In today’s age of the Internet of Things where wearable’s and devices are connected via Bluetooth to apps that measure vitals, fitness bands are becoming ever more popular. What do they do and are they worth it?
What is a fitness band?
Also known as activity trackers, they are devices usually tied to an application that resides on your smartphone or PC. They monitor and track fitness related metrics like distance walked/run, calories burned throughout the day and for specific activities, and the more advanced ones, heart rate average and quality of sleep usually broken down into Light Sleep, REM, and Deep Sleep.
What kinds are there?
I am not going to do a review of these bands, I am just blogging about its utilization. It is a personal choice to decide whether you want to spend the money for one.
A site that I found that has most of the bands out there along with their opinion can be found here.
I am not sure how biased they are but I did find this site to score very hard meaning they weren’t giving out 9’s and 10’s and they also seemed to have covered most of the bands out there compared to other sites. The one band missing from this review is the UP3 because it was not out yet when the research was done earlier this year.
Is there a need for it?
I am not going to knock these devices. Anything that can get someone motivated to exercise or move more, I fully support. My guess is that these bands benefit people at the low and high end of activity level and doesn’t do much for those in the middle. Let me explain…
Low End Activity (in my opinion)…
No activity people are usually the ones to jump on and fad or gimmicks always thinking that the reason they don’t work out enough isn’t due to their lack of effort but because of outside factors. A lot of effort is expended however, in finding reasons not to work out. Some are so good at it that if this effort was turned into athletic performance, they would be true Olympians!
This is not a knock on them, this is just what I have observed over my life time since many people always talk to me about physical fitness when they see that I know a few things about this subject.
Low activity folks are those that have committed to some form of exercise but always need some sort of incentive to keep going. Some tend to skip work outs or even go for a period of time not working out. This on/off type of workout regimen always yields erratic results.
So in my opinion, anything that will motivate these people to get started or be more consistent, I am all for.
What I like about these bands is that it lets the person see and realize that being more active is good. They can track progress and hopefully, if they have a competitive spirit, will always be seeking to improve on past performance be it daily, weekly or monthly. The more advanced bands with their apps gives you great analytical data to decipher as well as suggestions for improvement. Some of them also points out the importance of sleep of which I have written about in other posts.
High End Activity…
Skipping those in the middle for the moment, I jump right to the other end of the spectrum, high activity people. The reason I feel these bands will benefit these types is because they have gotten to a level where their physical ability is or has peaked and they need every little bit of help to get even better.
These types of people look at anything to improve. It could be running/workout shoes, sleep patterns, diet, and training regimen. Fitness bands compliment this nicely. It is a great way to track progress with real data versus what you may be logging in your training diary. In fact, some of these bands’ apps incorporates your training diary into the data being collected. I think this is a very nice feature.
What about everyone else?
Well I am not saying that no one else should use these or have a need for them. All I am saying is that if you are in the middle and like being there meaning that you are satisfied at the level of fitness that you are in, have your routine down and feel good, there isn’t much reason to change.
I am in that category. After doing this for over 40 years I just don’t feel a fitness band will tell me something I don’t know already except maybe the amount and quality of sleep I get. Hmmm, this may cause me to reconsider!
So, if you want to get started or get better, try a fitness band and get…Fit Forlife!