace of workout my heart isn’t pounding out of my chest like it used to. I would argue that all of these metrics are important to gauge how far you have come in your journey.
At the end of the day the key will be motivation and commitment to a better life. No doubt about it. Hard work will be involved. But if you willing to take that step and use every tool available to you, I am confident that you can make a difference in your overall health.