The wearable market is growing with many manufacturers coming up with fitness trackers that are aimed to make people healthier and motivate them to live a better life keeping up their fitness goals.
For instance, Apple Watch, Xiaomi Mi Band, Fitbit, etc. are very useful if you are new to exercise or trying to increase your physical activity. Such fitness-centric devices will nudge you to keep moving and track your activities such as cycling and running.
There are fitness trackers that even measure your sleep pattern and heart rate. You might be tempted to buy one to keep you motivated, but you need to consider a few factors before you choose a fitness tracker.
Fitness trackers count the number of steps you have walked by estimating the arm swings and the distance you have reached. Many such devices track the calories burned and floors climbed as well. If you procrastinate, the tracker might not help you much and it will finally land in your drawer without any use.
There are fitness trackers for competitive users such as Fitbit and other such apps that will instill peer pressure by joining you to groups that will track, challenge and taunt one another to meet and go beyond the goals. Apple Watch and a few other devices will even step up your goals. One thing you need to keep in mind is that the trackers are not perfect.
Most fitness trackers in the market monitor your heart rate, but these are not devices that are approved to provide medical advice. The measurements of heartbeat can vary to a great extent at times.
The fitness trackers are awful when it comes to translating steps to miles. Only a few devices let you calibrate themselves by checking the same against a known distance. There is GPS functionality in many high-end trackers that drain the battery more quickly before the long-distance tracking is done. Moreover, if you are indulged in activities such as swimming, you need to have a water resistant tracker.
Many trackers provide sleep monitoring and the ones that don't can use the third-party apps for the purpose. In case, you toss and turn a lot while you are asleep, the tracker will mark you as a light sleeper. It will note down your visits to the washroom as well. Notably, the tracker cannot guide you to get a better sleep, and just suggest that you need to sleep for longer.
The fitness trackers can be nagging if you have a desk job. It is unhealthy to sit for longer durations, but if you have a desk job and you keep ignoring the reminders, you are not making use of the tracker fully.
Many fitness related features are already available on smartphones. The latest models have applications to count the steps and there are apps to monitor your heart rate and workout intensity. If you have any such smartphone, you need not be investing your money in a fitness tracker at all.
Buying a fitness tracker is all your choice. If you have a phone that can do all these and motivate you, that should be enough. If your phone cannot motivate you, even a fitness tracker will not.