Everyone wants to be fit don’t they? Well perhaps not everyone bothers but the intent is usually there. It’s a fact that a lot of people think they’re fit when they’re actually not. Doing a little bit of exercise is helpful but might not be enough to keep you fit. That’s why fitness tracking can be a really good idea. There are lots of ways to do it, for example standing on the weighing scales regularly will give you some insight to how fit you are.
Scales are only a tiny part of showing your true fitness. You may be exercising to lose weight, but as the fat comes off the muscle builds so it may appear that weight loss is very slow. In this case it gives a true picture but perhaps in a distorted way, as fat is being lost although replaced to some degree by muscle.
Keeping a record and tracking changes will show a trend over time and it’s this that can help to take you forward. Fitness trackers are just one part of the overall picture but they are fast becoming a major part for those who want to keep a very close check on their performance.
Why is Fitness Tracking Important?
If you regularly exercise there’s a good chance that you’re reasonably fit, but if you keep a track of what you do and record the effects it has on you, you’ll get a better insight into your body. When you first start on a fitness routine it’ll give you a bass line to work from.
If you know where you’re at with fitness and your cardiovascular system you’ll have an idea on your state of health and can then keep a check on it. It’s amazing how many people don’t do this check but it can be really helpful to your health.
There has been some controversy around fitness trackers as they rely on motion to function. Identifying the type of motion, for example whether you’re lifting a set of weights or a tin of beans could cause results to be unreliable. Activity is the key though, as long as you work from a bass you can keep a track of improvements.
Get an Overall View
Your cardiovascular system forms a part of your health, so keeping a check on the velocity of oxygen (VO2) pumping around your body is important as this is how cardio fitness is measured. Some activity trackers don’t have a function to measure your heart rate but they do have an option to connect to a heart rate monitor. This, as you might guess, comes as an additional extra and therefore at an extra cost. It’s something to bear in mind if you’re looking to buy one.
Many people concentrate too much on their fitness routine rather than an overall healthy lifestyle. This can cause result in stress if you get too focused on routine because you can’t always be consistent and you need to allow for this. Seeing a healthy lifestyle as part of the routine should help as it broadens it out.
How Important is Fitness Tracking?
The old saying, “if you don’t know where you’re going you won’t know when you’ve arrived” is very true here. Keeping a track of your fitness will help prevent you going to extremes which may have short term effects but no long term gains.
We’ve already mentioned keeping a record weighing yourself, but you need a bigger picture. Monitoring your eating habits is important. Most activity trackers together with their synched online app will keep a check on your calorie intake and the calories burned during workouts. This is a good way to monitor weight loss if that’s what you’re trying to do. If you’re burning off less than is going in, you’ll see and can then do something about it.
You’ll be able to see improvements you’re making. You can set yourself targets and compare results to see your achievement. This can be highly motivating, taking you forward and is an important part of fitness tracking.
Keep a Record and Adjust
By measuring yourself you’ll know what to do, if a particular routine is working or not and how you might change. Some trackers will give feedback based on your performance or even suggest ways you can improve. This is all worked out from the way you set it up when you first start out. You’ll probably change these settings as you reach different levels so you can keep an up to date record of how you’re doing.
Sleep patterns can have an impact on health so it’s good that some fitness trackers will monitor your sleep. They let you know when you drifted off, woke during the night and in the morning. This again is achieved through monitoring movements during your sleep. With this knowledge you can alter your sleep pattern, for example go to bed earlier or later, to add to your overall fitness and health.
Get the Most out of Fitness Tracking
There’s no doubt that fitness tracking in whichever way you do it, has to be a good thing. With the speed at which technology is improving, new devices are being released regularly. The average price seems to be coming down too, which can only be a good thing.
They all do pretty much the same thing, but other things to look out for, apart from the basics, are heart monitoring plus the extra cost of it, sleep monitoring and integration online with an app. The online side of information stored and offered can vary quite a lot.
You might ask if they really do work and help to improve fitness and health, but there’s no definitive answer. While fitness trackers remain extremely popular and are getting better all of the time, there have been some reports that question their use.
The journal of the American Medical Association reported a study which questioned whether fitness trackers might help long term weight loss. It should be noted though, that the trials didn’t use wrist band type trackers but one which fitted on the upper arm. The results make interesting reading, but it’s unlikely to affect the popularity of fitness tracking, which is now an important part of a health routine for many people.