Fitness trackers may not be a food trend, but they are definitely a popular health trend right now! There are all different types of fitness trackers, ranging from simple pedometers to all-in-one smart watches.
I have been using a FitBit tracker for most of 2015 and I definitely benefit from it. I like to have the victory of getting the 10,000 steps and I like that it can also track my sleep and my “active minutes.” My goals are for 30 minutes or more active minutes on most days of the week and hoping for 10,000 steps a day on most days.
Pedometers have been around for a while, so why the recent surge in popularity?
Not only are Americans becoming more and more sedentary, their efforts to combat it may not be enough. It has long been recommended that everyone needs 30 minutes of physical activity every day to promote health. But recent studies have found that 30 minutes may not be enough when we sit for the remainder of the day.
Sitting for prolonged periods of time has been linked to chronic health concerns including elevated LDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, poor blood sugar management and weaker bones.
Boost Your Health and Lower Your Risk!
So what can you do to promote your health and decrease your risk? It’s simple really; stand up and move more throughout the entire day.
This is where fitness trackers come in! They can track the number of steps you take each day. The more steps you take, the less time you spend sitting. The standard goal for most trackers is 10,000 steps a day.
So the solution seems simple, but within the first couple of days wearing a tracker, you will realize the goal of 10,000 steps isn’t as achievable as it may seem. You have to consciously make an effort to move more.
My first day wearing a fitness tracker, I reached 10,000 steps in 6 hours.It was a Sunday, I didn’t have to work, I had time for more than my usual 30-minute workout, and I had a lot of errands to run. I logged over 1,000 steps just at Costco.
The next day, Monday, I woke up and went for a run and had over 4,000 steps before I got into work at 9:00am! But… for the next 8 hours at work, I barely logged 750 steps, and I got up a lot.
By the end of the day I only reached 7,800 steps. Oy!!
Don’t Give Up!
It’s easy to feel defeated when you can’t reach 10,000 steps every day. But the important thing to remember is the reason you started wearing one in the first place: to have a better understanding of your health and strive to move more.
Fitness trackers can help you feel more in control of your health and fitness, and motivate you to make healthier choices throughout the day. So focus on the positives of wearing a fitness tracker, make an effort to change what is within your control, and don’t stress over a slow day.
Every day is a new chance to reach 10,000 steps!
When is a fitness tracker NOT for you?
The one time that I recommend AGAINST a fitness tracker is if you become emotionally beat down when you don’t meet your goals. Some people who fail to meet their goals will feel guilt and be angry at themselves. This gets worse when you look at the statistics each day.
Feeling guilty and being angry at yourself does not promote good health! If you’re someone who tends to do this, try setting alarms throughout the day that encourage you to do 10 minutes of activity. Or sign up for fitness classes that leave you feeling good about yourself.
What’s your favorite way to encourage yourself to be active?