While celebrities and top athletes have access to the best trainers, the rest of us have to find other ways to hit our fitness goals. Fortunately, with the advent of wearable technology, such as Fitbit and Nike+ Run Club (among many others) getting in shape is much easier.
But is it more enjoyable? A Fit Rated survey of more than 1000 people found that 68 percent of gym-goers confirmed working out with technology made for a more enjoyable experience.
THE BENEFITS OF FITNESS TRACKERS
Anything that improves the enjoyment factor of your workout is bound to be a win, but the benefits of wearing a fitness tracker don’t end there. There are a number of reasons to consider using one.
They monitor your progress and let you know if you’re on track to meet your goal. They provide some much needed motivation on those days when even getting outside can seem like a Herculean task, and they’re a great weight-loss aid, as well.
After all, the numbers don’t lie. If they’re not where they should be, you’ll be more inclined to hit the gym than break out your Netflix stretchpants and dive into that family-sized bag of [insert fave snack here].
Until Nike sponsors you (no harm in dreaming big), they also serve as a fantastic virtual personal trainer and can definitely help you realize your fitness goals. Whether that’s completing a triathlon, running your first 5K or whatever.
WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A FITNESS TRACKER
Okay, so you’re sold on the idea of wearing your motivation. I hear you, but there are a few things to keep in mind before purchasing a fitness tracker. Without the proper thought upfront, your newly-acquired piece of tech will quickly be relegated to the back of the closet.
For starters, your tracker has to be comfortable to wear and easy enough for you to operate. When you’re training for that marathon, you’re going to be on the road for a couple of hours at a time. Comfort is key.
Operating it shouldn’t require a degree in astrophysics, either. Figuring out which button to press depending on the data you’re after should be intuitive. If not immediately, then at least after a couple of times using it.
While you’re at it, make sure it also looks good. That might sound superficial—and maybe it is—but why risk buying something you’re going to be embarrassed to wear? If weight loss is one of your goals, you may want to get something that tracks your food intake along with your sweat output.
POTENTIAL DOWNSIDES TO WEARING A FITNESS TRACKER
On the downside, there’s the very real possibility of device fatigue setting in. With so many aspects of our lives driven by our electronic devices, adding another to the pile might not be the best idea.
If you already spend your workday staring into a computer screen, a better idea might be to make your workout device-free time. This downtime can be especially beneficial, if you have a demanding job or if you’re someone who finds going offline difficult.
KNOW YOUR WHY
Fitness trackers are great motivators, but it’s still up to you to do the workout. To stay the course with your fitness goals you need a strong ‘why’ to see you through those times when you’d much rather hang out on the couch.
There’s a reason why Simon Sinek’s well-known TED talk on inspiring action has had close 40 million views. It’s because he impresses in it the importance of starting with ‘why.’ Having a goal is great, but knowing the ‘why’ behind your goal is what will determine your success. And that’s one thing a fitness tracker can’t help you with.
Remember, wearable tech certainly has its place in the fitness arena, but there’s also something to be said for just getting out there and breaking a sweat. Run for the sake of running, for the sheer joy of moving your body. If you happen to get fitter and leaner in the process, consider it a bonus.