Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Are You Doing Your Bit to be Fit?

Jesse Fulbright, MSU Liberty County Extension

Sunday was a beautiful day here in Chester.  There was a fun run that had been fortuitously scheduled, and even without being involved in that, there were people out in droves walking on the almost completely ice-free streets.  Of those that were out, how many of them were wearing fitness trackers?  Honestly, I have no idea.  However, the question needs to be asked, “Do these fitness trackers help people be more active?”  For me, I have to say “yes” as I walk to work now in almost any weather, just to get my step goal for the day. 
There are pros and cons to having a fitness tracker.  As I mentioned, it has helped me be more active.  It provides reminders to be move throughout the day and when you think about it, it distinguishes an awareness between being busy and being active.  It also helps a person set goals and work on achieving them.

There are negative feelings that can be associated with fitness trackers.  I know when I don’t reach a goal, or obsess about not reaching my step goal, it takes the fun out of being active.  Fitness trackers also monitor many different things, whether it be calories, steps, heartbeat, active minutes.  Sometimes the information that flashes on your fitness trackers isn’t always accurate.  View the information as an estimate.  Along with that, they aren’t sophisticated enough to categorize all types of exercise and movement.  For example, mine does great at measuring walking but I know it is inaccurate when I bike to work.  Lastly, remember that just because they aid in weight loss doesn’t mean that there is nothing more than just calories in and out.  Keep exercising too!
So, how can we make fitness trackers more successful?  Keep it charged and ready to wear.  Remember that small goals lead to bigger results.  As I have found out, fun can make a difference.  Set attainable goals and have fun with them!  Most importantly, listen and know your body as it will tell you what it needs.  These fitness trackers are just one tool in your health and fitness toolbelt. 

For even more information on fitness trackers visit your local county Extension office for a free copy of the latest Lives and Landscapes magazine.

No comments:

Post a Comment