Do Fitness Trackers Really Improve Health

You need a fitness tracker if you really want to improve your health. When I first started wearing fitness tracker a couple of months ago, it was frustrating to try.

But when I started wearing it I came to know about its health benefits. I got to see all my statistics right on my wrist. Charting my over time it was like something from a superhero movie,

I was like wow this thing can really help in improving health.

I recommend fitness tracker because it can boost your daily workouts and make it part of your daily routine to achieve targets. It is important to mention that an easy to use tracker is actually motivating towards achieving your health and fitness goals.

Most fitness trackers have more functions than a Swiss Army knife. Usually including a heart rate monitor, distance trackers, exercise programs, calorie trackers and many more, all with the intention of improving your health. If you feel a significant improvement in health, you will never stop using it.

Buy or dust off your tracker

Have you been thinking about buying a fitness tracker, or do you have one, and its collecting dust?

Well now is the time to either buy that tracker or dust it off. Because here you will get answers to the questions which are clicking in your mind. Like, do fitness trackers really improve health? Do fitness trackers motivate you? Fitness trackers have the potential to be one of the best tools which can improve your health and also motivate you.

To find out detailed answers to the aforementioned questions, first, you need to know precisely about fitness trackers.

Do fitness trackers work and really improve health?

Before we get into it, do fitness trackers work and really improve health? To put it into simpler terms, fitness trackers measure movement and motion.  They use sensors that can track the following things:

  • Movement
  • Orientation
  • Rotation

They collect data and immediately convert it into steps, calories, sleep quality and general activity that you do all over the day. There is also a sensor called the ‘altimeter’ that can measure your altitude. It must be noteworthy that, the more sensors your fitness tracker has, the more accurate it can be for you.

Now moving towards the question; do fitness trackers work and really improve health?

Yes, if used.

My guess is that most people take it for granted that fitness trackers are helpful in improving your health, but that’s based mostly on hypothesis.

So, what did they find?

Fitness trackers on their own won’t improve your health; that’s true. But what trackers can do is motivate you, hold you accountable, and measure metrics that you normally wouldn’t think to look at when it comes to your overall fitness. If you’re thinking of slapping a fitness tracker on your arm but need a little more convincing, then read ahead.

The fundamental hypothesis driving the smartwatch industry is that losing weight is a simple matter of “calories in versus calories out”. This view is held by many fitness experts, bodybuilders, and nutritionists. But not all.

Alternative crowd maintains that counting calories are actually unproductive for a large number of the population. According to this viewpoint, the answer has more to do with metabolism, insulin sensitivity, hormone balance, gut bacteria, nutrient density and so on. This group of people might answer the question of whether fitness trackers really work quite differently or not.

Allow me to be so bold as to present my point of view.

Burning more calories than you consume will affect weight loss.

Smartwatches and the calorie counting people rely on a number called an Active Metabolic Rate to do their math. This is the number of calories that you burn during a normal day of work. In turn, this is calculated as your Basal Metabolic Rate the number of calories simply required for breathing and thinking plus any activity on top.

To get your BMR and therefore your AMR you have to enter these required inputs:

  • Your height
  • Your weight
  • Sex

This is needed because taller people require more energy just to go about their usual business that’s why bigger folks tend to eat more. Similarly, men and women burn different amounts of calories. You can also do a BMR calculation using your lean body mass.

Two people roughly the same height and weight won’t burn the same number of calories. If you have a higher level of testosterone then you will burn more calories and build more muscle. Hormone balance plays a big role. Similarly, thyroid hormones, cortisol levels, insulin, and some other factors all play a role.

You don’t believe that hormones can make much difference to your physique? Look at somebody who uses steroids. They would have the same numbers as anyone else on a fitness tracker, but they’d look a lot different. On the other hand, many women who start using oral contraceptives can also gain or lose weight as a result.

