Fitness trackers are lauded for their ability to motivate you with cold, hard numbers towards better health. This, in turn, challenges you to live a more active and healthier life. Yet, a fitness tracker does nothing at all. Everything that makes it so great… Well, that is literally all up in your head. The greatest boon of wearing a fitness tracker each day is the effect that it has on your psychology. Strapping on a fitness tracker is such a simple act, but it can be the first act that leads to a better version of yourself.
1) A Fitness Tracker is Nothing Without You
A fitness tracker on its own does nothing to change you. If you have a mild curiosity on how many steps you take per day or want to see how many calories you burn just by sitting on the couch, there are cheaper ways to find out. However, by purchasing a fitness tracker, you are making a commitment to better yourself. A fitness tracker does nothing if you don’t first put the effort into getting up and taking the first step of your 10,000 daily step goal.
2) Fitness Trackers Reinforce That Fitness is About You Not Anyone Else
While at the gym, wearing a fitness tracker is kind of like entering into a sacred society of people dedicated to fitness, what a fitness tracker really says is that you are doing this for you. Fitness should always be about you. It should be about the changes you want to see in yourself and not about the changes that others want to see in you. As only you have access to your fitness data, not counting any social media sharing functions in the app, this means that only you know how much progress you are making.
While the world can benefit from taking others into consideration, the world of fitness should always be all about you.
3) Fitness Trackers Encourage Goal Setting
If you want to walk a path to a better you, then that path starts with a laid out route on how to get there. Goals, both big and small, short-term and long-term, are the ultimate way to get there. Think about the last time you set a small goal for yourself and reached it. It probably felt pretty good. Reaching a long-term goal feels even better, and that is the essence of how a fitness tracker motivates you.
Many fitness trackers come with automatic goal settings to challenge you without any effort on your part. For example, if you took 5,000 steps the day before, your fitness tracker might up the goal the next day to 5,500 steps. If you fail to achieve it, the goal remains. However, if you get sick of looking at it and put in the extra effort to reaching that goal, you not only get the satisfaction of besting your little piece of wearable tech, but you have taken an extra 500 steps towards becoming a better, healthier you.
4) Fitness Tracker Remind You to Get Up and Move
Even if you are putting the extra effort to reach your small time fitness goals by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking to lunch instead of taking a cab, that doesn’t mean you can just sit all day and become healthy by exercising only every now and then. They say sitting all day is detrimental to your health, but a person has to work. That is where fitness trackers come in handy.
Many models of fitness trackers can recognize when you have been stationary for a period of time throughout the day. As such, when they recognize this, they start to vibrate on your wrist to remind you that it is time to get up and move. While this function can be disabled in most models, it is just one of the many ways a fitness tracker can lead to a better you.
Taking a break to go for even a short stroll around the office not only helps your overall help, but it increases focus better than a cup of coffee. Getting the heart pumping a little faster and the blood flowing back into your legs increases your overall comfort and gives you a break to recommit yourself to your works tasks.
5) Fitness Becomes Addicting
Anything that makes you feel good has the prospect of becoming an addiction. While we tend to focus on all the harmful things that become addictions, there are good things to be addicted to out there as well. When you exercise, it releases chemicals called endorphins that interact with receptors in your brain to limit the perception of pain. Essentially they give you a little bit of a euphoric feel, which is why “runner’s high” is a literal high.
Anything that releases endorphins or any of the other neurotransmitters in the brain that make you feel good can cause addiction, but fitness is probably the best thing to become addicted to. Yet, it is that addiction that keeps us coming back, but it is not just because of those little chemicals. After a prolonged period of increased activity, you begin to see the result in more than just the numbers on your fitness tracker. After seeing just a little weight loss or increase in muscle tone, it is a major boost to your self-confidence. This can make that addicting euphoric feeling of exercise last for more than just your workout.
6) That Addictions Becomes an Attitude
After enough time spent exercising, the addiction to that good feeling that initially got you hooked is quickly becoming a way of life. What started off as a few extra steps to please your fitness tracker’s goal setting has become an everyday challenge and you are likely loving it.
Now you aren’t going to the gym, taking a jog, or even just strolling around your neighborhood to get a fix of endorphins, you do it because you like it. It relaxes you, it gives you a way to de-stress, and suddenly that positive feeling you feel after exercise has become an attitude in your daily life.
7) That Attitude Turns into a Permanent Habit
Finally, that attitude for fitness becomes a permanent habit, and it is all thanks to your fitness tracker. Suddenly you are walking more and further each day. You don’t even realize you are going for a run, you just get up and do it. Fitness has become a habit for you and may very well stay that way.
While not all who purchase a fitness tracker end up with daily exercise as a permanent habit, it is the essence of how a tracker can affect your psychology. One of the best ways to build a habit is to reward yourself, but there is nothing that we enjoy more than the chemicals in our brain that let us experience joy. By engaging in activities that trigger those chemical, like exercise, it becomes an addiction. Enjoying a healthy addiction like exercise soon becomes an attitude, and suddenly one day you wake up and find yourself with a healthy habit, a better looking body, and a better version of you overall.