Are Fitness Activity Trackers & Smart Watches Worth the Money?
Since the introduction of the Fitbit in 2009, this new wearable Smart Watch has taken the country by storm. These days, it seems everyone is sporting one of these little gadgets on their wrist or clipped to a belt. People who use them love them, too. Give them a chance and they’ll talk your ear off about how many steps they’ve taken that day, how much weight they’ve lost, how their resting heart rate has improved, and on and on.
While there are plenty of worthwhile fitness trends, most come with a steep price tag. Most New Smart Watch range from $60 for a modest clip-on to $220 for a bulky band aimed at hardcore athletes. At those prices, many people who haven’t jumped on this New Smart Watch bandwagon yet are wondering: Are these gizmos worth the money?
This New Smart Watch has a variety of different functions, and some of them work better than others. Here’s a rundown of what fitness bands can do as well as the technology behind them:
Not all trackers have all of these functions, however. In general, they fall into two main types. Basic “all-day trackers” keep track of your daily activity, such as steps taken, calories burned, and periods of activity and sleep. Fancier “training trackers” do all this and also add more features for hard-core athletes. They track your heart rate and breathing, the miles you’ve logged, your speed, and even your altitude – a nice bit of info for cyclists and skiers. Some of them even provide music to go with your workout.
Why do people love their Smart Watch so much? The main benefit, most of them will tell you, is that wearing the tracker motivates them to be more active. For many people, exercise is more rewarding when they can see numbers in black and white telling them how well they’re doing. They get more excited about hitting a specific target, like 10,000 steps per day, than about the vague goal of being healthier.
Smart Watches are designed to encourage this kind of thinking. They send messages to cheer you on when you meet a goal, giving you an ego boost. Plus, you can share the messages with your friends to let them know how active you’re being. For many people, this brings out their competitive instinct.
Still, it’s not clear how good a job Smart Watches do of making people more active. Studies on the subject show mixed results.
For instance, a 2015 study in the American Journal of Public Medicine (AJPM) gave New Smart Watch to one group of overweight women and pedometers to another group. The women who used the trackers increased their levels of exercise by about 38 minutes per week. That’s far less than the goal of 10,000 steps per day they were aiming for, but it’s more than twice what they were getting before. The control group didn’t increase its exercise levels at all.
Smart Watches can help you in other ways, too. For instance, you can use them to:
If you think a Smart Watch sounds useful, but you’re just not sure you’ll get your money’s worth out of it, there’s a way to try it out without breaking the bank. The company that makes the best Smart Watch has a limited time promotion for the next 2 weeks where they are giving away their New Smart Watch for FREE! All you have to do is cover the price of shipping.
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The real bottom line is whether a Smart Watch will improve your health. Will you work out more when you’re wearing it? Will you eat better or sleep better at night? If a tracker can motivate you to make these positive changes when no other tool can, then it’s a good buy.
If you decide to splurge on one of these devices, make sure you get real value out of it. Wear it every day so you can get an accurate picture of how active you are. Be truthful when entering details like your height, weight, and daily diet.
And finally, focus on long-term trends, not each day’s numbers. Instead of worrying about whether you can make it to 10,000 steps today, look at whether you’re getting more exercise overall than you did a few weeks or months ago. If you did, that’s something to celebrate.
Do you use a Smart Watch? If you do, would you say it was a good investment?