See what I did there?
I invited myself into a debate about activity trackers in my UK Fitness Bloggers Facebook group. Formerly a runner and now a lifter, my views have ebbed & flowed on the subject of monitoring and tracking your fitness efforts but I’ll cut to the chase… I’m all for them!
1. Reward: Okay, so my blog isn’t called ‘All The Gear’ for nothing. I make no secret of the fact that one of the things that motivates my fitness journey is indulging in new accessories, trainers, fitness wear and gadgets. And actually, that’s a point I’m going to keep coming back to – if you’re motivated by rewards for your efforts, then some kind of activity tracker is definitely for you. It’ll keep you wanting to come back for more, wanting to go harder, faster, whatever.
2. Review: while even the most sophisticated activity tracker can’t tell you EVERYTHING about your performance, it’s still pretty insightful. Whether it’s how much you’ve been parked on your bum all day, how many more calories burn when you do X activity instead of Y, or how you’ve shaved a few seconds off your 5k, I think it’s healthy to be able to review how you’re getting on, especially if you have certain goals. Yes, you should just love what you’re doing, but I definitely love it more if I’m learning about myself along the way and an activity tracker is a supporting factor in doing just that.
3. Routes: I use a Garmin Forerunner for running because I prefer the more accurate heart rate monitor and I love to look back on my routes. Its GPS capabilities are pretty much up there with the best so you’ll be able to see quite an accurate picture of where you’ve gone (especially useful if, like me, you’re prone to running off course for fun but then have no idea where you actually went). You can use Garmin’s network to connect with other Garmin users and share cool routes you’ve discovered too.
4. Routine: I wake up, on goes my Apple Watch which is now my go-to daily saviour of activity tracking; handily it also notifies me when I’ve got an upcoming meeting, or allows me to quickly read a message. The activity tracking isn’t flawless, but it’s enough for me to understand what’s getting my heart rate up. We all have our morning routines, and my activity tracker has become part of that. I actually charge mine overnight, so I’m not really sure what goes on when I go to sleep, but plenty of other activity trackers can help you learn more about your sleep if you want them to.
5. Record Breaker: one of my favourite features of my Apple Watch is the little achievement badges within the app – don’t be surprised if you ever see me randomly air punching to myself because I’ve earned a new one – I’m such a geek it’s unreal. Even on rest days, I try and ensure I’m getting in a minimum of 30 minutes of light exercise every day even if it’s just a walk.
So there you have it. Convinced? My one big watch-out is to not become obsessed with it. I almost got to the stage where I was running up and down stairs before bed to try and hit my daily activity target. My advice? If you’re going to bed, just go to bed. Becoming obsessed with hitting daily targets is not healthy, unless you’re prepping for something specific like a competition or event and need to stay on track. Give yourself a break, you’re human.
I’d love to hear your views and opinions on activity trackers, whether you’re for or against! Hit me up with a comment below :)