Recently, there’ve been articles on how fitness trackers may not be effective for getting you in shape and how they may actually be counterproductive!
As a personal trainer and a fitness tracker wearer, I’ve been exploring why this could be and how you can make trackers work for you.
The BIGGEST mistake is…
- We treat our trackers as our goals. 10,000 steps? Almost there, so let’s walk to the coffee shop to buy a latte and a doughnut to celebrate!Solution. Only use a fitness tracker to capture data and use that data to make decisions on whether your exercise and diet routine is effective.
- We get guilted into moving. This is a mistake we all make. All week we work out hard, jump out of our chairs to do some star jumps on the hour, every hour (or is that just me?) but when there’s a day with long meetings, a horrible commute and an hour spent in front of the telly rather than at the gym – our trackers stare back at us with that passive aggressive notification telling us to get up and move. Who needs that in our lives?Solution. Learn to celebrate your successes. The 5 out of 7 days you are active is more important than the 2 you were resting. Use data as positive feedback.
- Concentrating on the wrong metrics. As a society, we are all sort of obsessed by our weight but it’s not the most important indicator of our health and fitness. In fact, focusing on weight is usually counterproductive as we sacrifice lean, delicious muscle – which gives us girls our curves and shape – for a random number on the scales. We must stop it!Solution. Focus on the indicators of health and fitness that count. Body fat levels, heart rate, bone density and blood sugar levels are all more important than your weight. Also, step counting is a start, but we should focus more on active minutes. Aim to be active for at least an hour a day.
- We get too concerned by the occasional blip in data. It happens to us all. Maybe it was that work do where they served plates overflowing with pizza bites or we met up with the girls for a gossip and a glass of wine or three, then the next day we’ve put on a pound or two. From experience with clients, there’s usually a lot of panic and a crash diet and super hard workout to compensate for this.Solution. Look at the bigger picture. And this is where fitness tracking is really useful. You’ve got weeks and months worth of data at your fingertips. As long as it’s trending in the right direction, you’re doing well!
So there you have it, a 4 step process to turning your fitness tracker into something that helps you achieve your goals!