A few years back, Nike & Apple collaborated for their product Nike+ iPod sensor to track your run mileage and pace, which was one of its kind! Over the time, since that apparatus came out, there are many new fitness-tracking devices like Vivofit, Forerunner, FuelBand, UP band, Fitbit & more. There are devices that count our steps, tell us how far or fast we run, assess our sleep & also measure heart rate. Now everyone can track not only how many calories we take in, but how many we burn each day as well, which was earlier accessible only to athletes through the assistance of coaches.
Considering the increasing usage patterns & dependence, the question arises: Are fitness gadgets & devices actually any good for weight loss? The answer to this question is very subjective and depends on the usage patterns of the technology. The collected stats can help in highlighting your weak spots and working upon them can help you get healthier, but getting bogged down with it has many negative effects, too.
1. The power of knowledge -
A strong plan is a must-have to win & achieve goals! To achieve goals, you must reduce the gap between where you are & where you want to be! Fitness tracking gadgets provide a ballpark range of daily activities and maintain its log, which ultimately helps in achieving the plans!
2. Actual visible results -
Compiling data sheds light on the big picture. Sometimes we need a reminder of just how active we are or are not. This makes a major impact on the outcomes of efforts in terms of results!
3. Accountability -
In words of Mark Twain there are 3 types of lies - lies, damned lies, & statistics. That said, it's hard to argue with the numbers when you wear a gadget. The only way to hit your target numbers is to earn & work for it. If you need that extra little push in getting active, this is something you can look up to!
1. Accuracy - In my research, I have found out that there are many people who have pointed out towards the disparities of data across devices, this begs the question of how accurate any of the devices are?
2. Not able to measure variations - Apparently skating, skiing, and gliding are hard to measure on these devices, which reduces its usage scope!
3. Science v/s humans - Too much dependence on analysis & numbers can distract the emotional construct of your behavioural patterns. In short, you must be careful with a fitness tracking wearable that it doesn't become your central focus.
Conclusion: The Bottom Line
When it comes down to the question of whether you should buy/use a fitness device, I'd say it depends on your fitness journey. You certainly have to know where you are and where you're going in order to achieve goals, for which, a fitness device can give you much needed baseline. On the other part considering the cost-benefit analysis, you have to to wonder if $100-$150 is worth it in the long run?
As per my opinion, these devices feel more like a short-term aid versus something that helps make long-term lifestyle change. A tracker may help you to get excited about moving more, but the question remains, will it help you stay excited in the long run? Ultimately, all that matters when it comes to fitness is developing genuine motivation & dedication. As for now, I would like to conclude by saying that, currently I like my fitness device a lot, but I doubt I'll be wearing it 2 months down the lane. The novelty simply wears off!