If you’re on the fence about purchasing an activity tracker…
Activity trackers have become very popular. Anything new, expensive and requiring technology is a little scary to me. I have recently gotten a lot of use out my own activity tracker and felt compelled to share in case anybody else is curious about them.
Let me preface this by saying I am not technology savvy at all. It took me 2 weeks and about 10 hours of googling random questions such as “HOW DO I CHANGE THE FONT IN MY TITLE” to create this very basic blog. I was up-to-date in college but that was almost ten years ago (holy moly, did I just say college was almost ten years ago?) and since then I have had zero interest. I have a really old iPhone. People laugh at me about it. And I think we have a smart TV? But that’s about it.
Two years ago my husband bought me the FitBit Charge HR. Since then there’s been many new editions and upgrades to activity trackers, I’m sure, but I only have experience on this one.
It’s pretty basic and does not require a ton of techy knowledge in my opinion.
Activity trackers, like the FitBit, are awesome. At the most basic level they track your heart rate, calories burned and steps all day long.
I would never say it’s essential to have one because obviously people have been losing weight for years without them but they are really nice to have. Let me explain why:
Not every day is the same. There’s a million online calculators that can help you come up with a daily calorie goal based on your average activity level, weight and goals. Handling every day for exactly what it is (vs what it is “on average”) is way more accurate. I have had back to back days with over 10,000 calorie differences! This is because some days I may run 6 miles, grocery shop, visit the park and burn a ton of calories and some days I may just do a bicep workout and chill at home. They really help keep yourself accountable rather than estimating calories out vs calories in and risking the likelihood of over-eating. Before having an activity tracker I’m sure there were days I would over-indulge and make the excuse, “It’s ok because I ran today” when the reality was I was probably still indulging more than I “earned” by running.
They are SO motivating! My FitBit has a daily goal of 10,000 steps. I challenge myself every day to reach that as soon as possible, preferably before noon. It cheers you on and does a little encouragement number when you hit a goal. I swear it totally keeps me moving throughout the day and when I’m doing something mundane, like folding clothes, I’ll purposely take the long way around my house to put the clothes up just for more steps. It also encourages me to add one more repetition, run for 5 more minutes or put that extra effort into a workout because I can literally SEE the numbers. Which brings me to the next point…
Information at your fingertips. Do you ever wonder how many hours of sleep you’re really getting at night? How many calories you burned at the zoo? Or what your resting heart rate was during a busy and stressful day at work? I’m all about being in touch with my body these days and the activity tracker just takes it that much further. The kids and I were having a “dance party” today and I felt my FitBit buzz. I looked down and realized it had kicked into “workout” mode because it detected I had been moving for more than 9 minutes. My heart rate was over 110 bpm and I was just playing with my kids! I got a good laugh out of that. Also, sleep. My FitBit tracks your sleep patterns. I don’t particularly get much use out of that feature but it could be especially helpful for people who struggle in that department.
Accountability. My FitBit app is linked to the MyFitnessPal app which is basically a food diary. All day long they are doing the caloric math for me. It also breaks down my macronutrients. NO EXCUSE FOR EXCUSES when you are fully aware of calories in/out. Getting back into my FitBit has brought on a whole new level of accountable eating for me and hopefully soon I’ll be seeing the results from it.
An activity tracker will once and for all validate the hard work of a stay at home mom. Hahahaha. I’m joking… but not really. Believe it or not I can easily walk 5 miles in a day without ever leaving my house. That is 5 miles of diaper changing, meal cooking and picking up toys. Isn’t that fascinating?!!?
I think activity trackers are perfect for people who are needing help in accountability. If you find yourself feeling like you’re doing everything right but not seeing results then it’s a really great tool to help determine where that gap is.