Life in Words
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Today we are going to talk about fitness trackers. What are the benefits and are there any drawbacks of these wearables? Here on my wrist you see Fitbit Ionic smartwatch. I’ve been using it for a year. I want to share my experience and tell you about 7 benefits of having an activity tracker. So, let’s begin!
#1 tracker as a tool
My number 1 is tracker as a tool. The whole concept of the tracker really makes a difference. For example, when you have concrete evidence showing how many steps you did, how many calories you burned, you’re motivated to keep going. You are paying more attention to what you’re doing every day. Also, I use it to check my heart rate and quality of my sleep.
Honestly, the tracker makes me move more and I love being able to see my progress in a graph as it encourages me.
The second point is gamification of the application. Most trackers have a built-in goal setting system and provide metrics so you can track your progress. For example, Fitbit motivates me through setting up my personal goals, as well as through huge collection of badges which I can earn and challenges which I can win. My favorite part here is challenges. Achieving personal goals is fun, but it’s more rewarding if we share the experience with others. Many wearables provide the ability to connect with other users in the exercise community via apps or website. So does Fitbit. I added my friends and family to my network so from time to time we compete in different challenges. We have a lot of fun as everybody wants to be announced as a winner. Also, I often go for an additional walk to step ahead.
#3 silent alarm
Number 3 is my favorite feature. It’s silent alarm. What an amazing thing! It’s way better than waking up to annoying sounds blasting in my ears! I don’t like morning alarm. Sometimes getting out of bed in the morning is the hardest moment of the day. But with Fitbit, my waking up process is way better. This is also useful if you don’t want to wake up all your family. From time to time I still use standard alarm but 10 min later the silent one and just to be sure to wake up, because sometimes I do need an extra minute in my bed.
#4 ability to pay
The next point is paying with a tracker on the go. Not all of the trackers do have this feature but it’s very comfortable. You don’t need your phone any more. You can access your credit or debit cards anywhere. From buying water after workouts to tickets for the train. I enjoy this Fitbit Pay feature. It’s so cool to pay with your smartwatch. You just hold your watch against the contactless payment terminal until you hear a sound or feel vibration from your watch. All from your wrist and without your wallet. Maybe you are skeptical and think that it’s not so hard to take a wallet and get your card, but you will understand, once you try.
#5 GPS tracking
Number 5 – GPS tracking. Not all trackers do have this feature. But my Ionic does and I like it. GPS tracking makes my walks or running races more memorable. Also, I like to track my walking distance especially when I’m travelling so I can share it with my friends. The only thing you miss without GPS is a map of where you either walked or ran. If your tracker doesn’t have built-in GPS, then you can grab your phone, and track location with it. GPS is great, but only if you really need it. If you walk the same trail every day, then a GPS monitor isn’t going to do all that much for you.
#6 reminders to move
Number 6 is reminders to move. You don't regularly keep track of your daily steps. We often become too engrossed with our work that we forget to take a break and leave our desks. Hence, we tend to sit for almost 4 or 5 hours straight. As a result, we put too much strain on our lower back, just by sitting for such a long period. And here we go, tracker is so helpful! It encourages you to move, reminding every hour to have a break if you did less than 250 steps. It affects your behavioral changes, increases your accountability and motivates you to pursue your fitness goal.
#7 heart rate monitoring
Number 7 is heart rate monitoring. It is a useful tool for new and experienced runners and other physically active people to know your personal heart rate. It helps to set limits and monitor the progress so you can exercise at the right intensity. The goal is to exercise within your target heart rate zone for maximum impact. In Fitbit there are four phases: resting, fat burn, cardio and peak. What is interesting here, resting heart rate measures your heart beats when you are still, and it can be an important indicator of the health of your heart.
So, let’s sum up. What are the benefits and are there any drawbacks of having a fitness tracker?
As you have heard, there are a lot of benefits. Consciousness about what we do each day changes us for the better. Fitness trackers help us monitor our activity throughout the day. Silent alarm makes your morning routine more pleasant. Wearing Fitbit pushes to be better every day, to exercise healthier. Competing with friends encourages you to stand out. Ability to pay with a matter of seconds makes life a bit easier, you don’t need your wallet on a run. GPS tracking makes walks or running races more memorable. Can you do all that without a fitness tracker? Almost, but you are more motivated to keep going when you see your progress in real numbers and it’s working. For example, you lose weight or your heart rate improves, you feel better or less stressed after exercises and all that you can measure with your tracker and keep an eye on your body.
However, these gadgets have several drawbacks worth mentioning. And I will tell you about them in my next article.
For me, Fitbit Ionic totally works, even with its downside. Tell me about your experience. Do you use any other tracker like Garmin, Apple or Samsung watch or any other? Is it worth the money? I’ll be glad to hear your opinion on that!