22 November 2016
Are Wearable Fitness Devices as Effective as you think?
Fitness trackers are undoubtedly on thousands of Christmas lists this year. With more of us heading to the gym and pounding the pavements to get in those all-important 10,000 steps per day, it’s little surprise there’s been a surge in popularity. Wearable fitness devices make staying fit simple, but the question is, are they really as effective as we might think?
Only the beginning
A two year study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), discovered that while wearable fitness devices can be great motivators, they’re just the beginning.
"A tracker is a good step towards getting healthy, but not a big one,” says celebrity trainer Prashant Sawant. “A big step would be hitting the gym. Trackers only motivate and support you."
Setting goals and monitoring your activity is one thing – maintaining this activity is quite another.
When novelty wears off
One of the ways that wearable fitness devices work is by making you feel like you’re in control. After all, you can see your number of steps, calories burnt, your heart rate, pulse rate and sleep pattern on one screen, with the tap of a button. However, as the novelty wears off, you may find your fitness tracker going the same way as an abandoned exercise bike…
“It’s like a new phone,” says fitness coach, Bhavesh Patil. “You will be excited about the new features, but a few months later, you might not even wear the tracker anymore.”
Enchanted by new technology, special offers and tempting claims about weight loss, fitness trackers can easily become a fad that quickly gets forgotten about.
Do the work
Wearable fitness devices aren’t a magical quick fix. To get fit and stay fit, you need to put in the work. Reached your activity goal for the day? That doesn’t mean you can overindulge. It’s all about balance: exercising regularly and following a healthy diet, with occasional treats.
Used alongside a healthy lifestyle, fitness trackers are great for keeping you motivated. Prashant Sawant explains:
“These devices make you conscious. When you know you haven't completed the 10,000 mark, you will put in an effort to reach the goal.”
That goal might take some serious work, but it’ll be well worth the blood, sweat and tears. It’s completely natural to sweat when exercising, but if you find that you’re sweating excessively outside the gym, and it’s affecting your daily life, you may want to think about treatment.
Do you own a wearable fitness device? Have you found that it helps you to stay healthy and motivated? We’d love to hear your thoughts over on Twitter.