Fitness trackers – worth it?

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Fitness trackers come in all shapes and sizes these days and can get pretty detailed for specific types of training. There are accessories for heart rate monitoring, waterproof options for swimming and those that connect to monitors on your bike. But what if you’re not training for a triathlon?  Why would the average Jane want to wear a fitness tracker?

 

Steps, baby

Steps, my friends. The answer is steps…and motivation, and positive reinforcement. Well, for me it is anyway, and it may be for you too.

So many of us sit for a large part of the day, be it at work, or at home in the evenings, so we just aren’t moving as much as our ancestors did…no wild animals to run from around here. So we need another reason to move. We know we need to move for good health, but sometimes we need a little reminder. I have my Fitbit tracker set up to remind me to move every hour if I haven’t got to 250 steps yet. It’s not a lot of steps, but they can be easily missed if you’re sitting at a desk all day!

Goals

I have also set a goal of at least 10,000 steps a day. This means I’m more inclined to get up for my morning treadmill session if I am having a deskbound day so I can hit my goal. My watch lights up and buzzes to congratulate me…and I like it! It’s all positive reinforcement and reward for being healthy, and I don’t know about you guys, but I like having a visual representation of my healthiness. I also love to see how many workouts I’m getting in in a week.

The science

But don’t just take my word for it, there’s science involved. If you’re looking to improve your health via an increase in exercise, studies showed that self-regulated behavior change techniques like goal setting, self-monitoring, and social support were linked with better fitness outcomes. With your fitness tracker, you can set yourself step and workout frequency goals, and check your wrist throughout the day to see how you’re doing. Then link up with some friends on the app who are doing the same and boom, you’re on a health kick that’s likely to last.

A family of trackers

We’re a split household – one Garmin and one Fitbit and we both love our fitness trackers. The kids have non-branded versions that they love too! We’re considering getting them the Fitbit Ace for Christmas now that we’ve seen their dedication to tracking their progress. They love sharing how much they’ve moved and how many steps they do at various practices.

Where to start

As I mentioned above, there are many, many trackers and what you need will depend on where you are in your workout journey. Start with the Fitbit links below (check out the free shipping link!), explore to your heart’s content and track your way to better health.

Fitbit

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