What Are Four Benefits Of Fitness Devices?

Are you thinking about investing in a fitness band to count your steps as you move through your day? We explain how today’s fitness wearables can support your healthy lifestyle.

Exercise is a critical part of a healthy active life, and countless products offer to help us get more exercise. Shoes promise to make us run more effectively. Exercise equipment promises to make us slimmer and more fit. Lately, people are starting to wear an array of fitness devices to monitor their activity. Can a fitness device improve our health habits? We explore how these devices can be used to enhance a healthy lifestyle.

Patients regularly ask for advice about equipment and devices. We always start the discussion with one question: ‘Are you going to use it?’ Because if you aren’t going to use the device, it doesn’t matter what it is—it can’t help you. Are you going to run? No? Then running is the worse thing for you. Are you going to walk? Yes? Well, then walking is the best thing for you. Whatever you decide to do, it’s got to be something you’ll stay with. Every device promises results, but those results are not going to happen through osmosis. You actually have to do the work.

For patients who are willing to learn how to use a fitness device, we are a fan. These bands provide four advantages:

  • The main advantage is accountability. Black and white data tells you whether you did 10,000 steps. If you are motivated by mental accountability, and by the little tingly buzz you get when you reach 10,000 steps, this can be a great tool to get you moving.
  • The heart rate monitor feature is also valuable. Some devices, like Fitbit, tell you via a color-coded graph whether you are working out at a moderate or a more intense rate. Your weekly routine should include both moderate and high intensity exercise. However, if your goal is to burn fat, walking at a moderate heart rate is more beneficial to you than a run, because your body is going to switch to a slower burning energy source: fat. When you work out at a higher heart rate, your body burns more carbohydrates, providing more cardiovascular benefit. Your device will tell you when you are exercising in your targeted range of intensity.
  • Calorie counting features make you more aware of how much you are eating, and how your calories consumed compare to calories burned. Some devices also track water intake, to help you make sure you are staying hydrated.
  • Some patients share their device information with their general practitioners. Fitness devices sync to a smartphone, so patients can bring their phone to their check-up and share their activity level with their doctor.

These wearables can be a great tool to help you improve your level of fitness. Just remember: they only work if you use them!

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