Should You Buy a Fitness Tracker?
Written by Staff Writer • Posted on Jan 18, 2016
Starting off a New Year usually means making goals, like being healthier. Most of us want to be as healthy as possible, but to many, "healthy" is a relative word. Some people are focused on this goal all the timell day, every day. While others might be less focused, they still think about it.
According to Statista.com, in 2013, 15 million people used health tracking devicesnd in 2015, the number of devices sold doubled over the previous year. With wearable technology, users can track many aspects of their health (sleep, exercise, activity levels, heart rates, diet) and sync the information automatically with a smartphone or computer. Should you being tracking your health as well? Let's take a look.
Benefits of tracking your health
- Tracking your health gives you knowledge, and knowledge is power. To get healthier, you must understand where your health is currently. By wearing a fitness tracker, users are more aware of what they do every day, leading to better informed decisions.
- Seeing how many steps you take or calories you burn makes it easier to uncover small changes that can lead to feeling healthier. (Maybe you decide to adjust your sleeping patterns, balance your meals better, or resolve to take a short walk every couple hours.) These devices are constant reminders of fitness that can motivate you to create healthier habits. Sometimes, a little motivation is all you need.
- These devices can provide valuable information to your doctor, like heart rates or blood pressure. This information can provide a better understanding and improve quality of care. Tracking measurements and taking a proactive role in your health could even lead to fewer visits to the doctor's office altogether!
If you've been sitting on the sidelines, it might just be time to get into the game. So where do you start? There are hundreds of products out there to choose from...
How to choose a fitness tracker
Here are some things to keep in mind to find the right fitness tracker for you.
- First, make sure any tracker you're looking at is compatible with your smartphone. Most trackers are designed to work with Android and iOS, however, some will only work with a specific operating system.
- Second, think about where you want to wear your tracker. There are ones that you wear around your wrist, hook to your clothes, or strap to other areas of your body. If you don't like wearing a watch, but you buy a tracker for your wrist, it will likely be uncomfortable for you.
- Next, think about which features you want. Basic fitness trackers will typically track steps, calories, and sleep. If you're looking for functions like GPS, measuring pace, or monitoring heart rate, you need a more advanced tracker.
- If you're trying a fitness tracker for the first time, it's important to find one that is easy to use. The worst feeling is to get discouraged because you can't operate the device or its software. Trackers typically come with an app that syncs and stores your data. Luckily, you can research these apps before you buy. Go to the App Store and read reviewsnd if the app is a free download, you can even see for yourself!
Each fitness tracker offers different compatibility, style, features, and cost. Websites like CNET.com and PCMag.com provide great reviews that break down the pros and cons of the top devices on the market. Seize the new year by empowering yourself to take better control of your health! And remember--if you ever need help installing or using your fitness tracker, you can always check in with a friendly Technology Advisor. We're happy to research your device and get you back on track!