It’s an amazing world of health, fitness and technology. Fitness trackers are more than glorified watches. They allow us to tune into our bodies, improve our health and fitness, and connect with an inspiring world of social activity. Simply put: data is power.
I remember my first fitness tracker. It was a watch the size of a brick that looks like something out of a Star Trek movie. Although it wouldn’t transport me to another planet, it was the first time I could see my pace, distance and time with every stride, and that was pretty awesome.
Fast forward to modern day and fitness trackers are like the cereal isle in the grocery store: plentiful. You can track your steps, flights, mileage, calories, fitness time, heart rate, sleep, nutrition and much, much more. There are bright colored trackers, some that look like watches, and some that look like jewelry. Fashion aside, these fitness trackers are responsible for the evolution of health and fitness and it just keeps getting better.
If you haven’t tracked your workout data before, here are 4 reasons to start.
Awareness. There’s nothing more enlightening than tracking your total steps for the day. If you’re on the move all day, you’ll feel like a champion and likely rack up the recommended 10,000 steps per day. However, if you sit all day, your fitness tracker may soon become your new best friend because it’s honest, it shows you what you need to see, and it will motivate you to get up and get moving. One of the greatest benefits of using fitness trackers is that they are honest in reporting the reality of your life. From the number of steps to you take to the quality and quantity of foods you eat, the first step in every tracking relationship is becoming aware of your reality. That is where real change begins.
Motivation. Once you move through the awareness stage, you move into realizing the many benefits. Whether it’s seeing your pace or distance, or the total number of steps or calories you burned in a day, seeing is believing, and it’s also a heck of a motivator. That’s because fitness trackers remove the layer of denial that can set in when we get set in our comfortably ways. And as you begin to hone your tracking skills, you will be inspired by the transformation in your body and mind. As your personal data shifts, you will see and feel the results of your efforts. Not to mention, the fitness trackers have built in messages when you achieve thresholds along the way, so it’s like having a coach right there motivating you to reach higher, farther, and longer.
Evaluation. As a coach, one of the tools I use most often with my athletes is in teaching them how to evaluate how their bodies are adapting to fitness. This is the secret to improving and reaching goals successfully. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, run faster or farther or just get started, fitness is happens over time and with effort. When you can track your heart rates, pace, distance, sleep and nutrition, you begin to see how your body responds to various workouts and progressions. For instance, if you normally run three miles 2-3 times per week and jump to trying to run much farther, your stats will show a red flag in poor quality sleep, higher resting heart rates, and declines in pace over time. If on the other hand, you decide to be wise and progress more gradually, your stats mentioned above will adapt efficiently and won’t spike with a red flag. Being able to review your stats guides you in developing a program of workouts and rate that work for you.
Connectivity. And finally, perhaps the most significant benefit to using fitness trackers and apps is that it instantly connects you and your life performance with a group of like-minded people. If you’ve ever tried to talk fitness and health with a group of inactive people, you’ll understand that having a community of people who enjoy the same things you do, makes the journey that much more fun and inspiring. You can compete against others, share your workouts, your nutrition and some health insurance companies are beginning to use fitness trackers to incentivize activity. There’s an element of accountability that plays in keeping one motivated when you know there is a group of people waiting for your posts.
Coach Jenny Hadfield
Coach Jenny Hadfield is a published author, writer, coach, public speaker and endurance athlete. To find out more, visit our Meet Our Writers page or visit Coach Jenny’s website.
Learn more about ViaFit wireless connectivity, available on select Horizon Fitness treadmills, ellipticals and exercise bikes. With ViaFit, you’ll never have to manually enter your workouts, your equipment will connect, track and share your data for you.