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It’s Not Just a Pedometer: Wearable Fitness Trackers-By Megan Sumners Wellness Chair East Alabama Chapter

    August 17, 2015

    It’s Not Just a Pedometer: Wearable Fitness Trackers

    By Megan Sumners Wellness Chair East Alabama Chapter

    Wearable fitness trackers---everyone is wearing them.  However, what are they?  And how do they affect wellness? 

    Within the past year there has been a surge in technology and popularity of wearable fitness trackers. You may have seen your friends and colleagues sporting what looks like a rubber bracelet on their wrist.  What they are actually wearing are highly effective fitness tracking devices.  These devices not only track your fitness and sleep patterns but also serve as a motivational tool.  In addition these gadgets have become increasingly sophisticated in the information and insights that they provide users on their journey toward establishing healthier habits. 

    One of the primary fitness information features that they provide is the amount of steps you take in a day.  Why is this important?     Wearables may uncover how much or in most cases, how little, you move around during the day.  The average U.S. adult walks about 5,900 steps daily while the Center for Disease Control recommends about 7,000 to 8,000 steps per day.

    So, how can you use wearables to stay on track?  Have a plan in place:

    • Set goals. One of the top benefits of wearables is that they streamline your ability to set goals and keep records.  You don’t have to set an initial goal of 20,000 steps per day. The Mayo Clinic recommends setting short attainable goals.  It isn’t convenient to write things down in a notebook and carry it with you.  Wearables give you up-to-the-minute stats on your daily fitness level and compare it to historical data.
    • Utilize social functions.  Use wearables to connect with friends and other users who have similar goals.  Turn daily activity into a fun competition.  Many of the wearables have apps that you can download to your smartphone to see your friend’s daily fitness levels and how you compare.
    • Stay committed.  Even if you had a bad day when you never left your desk don’t let that get you down.  Start over fresh the next day and see if you can exceed your daily step goal!