Does a Fitness Tracker Help in Losing Weight?

Nike FuelBand.jpg

Nike FuelBand fitness tracker

A fitness tracker is a device that helps monitor the amount of movement, heart rate, the duration and even the quality of sleep. Since the device is wrist-worn or clipped on, monitoring these factors is very convenient ad can be done 24/7. It combines the function of a pedometer and smartphone apps in a single device.

Why Wear a Fitness Tracker?

According to studies, getting feedback and tracking our daily activities make us more aware of our health. If we monitor our diet, physical activity and sleep, we can better improve them. A fitness tracker provides this monitoring in real time. It keeps an honest record of everything that you do or don’t do.

The main target of wearing a fitness tracker is to form good habits when it comes to exercise, diet and sleep. Regular monitoring develops motivation to stay “right on track”. Wearing this device ensures that you never miss to monitor and record detailed entries. It also comes in handy when there are certain formulas that need to be calculated.

Basic Features of a Fitness Tracker

There are many types of fitness trackers, but the most common are bands and clip ons. Although each brand has their own unique specification, the basic features include the following:

  • Screen

Fitness trackers have screens that provide information on your heart rate, pulse, goal, duration of sleep, level of activities and other significant data needed to keep you within your fitness goal. Some fitness tracker, such as the Garmin Vivofit has a screen that lights up all the time. Other devices are more energy saving. For instance,the Samsung Gear 2 lights up with a flick or a twist of the wrist.

  • Alarm

Since a fitness tracker monitors sleep, it comes with an alarm feature that wakes you up when it is time for you to get up. Unfortunately, not all fitness trackers have this feature.

  • Mode of Attachment

Most fitness trackers appear as bands that can be worn on the wrist. However, the Misfit Shine gives you the option to wear it on the neck. The Withings Pulse, on the other hand, lets you wear it on the waist as well as on the wrist.

  • Goal Monitor

The objective of wearing a fitness tracker is to help monitor your progress in reaching your fitness goal. Basis has a bar at the bottom of the band. FuelBand, on the other hand, has traffic light indicators that serve a similar purpose.

  • Heart Rate Monitor

One of the basic features of a fitness tracker is a heart monitor that can measure heart rate either by wearing it on the wrist or on the finger. However, a wrist monitor is more convenient compared to a finger monitor.

  • Sleep Monitor / Tracker

The sleep tracker / monitor lets you record the length of your sleep with a click of a button or a tap. There are devices, however, such as the Basis B1, which automatically detects and switches to sleep mode once the wearer is asleep.

As a conclusion, a fitness tracker is a good device to provide you with the feedback, monitoring and motivation that you need in achieving your fitness goals. There are people who find this effective in keeping fit and healthy. However, there are also others who need more motivation than a fitness tracker provides.


Photo credit: “Nike FuelBand” by Peter ParkesFlickr: Nike FuelBand. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.


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