The advent of personal technology and wearable tech has given rise to a new approach to fitness and wellness. Activity trackers and fitness wearables have made a mark in the digital fitness business—from providing customized fitness plans to managing nutrition to tracking your sleep cycle, they seem to do it all. With the introduction of fitness trackers, fitness enthusiasts have certainly taken on much higher ownership of their personal health.
Fitness trackers have encouraged increased fitness activity around the world, with huge growth in the market over the last decade. In this article, we’ll take a look at a brief history of the fitness tracker and outline many of the benefits they bring to your health & wellbeing.
The history of fitness trackers
Although it feels like fitness trackers are modern technology, they’ve technically been around for hundreds of years! The first pedometer was invented by Abraham-Louis Perrelet in the late 1700s. Clearly, fitness trackers have come a long way from being merely a step-tracking device.
Fitness tech brand Polar put the first heart-rate monitor into a watch back in the 1980s! Today’s fitness trackers are much more advanced, of course, with features that monitor blood sugar levels, record activities, monitor blood pressure and more. More so, many advanced fitness trackers also provide ease of use for people with disabilities.
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Benefits of fitness trackers
- A reminder of activity level
Awareness of activity levels is perhaps one of the biggest benefits of using a fitness tracker. By using a fitness tracker, users are able to easily monitor their daily activity. Awareness is the first step to progress!
- Supports motivation
Everyone has bad days, especially when it comes to establishing a healthier lifestyle. This is where fitness trackers play an important part. Getting active, hitting those steps or burning those calories can be easier when you have a bit of a nudge!
- Ongoing, regular tracking
Ongoing tracking provides users and trainers with data to create accurate goals. People are able to judge what works for them in real-time along with concrete proof and reliable activity history and patterns.
For personal trainers, tracking a client’s progress is an essential part of the job—by integrating wearables with Trainerize, trainers and trainees have access to 360° client progress tracking along with body stats and progress photos. Also, Trainerize can support nutrition programs, with meal plans and meal and macros tracking, to directly support clients and their goals.
Drawbacks of fitness trackers
- Easy to forget the big picture
Daily stats and numbers can be addictive and distracting! Remind your clients that these matters should be contextualized in the big picture. Don’t let your clients dwell on the day-to-day. Daily fluctuations which can often be arbitrary and unrelated to progress.
- Room for error
While data presented via trackers are increasingly accurate, users don’t always have a guide as to how the stats were generated. It’s often an estimate, and some fitness trackers don’t track certain activities, like cycling or swimming. Calorie tracking depends on user input and it should be treated as estimate, not fact.
How to maximize the use of fitness trackers?
Connecting fitness trackers directly with personal trainers is one of the best ways to optimize their effectiveness. Personal trainers can better improve programs, thanks to progress results and activity level updates. Trainers can interpret data, and apply learning to training programs. Plus, they can also help clients understand what features to use, and what to track.
As fitness trackers and wearable technology improve, so will the benefits. Combine a fitness tracker, a personal trainer, and Trainerize for maximum impact.