With several renowned international champs, like Fitbit, Misfit, etc. hastening for a chunk of market space, there is no denying the fact that the wearable market is definitely growing. Fitness bands, a booming category of wearable tech, are extremely popular and spread across a wide price gamut, starting from as low as 999 INR. The point being, money isn’t a limitation anymore if you are willing to come on board. But should you?
What all fitness bands fundamentally do is that they record your activities using a set of sensors (which, by the way, are also there on your smartphone). How many steps you take, how many calories you burn and the distance you habitually travel through your day. Then there are other expensive ones, which can automatically track your sleep and monitor your heart rate. All this data is then synced with an App which can crunch it and guide you towards a better lifestyle.
All this sounds cool, and might even give your lazy life a kick start, but ultimately, of many wearables that I have tried, none managed to stick for more than a month. Physical fitness is a function of discipline, commitment, planning, and dedication. As experts put it, Fitness is a way of life, and just like any other domain, progress comes with living outside of your comfort zone.
The cheap ones are mostly inaccurate. Even a short bike ride can boost your step count by 1000, and that is in no way an exaggeration. This leaves very little reason to use them in the first place. Mi Band, another inexpensive wearable, well build and accurate, but the lack of display or any discernible means to check your exact progress (Nope, that dot thing doesn’t work) ultimately comes to bite you and once the novelty wears off, you won’t even feel like opening the app and checking your daily progress.
Then there are Wearable manufacturers who realize this shortcoming and integrate coaching services within associated fitness app to keep you motivated and to guide you through your fitness regime. This sounds cool and on first glance seems to resolve all issues, but the actual interaction is just one call per month, which might not cut it for you. It is rather easier to slip, but still, I would admit that wearables with coach services integrated were the longest to stay.
Now, this might lead you to conclude that I am thoroughly lazy, flaccid excuse-monger who can’t tackle his procrastination issues. But that is not true. I have been trying to inculcate a healthy life style without over exerting myself and a fitness band which can quantify my activities during my entire day, especially when I am focused on work rather than workout, seems an ideal proposition, but that is not what it has proved to be.
It often ends up being a lumpy itch, which I finally remove for good, before I head for a good night rest. The first fitness band I had (Goqii) did have an impact, I was regularly entering my dietary charts, water intake, was going that extra mile to achieve 10,000 step, but the first road block I hit and once the momentum was broken, it was incredibly difficult and boring to start over again. Over the time, with several other wearables I have tried, I notice a similar pattern.
Even when I was jogging outdoors regularly, It was fun for the first few weeks to know the exact distance I had run, but what actually motivated me in the long run were physical benchmarks I strived to reach. Those running on a treadmill, don’t need a fitness band to measure stats anyways.
Your experience could be different than mine. If you want to go ahead and buy one, just balance your expectations. It might give you a much needed initial thrust, which you might be hankering for, but your fitness, in the long run, will be a product of your discipline. In my personal opinion, realizing your fitness goals will be easier if you join a gym and associated with like-minded individuals.
I must admit I am not a huge fan of wearables altogether, no matter how hard I try, but I am still open to experimenting with smartwatches, which besides being an activity tracker that you can gorge on from time to time, also comes with several other exciting features to add more value to your experience. With Apple watch and Samsung Gear S2 (Rotating bezels is a brilliant idea), seems like the technology is heading somewhere meaningful.