It seems like everywhere you look, people are logging their every step wearing fitness trackers. I remember a time when we used to have to drive the route we ran to see how far it we went, and now we can see it all in real time: pace, time, steps, distance, heart rate and even caloric expenditure.
The fitness tracking movement is alive and well and offers a slew of benefits, too. Whether you’re looking to lose a little weight or get active, fitness trackers are leading the way to better health and here’s how they can help you, too.
Accountability. This is a big one for those who need a little push out the door to get moving (especially in the morning). Most fitness trackers (like ViaFit) work with third party apps where you can challenge a buddy to a workout and post your planned sessions to keep yourself accountable to your exercise program. Research has shown that social exercise (whether via a digital support group or live) aids in helping us perform more regular exercise and avoid pulling the cover over our heads to sleep in. Plus, when you do get in that activity, you can share it on social media with your active friends.
Motivation. Remember how you felt when you earned a gold star sticker in school for accomplishing those push ups? (Am I dating myself?) Another benefit to fitness trackers is the visual progress you see as you log your time moving including seeing how many steps you take during the day and the motivation that comes with that information. On average, it is recommended that we take 10,000 steps per day to be in the healthy, active category of movement.
One of my clients went from 250 steps per day pre-exercise routine to wearing a fitness tracker and logging over 15,000 steps and lost ten pounds without even changing her diet. The numbers allow you to see the reality of your movement, or lack there of and motivate you to get up and get moving during the day. Plus many of the devices include their own apps where you can visually see when you’re the most active during the day and more. Seeing is believing and data is motivating.
Healthy Eating. We all know living a healthy lifestyle involves both regular activity and a healthy diet and trackers offer feature a fuel and hydration log to help you keep track of the quantity and quality of your every day fuel. You can enter your food choices, water intake during the day, and evaluate the quality of your diet to inspire better choices.
Goal Setting. There is nothing more helpful in achieving weight loss and other goals than to have a carrot dangling out in front of you to keep you inspired. One of the key features of fitness trackers is the ability to set goals and achieve them. Whether it is to lose ten pounds or increasing your non-exercise activity (general movement in the day), by tracking your exercise, fuel, and sleep you are hands on in learning what it takes and how to achieve any goal you set. Goal setting keeps you focused on progress and personal fitness evolution. It’s the difference between wanting to be fit, and actively engaging in a plan to live a fit and active lifestyle.
Tracking your Z’s. The quality of your sleep can effect everything from your metabolism, cravings, energy, mood and safety. Many fitness trackers can also track your sleep patterns, not only showing you how long you slept, but whether it was deep or light sleep throughout the night and how many times you woke up. Seeing your daily steps and realizing the quality of your sleep is less than optimal can inspire life changing sleep habits, which will improve your life performance.
Although the jury is still out in terms of how accurate all of these tracking devices truly are, they still have a variety of benefits that can inspire you to reach beyond your limits, lose weight, get active and improve your life performance.
Coach Jenny Hadfield
Learn more about ViaFit wireless connectivity, available on select Horizon Fitness treadmills, ellipticals and exercise bikes.