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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Why I Don't Wear a Personal Fitness Tracker

What are your views on wearing a personal fitness device. Something like fitbit, nike, or jawbone? I have never worn one, and thus far, I probably never will.

The way I see it

How accurate can they really be for people on a treadmill, lifting weights, or riding a stationary bike? I have read a ton of articles (similar to this) of fitness people saying that they are not very accurate for that. I realize that there are products such as that will sync to your treadmill or bike and keep track of distance for you.  I also know that they can sync with some personal devices. But really, how many apps, memberships, etc. does one need to buy to keep this stuff accurate? Not to mention, that as the article above states, treadmills and other machines are notorious for inflating the value of calories burned.  Finally, tracking steps has been proven to be more accurate if you are wearing a device on your hip rather than a wrist.  In which case, the Fitbit One would be the best choice.  But don't get too excited, as that has reviewers say that it can fall off easily, get lost with clothes, and be a tad annoying to transfer it to a "sleep band" at night to track sleeping. While it's competitors already come in a wristband form (some having multiple uses as a watch, tracker, monitor, and will let you receive and answer texts,) the placement itself seems to be a problem with the actual counting steps.  Although, I hear they work well for distance... but again, what if you stay stationary?


What about calories? You all know that I am not a fan of tracking calories. I don't see it as a long term solution to a healthy lifestyle.  I don't pay attention to the caloric value of my food OR my activity. When I follow the Intuitive Lifestyle the way that I should, I haven't found a need for it. Honestly, I cannot imagine myself tracking calories for the rest of my life. Again, I have read articles (such as this one) about people GAINING weight while wearing a device because the app told them that they were doing so much activity that they could eat way more calories! I've said it before: I just don't think that one equation or algorithm can work for everyone.  There is just no way to measure individual metabolism, genetics, or the body's use of food. Plus, I find it tedious to journal every ingredient that I use, just to get the caloric value of what I am eating.

So, I can see that wearing a device might be best for those people that are able to do a lot of activity OUTSIDE (biking, jogging, swimming, etc.) and who are willing to track their food. (Whether it works or not.) But other than the sleep tracker, heart monitor, and idle alarm (an alarm that buzzes your wrist when you have been idle for too long) I am not sure that a tracking device would be worth it.

Having said that, I am a super fan of being active out side rather than inside.  I love to swim, walk, play, hike, etc. I just need to get back into that habit.  It seems that since I have left Arizona, those things have been more difficult to do.. not sure why.


Want to track your sleep?  There's an app for that! Check out the new Apple App, that will count your steps, measure your sleep, and sync to other apps as well! Ok, so you have to have the iphone 5S or higher for it to work, but I DO! Don't have an iPhone? Check out these apps for sleep!

So, am I missing something?  As far as I can tell, it would work out just fine to set a few alarms through out your day saying something like "Have you been active today?" and BOOM, there is your reminder!  Use an app to track sleep, and food (if you choose,) and there you go! Now, if someone invented an intuitive lifestyle device that buzzed you to remind you to be active, check your hunger, and used an app to help you journal how the food made you feel, along with where you stood on the hunger scale, I would probably buy it.

So, do you wear a tracking device?  Do you like it? What am I missing? Have you stopped wearing your device? Why?  Fill me in! Let me know!  Who knows, maybe you will see me out and about with a wristband tracker flashing around my wrist!