Fitness Trackers: Stay Informed, Stay Well?

Can a wearable device improve your health? Here are a few tips to help you decide.

 

These days, with smartphones and other mobile technology providing internet access everywhere, the power of information is in our hands — literally. But how can having more data at your disposal help you stay healthy?

The answer comes in the form of fitness tracking devices — yep, Walgreens sells those — which let you take the power of being informed to your everyday activity. Simply wearing a device on your wrist (or belt, wherever you choose) helps shed some light on your steps per day or the effectiveness of your exercise routine. There are a ton of useful ways to monitor day-to-day health with wearable technology, whether it's:

  • Steps/distance. This stat can help you focus on the little things to stay as active as possible during your day (like taking the stairs instead of the elevator).
  • Speed. Are you a runner? Track your pace and distance over time with a built-in pedometer.
  • Calories burned. Seeing an estimate of your daily calorie intake vs. calories burned can help you reach your ideal body weight.
  • Sleep. Sleep-hour monitoring to track sleep patterns, plus a gentle "alarm clock" wristband trackers offer, can help you stay well-rested.
  • Heart rate. An effective measure of not just your fitness level, but your cardiovascular health.

Devices sync wirelessly with your smartphone and/or computer, providing an app/desktop interface to help make sense of all that data and display your fitness range over a particular time period. Many devices also let you auto-log activity data in online communities — like Walgreens' Steps with Balance Rewards.


Is a Fitness Device Right for Me?

  • Are you looking for insight on your day-to-day health to achieve fitness goals?
  • Do you have trouble staying motivated in your workout (or are you "plateauing" and not sure why)?
  • Are you looking for an analysis of calories burned vs. calories consumed to achieve your diet goals?

Any of the above can point you to using a wearable device as a fitness aid. When shopping, be sure to take time to evaluate which features are most important to your fitness, since there are many options to choose from and each has its strengths.

And remember: when it comes to your workout, technology's great — but it's no substitute for plain-ol' determination and hard work. So let's get moving!

 

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