Why Your Fitness Tracker Might Actually Be Bad For You

woman looking at her fitness tracker

Fitness trackers have been the rage for the last few years. Even my cat has one!

Obviously, that’s a joke, but at times it does feel like everyone has there own form of fitness tracker, whether it is an Apple Watch, FitBit or some other form of generic fitness tracker. 

The vast majority of them have proven to be helpful and help aide overall performance. To know how many miles you have run, calories you are burning and the number of steps taken today is extremely helpful. 

You also have the ability to have a look at very detailed statistics on both your phone and desktop computer to see where improvements could be made and determine how far you are from hitting your goals.

Now, to be clear, the benefits of using a fitness tracker far outweigh the negatives. However, this isn’t the case for everyone.

In this article, we shall go through a few reasons why a fitness tracker might actually be bad for you.

Tracking Your Life

Do you really want to track every detail of your life on a daily basis? I sure don’t. 

Tracking sleep patterns, what you eat, when you eat it, how much you sweat, stress levels, etc, etc. 

At some point, this will feel a little excessive and may even put a lot of people off in the long run.

Do you really want to micro-manage every single part of your life by the second? I think you would agree, we all want some form of freedom and not to be shackled by rules and regulations 24/7.

From the time we wake up in the morning, go to work, till we return home we governed by a thousand rules, regulations, things we are allowed to do and things we are not allowed to do. 

To add another set of complex rules into our life at times may feel a little too much and leaving you frustrated.

These trackers come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and styles from watches, bands, garments and even patches. The number of mobile notifications we receive at the moment is insane. To add a ton more to the mix again, might be a bit too much.

With that said, the number of these types of trackers is set to grow by 20% each year over the next five years

So they are clearly still very popular in our society and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

There is an answer to some of the problems I have just highlighted. Use the functions, notifications that you need instead of activating all of them at the same time. 

Just because your tracker has a hundred different features, it doesn’t mean you need to use ALL of them. Just choose a select few that are relevant to you and your situation.

Average Targets For Average People

Most of the wearables sold today use a one-size-fits-all approach like the number of steps you should achieve each day or the average number of calories you should be burning. However, what is right for you not be right for someone else. 

For this reason, some people may not be pushing themselves enough and others might be pushing themselves too much. This may be the reason why a few people sustain injuries.

Becoming Self Obsessed

Becoming obsessive when tracking your can actually lead to addiction and even mental health problems. 

Now, this extreme, but it is entirely possible. What starts out as being relatively harmless can lead to overexercising to not eating enough so you keep your calories really low. 

If you don’t care with certain obsessions they will continue to get worse and you will certainly need to seek help from a Doctor.

Developing An Eating Disorder

Again, this is quite extreme and will only happen in just a few cases. However, this is deeply tied to the last point. 

Becoming obsessed with losing weight and not consuming too many calories can inevitably lead to developing an eating disorder.

What is increasingly worrying is the fact that these trackers are being introduced to the younger generation. In fact, in most cases that have actually grown up with such devices. 

With all of the pressures young people face today, this is certainly not an additional pressure that is welcomed. In fact, it is recommended that they are not introduced to these types of trackers too early.

You Stop Listening To Your Body

When you are so focused on the numbers it is so easy to forget and even ignore the signals your body is giving you. When your body is feeling hungry or even too full, it is a good idea to listen to it. 

Calorie counting is extremely popular at the moment. Even the supermarkets have picked up on this. 

That's why all products clearly mark the number of calories and also nutritional information that the product has.

The vast majority of people enjoy eating food and for most, it gives them a lot of pleasure.

To remove this element of pleasure from your life on a daily basis isn’t for everyone. In fact, a lot of people are miserable when they remove entire food types or reduce the amount of food that they consume.

In Summary

As I stated in the introduction of this article. Fitness trackers are great, just ensure that don’t take over your life. I would even go so far as to say that you should use them moderation. 

No one wants to be micro-managed, especially by themselves.

Just remember to personalise the whole tracker experience. Just because there is a generic average set up as a default It doesn't necessarily mean you have to use that particular setup.

Adjust it to your own needs and for something that is comfortable and works for you.

Lastly, we have listened to our bodies for thousands of years. It hasn’t done us wrong over that time, has it?

Fitness trackers are great and the statistics that they provide are invaluable. However, it is always a good idea to listen to your body. Especially if you are feeling hungry or thirsty.

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