Our guts harbor a lot of friendly bacteria that play a very vital role in our health and well-being. These bacteria help us to produce hormones and neurotransmitters; they aid with our digestion, and they fend off bad bacteria. Several case studies have shown us that fecal transplants can result in rapid weight loss or weight gain due to the loss or addition of the bacteria.

Millions of people use fitness trackers to monitor their health and fitness. If it were possible to count calories going in and out, this would lead to more precise predictions of weight gain or weight loss.

Not just for exercise junkies, the data from fitness trackers may help predict and even prevent heart disease, blood pressure, and count calories. Sensors on these devices track each and everything from body movements to heart rate and even blood pressure. They also include loud alarms to remind users to stay active throughout the day.

Despite mistakes when it comes to recording your activity, wearable trackers can be useful for improving your daily workout. Because the majority of adult’s exercise comes in the form of walking, your step count should provide a good approximate of your daily activity.

For many fitness-band wearers, the accurate number of steps jogged matters a lot. The bands can increase competition to outwalk friends and encourage them to take an evening walk. Those who wore fitness trackers significantly increased the time they spent doing moderate to energetic activity. These facts remove the doubt about do fitness trackers work and really improve health.

Do fitness trackers motivate you?

A fitness tracker can help by providing valuable data and collecting your health and fitness information that allows you to see what you’re achieving. It also records any improvement. These can all work together to keep you motivated.

People are more motivated to push themselves when they can visibly see their activity levels. It also helps them reach to their next fitness level. Seeing their progress can give them a feeling of achievement, which in turn increases motivation.

Being sufficiently motivated plays an essential role in whether people are able to increase and maintain their physical activity levels. But it must be kept in mind that not all forms of motivation are equally powerful.

There are three forms of motivations:

  • Autonomous Motivation
  • Controlled Motivation
  • Amotivation

1. Autonomous Motivation

When a person does something freely, willingly and with a positive attitude, it usually indicates higher motivational quality which is known as autonomous motivation.

2. Controlled Motivation

If a person does an activity mainly in response to other’s demands or pressures such as rewards, competition or comparison with others, this is indicative of lower motivational quality which is known as controlled motivation.

3. Amotivation

When a person has no desire to take part in an activity at all, then this state is known as amotivation.

Greater motivation depends on three basic “needs”:

  • Autonomy
  • Competence
  • Relatedness

Autonomy: It is the need to feel a sense of ownership over your actions.

Competence: It is the need to feel adequately-challenged and experience a sense of accomplishment.

Relatedness: It is the need to feel connected to others and supported in your endeavors.

Both autonomous (higher) and controlling (lower) forms of motivation can prompt changes in our behavior, but autonomous motivation is more durable and beneficial in the longer term, particularly for physical activity and weight loss.

Goal-setting and self-monitoring of progress can maintain the development of high-quality (autonomous) motivation for physical activity. Fitness trackers are really helpful motivational tools to support people in making long-term lifestyle changes and becoming more active, both during and after taking part in a weight loss and healthy living plan.

Overall, fitness trackers can motivate increased performance and raise the effectiveness of the workout.

Benefits of Fitness Trackers

There are a number of benefits for people who want to increase access to health and activity trackers in the workplace. As a result, fitness trackers can really improve their health too. The top 12 benefits are:

1. An environment focused on health

For many years, work environments have made productivity and profit the top priorities, while health received little to no attention. The good news is that the arrival of fitness trackers, along with other wellness devices tied to specific outcomes, have moved health to the front position of the workplace environment. This, in turn, creates a stronger sense of companionship, happiness and overall employee retention.

2. Enhanced chronic disease management

Diabetes and high blood pressure are chronic diseases that require constant monitoring and management. Fitness trackers allow people to monitor their physical activity, what they are eating on a daily basis and many more. This can lead to improved health and, eventually, increased productivity due to a decreased rate of workplace absences related to illnesses and other disorders.

Wear your fitness tracker to bed, and perhaps your nights will be more restful and you’ll feel better in the morning. This can lead to improved health and, eventually, a decreased rate of workplace absences due to sleepless nights.

