People became obsessed with tracking everything they eat when they started using calorie counters. We’ve been keeping track of our activities for quite some time now.
DaVinci invented a pedometer to help soldiers keep track of their daily walking distances. His invention was used by the Roman army for years until modern day technology came into play. A Swiss watchmaker took Leonardo DaVinci’s existing technologies and added features that allow people to track their steps and distances. At the time of the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, two doctors and an engineer from Japan teamed up to create the first wearable computer. Their motivation for creating them was due to concerns about the lack of physical activities among the Japanese at this time. They wanted people to take at least 10,000 steps every single day to improve their health. A study published by Harvard University found that people who walk at least 10,000 steps per day live longer than those who don’t.
Pedometers today are far better than they were even just 10 years ago. They’re now available everywhere from big box retailers to specialty shops. The creation of the original FitBit in 2009 allowed people to track their fitness activities using an app on their smartphone.
Fitness trackers give us the ability to see how many steps we’ve taken each day, how many calories were burned throughout the day, how well we slept at night, and whether or not our heart rate changed during different activities. There are obvious advantages to using these types of devices, but there are some disadvantages too. There are some concerns about accuracy, privacy, etc., but most people don’t really care too much. Moreover, some people don’t know what they’re supposed to do with all of this new data.
Here, I’ll explain why having a health and fitness tracker could be beneficial for you, discuss some common issues people face when using them, and provide tips on how you can get the most out of yours.
What are Health and Fitness Tracking Devices?
Simply put, health and fitness trackers allow people to monitor various aspects of their physical activity, including things like steps taken, distance traveled, calories burnt, heart rate, etc. Data stored in the device itself or accessible via an associated app on a mobile phone.
“Before tracking calories and performing well, it is essential to develop healthy habits by consuming a high protein, clean, balanced diet and exercise regularly,” says Sergio Pedemonte, certified personal trainer and CEO of YourHouseFitness.com. Once these good eating habits become routine, then monitoring progress through tracking nutrition intake and exercise will provide clear insights into how factors may influence performance and body composition. These insights allow for precise adjustments to diet and/or training so that individuals can achieve their fitness goals.
How Do They Work?
Depending on your needs, health and fitness trackers range from a basic pedometer to a sophisticated smartwatch. Pedometers are inexpensive, simple to use, and easy to find for anyone looking to keep an eye on their daily activity levels. To get even deeper insight into your progress, you might consider investing in an app for your phone that tracks your activity levels.
Wearable devices typically rely upon sensors to monitor movement. Most wearable devices include an accelerometer for tracking movements in all directions. Data from an accelerometer is then used to create graphs showing sleep patterns, activity levels, calorie burn rates, etc.
Self-reported information, including your height, weight, and age, is used by these devices to estimate calorie burn. It’s because the fit of the device matters. Your FitBit or Apple watch may not be working correctly if they’re too tight or too loose. For optimal performance, the device should be worn comfortably on the wrist.
What about Other Trackers and Tech/Fitness Equipment?
Wearable fitness trackers like Fitbits and Apple Watches are common staples, but there is a whole category of wearable tech designed for taking your health data to the highest levels. Wearable devices include items that can be worn like jewelry or incorporated into clothes.
With Go2Sleep, people can track their sleep patterns by wearing an accelerometer, measure their blood oxygen level, and even record their heart rates during sleep. You can pair it with both iOS and Android devices. It even claims to be able to tell you when you toss and turn during the night.
You might not be interested in wearing devices for exercise tracking, but if you’re looking for ways to reach fitness goals without them, there are options available. It’s kind of like it sounds—an interactive piece of exercise equipment that you can hang up on the wall. It has an LED display so when it’s turned off, it looks just as good as a normal mirror but uses less room than one would normally use for a mirror.
You start using it when you’re ready to use it. Choose a program. You can watch hundreds of different types of exercise videos online for free. They’re not just one level. There are different levels for A teacher will appear on the screen just like you’re watching a YouTube video or taking part in an online course (link, 2021) The instructor will show you everything. During your workouts, you’ll wear a heart rate monitor which collects data for analysis later. The monitor also talks to the mirror, so if you’re feeling tired, an instructor can motivate you by saying something like “You’ve been working out hard today!” You don’t need any special equipment to use it; just download the free app from iTunes. A major advantage of using an online fitness program is that you’re able to workout at any time from anywhere. You don’t need to be near a gym or even leave your house! One drawback is the price tag: You could spend anywhere from $1500-$2000 for a full body scanner.
Benefits to Fitness Trackers and Wearables
Tracking these things can give you an idea of whether you’re making any headway towards reaching your goals. These kinds of data points could help you understand how your workout routine, stress level, or eating habits affect your sleeping pattern. Breathing exercises can help lower your resting heartbeat and improve your quality of restful sleep.
“Wearable technology is particularly useful for people who want to lose weight.” These wearable fitness monitors provide useful feedback by tracking things like heart rate during exercise sessions to gauge intensity and adapt accordingly. They’re especially helpful when trying new exercises or activities.
Downsides to Fitness Trackers and Wearables
Privacy, accuracy, price are three important factors when choosing an activity tracker.
Wearables range from $100 to several thousand dollars. An entry level or basic model of a fitness tracker from a specific manufacturer might cost between $80-$150. A smartwatch costs between $200-$300 depending upon its features. If these prices seem high, you might want to look into buying an older version for less than its current price. You might consider purchasing an entry-level wearable if you’re unsure whether you’d use one frequently enough to justify its cost. After which, you can decide whether the investment is worthwhile by considering how often you use it.
Many people worry about their privacy when they wear an activity tracker. Questions like “Who has access to my information?” come up frequently. What kind of things has it been used for? According to a recent study conducted by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, Fitbits may be susceptible to cyberattacks because they store user data online without encryption. On its website, Fitbit encourages users to update their software regularly and to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for additional security in their Fitbit accounts. Because the Apple Watch needs to pair with an iPhone to function properly, they use some of the same security measures used by iPhones. Additionally, the device locks when it detects that it has been taken off the wrist and can only unlock again if you enter a code.
However, there may be concerns regarding the accuracy of the data collected by these devices. They’re wondering whether they can trust the numbers provided by their fitness tracker. One way to fight against this is by understanding how your data is collected and used and what it means for you. Updating your software regularly is important regardless of which type of device you’re using.