Should I Buy a Fitness Tracker?

It seems fitness trackers are all the rage today, and you don’t even need to go to the gym just to see them anymore. You can find them on the wrists of teachers, soccer moms, and your coworker. So, is it time for you to make the fitness tracking plunge? Don’t give in to the hype just yet! Although a fitness tracker isn’t a huge monetary investment, it does require a bit of a lifestyle change, so you should put some thought into whether it’s for you before you go and buy one. Consider these pros and cons of owning a fitness tracker.

Pro: Fitness Trackers Help You Set Goals

There’s no doubt about it: fitness trackers are great at giving you goals to work toward. More than likely, the first time you’ll turn on your tracker, it’ll ask for some simple data, such as your height, weight, and goal weight. Then, it’ll tell you how active you need to be that week to meet your goal. If you need someone to tell you what to do and when, a fitness tracker can be a good digital coach.

Con: You Could Do Most of It Yourself

Woman-Wearing-Fitness-TrackerBefore you go running out to buy a fitness tracker, consider whether you really need a digital wristband to track your data. If you’re someone who wants to keep it simple, and you don’t mind busting out the pen and paper, you could track some of this data yourself. Of course, you won’t be getting the in-depth analytics of your workouts down to the second, but if you’re unconcerned about this level of detail and you just want to keep track of the essentials, you could do so on your own.

Pro: Easily Compete With Your Friends

Many fitness tracker systems include a networking aspect, so you’re able to make digital friends with your real-life friends and compete with them, complete with daily and weekly leaderboards. Competition is a good motivator for getting out there and doing what you want to do, and seeing your neighbor with the higher daily step count than you might just push you into taking that evening walk.

Con: Fitness Trackers Aren’t As Accurate As You Might Think

Here’s the dirty little secret that fitness tracker owners won’t tell you: trackers aren’t 100 percent accurate. Unfortunately, the technology just isn’t there yet, though it is constantly improving. This might not seem like a big deal, but when you start basing your goals on certain figures that you know aren’t completely accurate, you could start weaseling your way out of finishing your day’s exercises.

Pro: A Fitness Tracker Could Be the Motivation You Need

Despite their cons, fitness trackers can do what you might not be able to do yourself. They can send you reminders every day and keep you on track. Some of us simply need a kick in the pants to start changing our habits, and fitness trackers can help ensure that.

If you’re still not sure about whether you should buy a fitness tracker, think about tracking your own activities for a week or two. If you find that you’re getting along and seeing results without one, good work! But if you have no idea where to start or you’d like to see a greater breakdown of your data, it might be time to start comparing wristbands.

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