The fitness industry is ever evolving, and new fitness devices are being created all the time. One device that’s risen in popularity is a fitness tracker. They could be in the form of a watch, wrist band, or chest strap, and they could be as simple as an Apple watch or Fitbit or more advanced such as a Garmin or Polar heart rate monitor. These trackers generally measure biometrics such as heart rate, calories burned, sleep, and steps. Some vary and may include more or less measurements.
Although a fitness tracker isn’t necessary for one’s fitness journey, it’s nice to see and track your heart rate, calories, sleep, and steps. How do you know if your sleep and recovery is up to par with your workouts, or if you’re in that target heart range for your workouts? Tracking these biometrics can be beneficial. Once you know where you are, then you can figure out where to go. By tracking, you may see where you’re doing really well or where there is room for improvement. For example, my workouts are great, however, sometimes my sleep and recovery is completely off which can hinder my fitness results. Since I know my sleep needs work, I can make changes to my sleep ritual.
I personally have a Whoop, but there are many varieties of fitness trackers out there! Each tracker has their advantages and disadvantages. I love my Whoop since it tracks calories, heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, and sleep. It unfortunately doesn’t track steps so I use my phone for that. When it comes to choosing which tracker, it depends on how fancy or high tech you want your tracker to be, how much you want to spend, and can also depend on certain activities you like doing. Some trackers are better for certain activities. For example, if you like to swim, then you would require a band that is waterproof. For everyday life, an Apple watch or Fitbit will do just fine!
As advanced as these fitness trackers are, unfortunately they are not completely accurate. The amount of calories and heart rate can be slightly off. If you want an accurate reading of heart rate, then a tracker that goes around your chest would be better! In addition, the only way to get truly accurate readings would be during an exercise test in a lab. Don’t let the variance dissuade you from using a tracker! It’s still helpful to get a general idea of how much work you’re putting in while exercising, sleeping, etc.
From my own personal experience, I have had my Whoop band since March, and it has been so eye opening to see how hard I train and how well I recover. I know when to push myself and when to allow for more rest and recovery. It has helped elevate my fitness game. Ultimately using a fitness tracker allows you to see where you are, how you are doing, and how much progress you’ve made along the way. The knowledge that comes from this tool can be powerful and help you become the healthiest and fittest version of yourself!