To count steps or not to count steps? That is the question. Many gym-goers and runners alike use fitness trackers, but how much does it actually help with achieving your fitness and health goals?
We asked seven fitness experts to share their honest reviews on fitness trackers (some answers were surprising!). Check out what the health gurus had to say below:
Registered dietitian Rachel DeVaux thinks fitness trackers can be extremely beneficial to those on a fitness journey because it helps track your goals, progress, and sleeping habits and syncs to your phone to share activities on social media. “[Fitness trackers] can really give you that boost of motivation and hold personal accountability on a daily basis [for you] to stay active,” she says.
Nicole Groman doesn’t use a fitness tracker and typically recommends that her clients don’t either. “I teach clients to listen to their bodies, not only regarding hunger and fullness but also with respect to exercise and rest,” says the dietitian. Groman believes in finding intrinsically motivating reasons to be active instead of basing it on hitting a certain number of steps or burning a certain number of calories in order to promote a healthy relationship with exercise.
Registered dietitian and nutritionist Deanna Wolfe uses a fitness tracker but teaches her clients not to worry about calorie burn from exercise. Wolfe says, “we need energy (and calories) every day no matter if we work out or not.” People can benefit from fitness trackers because it reminds them to move their body throughout the day, but not for anything other than feeling good!
Constance Weissmuller, nutritional science graduate student, doesn’t use a fitness tracker because it can keep her from checking in with internal sources of well-being like mood, sleeping habits, and stress. However, if using a tracker comes from a place of curiosity rather than competition, she thinks it can be a fun way to see how much natural movement you get in a day.
Nutritionist and mommy-to-be Robin Plotnik loves her fitness tracker. “I enjoy tracking my workouts, especially while pregnant. Pregnancy brain is real and sometimes I forget what workout I did the day before,” she says. However, tracking of any sort can become obsessive, so it’s important to take days off and enjoy life untracked once in a while.
The healthy lifestyle coach found that using a fitness tracker made her too aware of her body, diet, and exercise. “It took me away from all the other things in life that I loved, needed my attention, and were more important than how many steps I took that day or how many calories were in the apple I had at lunch,” she says. She encourages women to listen to their body, eat foods that make them feel good, and move their body in ways they enjoy.
This fitness blogger thinks fitness trackers can be helpful for someone who works a desk job or spends the majority of their day sitting down. “It can help gauge your activity level for the day and possibly help motivate you to get moving when you can,” she says. “I think it’s more important to listen to your body, move when you feel like it, and rest when you need it.”
Xx, The FabFitFun Team