3. Up-to-date weight loss tool

As you’re busy trying to maintain your personal records, you may not even notice the gains or losses you’re making in your weight. Fitness trackers can make calorie counting more convenient than ever. They can also help you manage your food intake.

Many fitness tracker apps have nutritional information databases. So if you want to count your calories, no longer do you need to carry calorie book with you at the workplace. You set a daily calorie goal, you can see at a glance how many calories you have left in your budget and how many calories you’ve burned.

4. Get better at sports

Even if you’re fit then you can still benefit from using a fitness tracker. With the help of fitness trackers, you’re able to track metrics (such as speed, number of laps, and revolutions per minute) related to specific sports such as running and cycling etc. It helps you to see how well you’re performing and track your progress.

5. Counting steps is easy

It may sound unreasonable, wearing a fitness tracker for counting your steps. But it really motivates you to simply strive yourself to improve your daily steps goal. You can also see how many steps you walked per day and it motivates you to do better the next day. So it reduces your laziness and encourages you to go across the world.

6. Accountability

This is a great feature for those who need a little push out of the door to get moving in the morning. Most fitness trackers work with third-party apps where you can challenge a friend to a workout and post your planned sessions to keep yourself accountable to your exercise program. Social exercise aids in helping us perform more regular exercise and avoid pulling the cover over our heads to sleep in. Additionally, when you do get in that activity, you can share it on social media with your active friends.

7. Motivate healthy habits

The intensifying use of smartphone apps with built-in motivations has turned health monitoring into a game. In fact, both small and large companies have taken over games and expanded it further by putting programs in place that motivate healthy employee habits.

8. Pushes you to achieve your goals

Goal setting is the significant feature of fitness trackers and it lets you set the goal and keeps you engaged in your goal progress. In an increasingly deskbound society, fitness trackers are one way of giving you an extra push to get you out of your seat. They are motivating people to reach their health goals i.e., self-monitoring, setting goals, getting feedback on their progress, revising goals, social support, and developing a sense of self-efficacy.

9. Keep track of your progress

A good fitness tracker will have the option to track your progress, calories, steps, distance and heart rate monitor. Moreover, you could summarize your last week or months’ achievements. As well as, it will shake and inform you when your goals will be achieved, i.e. 6000 steps or 20km. It feels good to see your progress and how much stronger you have become.

10. Personal accountability

Fitness trackers track your goals and your progress, psychologically encouraging you to walk more steps than you did yesterday; to run faster than you did yesterday; to sustain peak heart rate for just a little longer. Wearing a fitness tracker can increase a user’s activity levels. Eventually, a decreased rate of workplace absences due to bad health.

11. Incentives promote activity

Fitness is not an individual hobby or habit. Workplaces are getting involved in encouraging employees to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle with many incentives. Having a healthier member of staff cuts down costs for companies too.

12. Tracks even while you sleep

Sleep is linked to the quality of your health and lifestyle. Fitness trackers can easily determine the quality of your sleep on the basis of your movement during sleep. Most fitness trackers have built-in sleep monitors, which measure how long you sleep and estimate the quality of your rest by how much you move around while you sleep.

Wrapping Up

Finally, it is concluded that fitness trackers continue to play an important role to improve your health and also motivate you. The focus of these devices has been on individuals interested in working towards specific health and fitness goals. I’ve been a user of fitness trackers for years. So, I enjoy tracking my daily activity, exercise and more with my own fitness tracker.

The ability to link your fitness tracker with others, even if they don’t have the same tracker as you, is an innovative way to connect with others. Moreover, you may connect various devices and track your health and fitness data from numerous data sources. This information will be precious for your future safety.

So, if you have a fitness tracker lying nearby, or you have been thinking of getting one, now is the time to make use of it. Gather some close, or not so close friends for motivation, challenge, and fun. Spread the word, “the more the merrier”.