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How Will You Benefit From a Fitness Tracker?
Fitness trackers have become as common as a wrist watch. In fact, for many people, a fitness tracker, sometimes called a smart bracelet, has replaced the wrist watch while doing so much more than offering the time of day. But the question to be answered is, “Can a fitness tracker help you lose weight?” The fitness tracker alone will do nothing to aid in weight loss or give you a healthier body. The only thing a fitness tracker will provide is awareness. Awareness without action is pointless.
I am now totally aware of how unfit I really am!
My experience with a fitness tracker has been a major wake-up call. The most widely touted feature of any fitness tracker is counting the number of steps taken each day. The recommended number of steps for maintaining a healthy lifestyle is 10,000. Ten thousand steps a day. Every day. Before making any plans to increase my regular, daily activity or start an exercise program, I wanted to know what my starting point really was on an average day. I wanted a baseline.
When my fitness tracker arrived I was totally psyched for incorporating it into my new diet and exercise plan. I eagerly strapped it on my wrist and went about my ordinary Monday, just gathering information to create my baseline of activity. I went to work, came home and plopped into my chair in front of the computer. That was my Monday. 1120 steps. One thousand one hundred twenty steps. (insert horrified emoji here).
What Does a Fitness Tracker Do?
The average fitness tracker will provide:
- Time of day – digital watch, synchronizes to smart phone
- Number of steps walked – related to movement of arms as you walk (or leg if wearing on ankle)
- Number of miles walked – an estimate based upon number of steps
- Average heart rate – average heart beats at a given time or per activity in some models
- Activity duration – length of time per activity in some models
- Calories burned – an estimate based on activity and physical bio entered during app set up
- Sedentary alert – gentle nudge when you’ve been inactive for a pre-determined amount of time
Some fitness trackers will also provide:
- Oxygen level
- Blood pressure
- Sleep monitoring
- Call or text alert
- Remote camera control
- Phone finder
Fitness Trackers Are Also Health Trackers
One unexpected benefit I found when using a fitness tracker is the sedentary alert. By setting the alert to notify me when I have been inactive for a defined amount of time, not only do I get up and walk or move around for a few minutes but I have found the key to healthier eyes! It is a known fact that long term, concentrated computer use results in eye strain due to the decrease in blinking. The longer we gaze at the monitor, the less we blink. Healthy eyes need regular, frequent blinking. Less blinking results in dry, irritated eyes, discomfort and headaches.
I have dry eyes to begin with as a side effect of lasik surgery. I work in a paperless office so I spend eight to ten hours a day staring at the monitor. My tracker nudges me every thirty minutes to get up, walk around and blink, blink, blink more. The uses for the alert are as numerous as the number of people who will recognize it’s value. Want to drink more water? Set the alert for your time frame. Get up, walk around, and drink more water!
How does a fitness tracker on your wrist or ankle provide this valuable information? Each tracker manufacturer provides a free app to be installed on a smart phone. The app connects to your tracker via a wireless blue tooth connection. The tracker connects to the app on your cell phone, reporting the information for you to review. Not all trackers provide the same information. Some provide all of the benefits listed above while others may only provide the basics of stepping and heart rate.
How Much Does a Fitness Tracker Cost?
The original fitness trackers were fairly expensive, some costing more than $100.00. You can easily find a more affordable tracker for under $25.00 but remember, sometimes cheaper is just cheap. Searching in the middle price range, my partner and I each found a fitness tracker that meets our needs.
My LETSCOM Fitness Tracker provides the basics: time of day, number of steps walked, number of miles walked, average heart rate, activity duration, calories burned, sedentary alert, call or text alert, remote camera control, (I don’t know why) sleep monitor and phone finder. The app was easy to install, easy to use. It took about twenty minutes for the set up and another twenty minutes to go through all the features and identify the ones I wanted to use. The band on this model comes in a variety of colors. This tracker maintains a charge for about six days for me and is easy to re-charge. Just pull the band off the charging end, plug into a USB charger and it will be ready to go again in a few hours! The basic information is available on the tracker screen and the full report with very clear graphs can be viewed on the smart phone app.
My partner wanted a model providing oxygen level and blood pressure in addition to the basic features above. The GTBonad 2018 NEW Fitness Tracker with a black band that secures much like a watch band was an easy choice. Again, the app was easy to install and easy to understand and weekly charging with a USB charger makes it a great choice for those who want more than the basic features of most fitness trackers.
Should You Buy a Fitness Tracker?
Are you having trouble shedding the weight? Do you feel sluggish and out of breath just thinking about exercising? Do you wonder about the health value of your everyday activities?
Should you buy a fitness tracker? I went out to buy a bathing suit. I came home with a fitness tracker instead. It will be a little bit longer before I start trying on bathing suits again, but now I have the tools to carve the path to a healthier me!
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