Although fitness trackers offer a ton of benefits, they’re not for everyone. Below, find some key considerations to make before choosing one for yourself:
Accuracy of some metrics: Hare raises the issue of the accuracy of certain measurements, noting that these devices aren’t always the most accurate for estimating calories burned during a workout. “For example, if you do a 30-pound lunge versus weight loss lunges, your fitness tracker will record the same amount of calories burned because it reads it as the same amount of stroke. However, drop lunges performed with heavy weights will have a much greater impact on your metabolic rate. and continue to burn calories after the workout is over, as the muscles will need to recover.
Some fitness trackers adjust these metrics based on the type of workout you’re doing (i.e. light, medium, or heavy strength training), but it’s important to realize that this number won’t be completely accurate. . If you want a more accurate measurement of how your body is burning calories with specific exercises, you’re better off talking with a certified trainer or medical professional, rather than relying solely on a fitness tracker.
The specific activities you perform: Along the same lines, many fitness trackers don’t measure a wide variety of different activities. For example, if you’re a swimmer, you’ll probably want something with sport-specific capabilities rather than just a waterproof device. Depending on the type of wearable device and the activity you perform, security is also a consideration. For a sport like boxing, wearing a device on your wrist or finger might be more intrusive than beneficial.
How measurable are your goals: Some goals are not easily measurable by a tracker. For example, some of our testers’ devices warned them to move after sitting for long periods during pilates or mat stretching classes.
Potential obsessive behavior: “The other issue with fitness trackers is that some people can get a little obsessed with tracking their stats and those numbers don’t give us the full picture of your health,” Hare warns. People who have struggled with overexercise or a obsession with healthy eating might find that a fitness tracker encourages these behaviors. Athans adds that an over-reliance on these devices can “take us away from our intuition.”
Existing physical disabilities or health problems: Most fitness trackers are unfortunately not designed for physical disabilities or health conditions. If you have an existing condition, it’s best to speak with your doctor before deciding to invest in a fitness tracker.
Consistency is key: If you’re not going to be consistent with your tracker, there’s really no point in buying one. These devices are designed to fit seamlessly into our routines, but if it’s just a matter of sitting on your dresser, it’s about as useful as paying for a monthly gym membership without really go to the gym.