Now that the New Year’s resolutions are in full swing, smart fitness devices like an Apple Watch or a Fitbit seem like ideal purchases to track calories and steps.
Wait, before you buy one of the smart devices, make sure you are using the gadget that is right for you. Furthermore, you should be using it for the right reason and understand its limitations.
The smart fitness devices or health apps are excellent in helping the person using them get motivated. If you are not ready to make a change, the watch or tracker is not going to do anything for you. It is essential to incorporate things like nutrition, exercise and behavior changes to lose weight. The device can be helpful, but the right mindset is crucial.
There are five behavioral change steps people typically follow before they lose weight according to experts are pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance.
To benefit from smart fitness devices or apps, you need to be in the contemplation or better yet, in the preparation phases.
You also must be in a frame of mind to want to make a change. If you are considering buying a device or downloading an app, then you may be motivated to incorporate some extra movement into your daily routines. It will also bring you into action and eventually into the maintenance phase to maintain the healthy habits throughout your life.
The watch will not be useful for you if you are not technologically savvy nor have any desire to make changes to your lifestyle.
Do Calories count?
Many of the devices track calories burned through steps or activity; however, despite what Fitbit or your watch tells you, the calorie count may not be as accurate as you think.
The smart devices track calorie counts through a formula that takes into account age, gender, height, and weight.
They do not account for fitness level! In other words, a professional athlete who is very fit may burn more calories than someone who is not at the same fitness level but of the same height and weight.
To get exact calorie counts, correlate your fitness watch with a food diary. A diary is ideal in tracking what you eat, preferably through an app that has the calorie counts for various foods.
Steps Count: 10,000 steps
Do we need to reach the 10,000 steps goal each day to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
Well, If you set your goal to lose one pound per week, a safe weight loss rate, then, put on your walking shoes and try to hit that number.
Why 10,000 steps? Where did it originate? Ten thousand steps come from the goal of losing 1 pound per week.
Since losing a pound, 3,500 calories, per week, requires eating 500 calories less per day. You can also burn 500 calories more than you have done in the past. If walking or running a mile, expends about 100 calories. So in order to burn 500 calories a day, you need to walk about 5 miles. A mile is about 2,000 steps. Then, The 10,000 steps are primarily accounting for 5 miles a day or burn 500 calories per day.
Smart devices and apps benefit the users through Social support
If you are as social as many of us, then you might be motivated to work out with others. Nowadays, this is achievable in a virtual space or real life. Many apps and smart devices can keep you motivated in the virtual realm. Similarly, you can contemplate getting a workout partner to help keep you committed to your workout program.
As competition may be a motivator for many, it is vital to measure only yourself as the constant.
It is highly recommended not to compare yourself to someone else. As we all know, everyone is different. It is best to set goals that best fit you and use the apps or devices to track your progress. Researches say that if you see success with weight loss or fitness goals, you will continue to be motivated and maintain a healthy lifestyle.