Unless you’ve been hiding in a closet the past couple of years, you can’t have failed to notice the recent surge in popularity for Fitness Gadgets. From FitBits, to the MyFitnessPal app, to Apple watches, it seems like everyone has their own personal dietician and personal trainer, all within arm’s reach! Before, this information was only accessible to top athletes and trainers, but now we’ve become our own mentors, tracking our calorie intake and mileage with our trusted little gadgets.
So what are the pros and cons to this fitness technology?
- Goal planning is made easier. You can track your calorie intake, measure your heart rate, and track how many miles you’ve covered. It’s the perfect device for planning goals, and knowing when you’ve reached them.
- It’s motivating – if you don’t usually work out with friends or can’t afford a personal trainer regularly, investing in a piece of equipment to help will help not only save money in the long run, but provide you with the constant motivation sometimes needed to push that little bit harder. It’s also quite addictive, allowing you to see your fitness levels as a sort of game and motivating you to push harder each time in order to better your last data. MyFitnessApp makes exercising game-like, using trophies and badges to reward your hard work.
- It keeps you on track. Some people require numbers and graphs to track their improvement, and these gadgets can display your progress numerically at the touch of a button. This makes it easier to see where improvement is needed, too (and more importantly, how to incorporate it!)
- Friendly reminders to stand up or take deep breaths to stretch and relax throughout the day mean this little deice is not only good for your fitness but also your posture, flexibility, and mental health, too.
- Tech problems. They’re a nuisance at the best of times, but imagine you’re nearing the end of a brutal run and you’re certain you’ve beat your previous record… only for your watch to die! Or maybe your results aren’t syncing up properly as they should be. Either way, it can be a total pain and add unnecessary stress.
- They’re addictive. This is mentioned in the pros too, but there is a flip side; people become so obsessed with their data they totally forget to actually enjoy the exercise they’re doing. Exercising should be fun, so when you start feeling stressed at the idea of not beating your last time, you can actually be putting yourself off! Which leads to my next point…
- The feeling of failure. You’re consecutively beaten your time for the past 3 weeks, but this week you’re struggling. You can’t beat your last time, and you feel the sinking feeling of defeat. Exercising is better than not exercising at all, so failing to best your last time each and every time you get out there is not a failure! Being constantly monitored can be exhausting.
- Constantly wearing a wrist band is annoying. It can be annoying and cumbersome to wear such heavy, clunky jewellery to bed. No matter how svelte and light your Fitness Watch is, it still feels strange to be sleeping with something on their wrist.
- Price. A fitness device is pretty pricey, and many people see it as a waste when a phone can do a very similar job.
Having a fitness device can help you become healthier and fitter. However, it’s easy to get bogged down in the data – it’s important to take a break from your device once in a while so you can focus on your exercise, take in your surrounding and, most importantly, enjoy yourself!