I had a Fitbit once, for about 6 months I had that thing strapped to my arm 24/7 monitoring my heart rate, steps, sleep patterns, calories, etc. etc. All the things that I didn’t know or care about before, I now was obsessed with keeping track of. I never thought I would turn into one of those people that discussed how many steps I took each day, often pacing to keep the numbers up and feeling disappointed when I didn’t get that little star to tell me that I reached my goals for the day.
But there I was, loading the data each night, hoping that I had enough active minutes to get the whole screen to light up green in celebration. For those of you that live and die for your Fitbit, by all means, keep doing you but for those of you thinking you need to jump on the bandwagon still, I would say by a nice pair of running shoes instead.
But then, like all relationships that move past the honeymoon stage, I started really thinking about why I was spending so much time with my Fitbit. It became a nagging habit that only made me feel worse about myself. I already live an active, healthy life; I know that I only get 6 hours of sleep and only wake up during the night when my dog sits on my legs; I’ll admit some days I am more active than others, and I definitely know when I eat bad food. My Fitbit was doing nothing except giving me a bad tan line and causing me anxiety when the battery started flashing.
You shouldn’t need a reminder to get moving.
I understand why people wear them – to remind themselves to get up and move, but studies have been released like this one, showing that Fitbit’s and other fitness trackers don’t accurately track energy output. The researchers at Standford University say heart rate is tracked more accurately than expected, but don’t go eating donuts because your Fitbit says you burned enough calories. And if you need a watch to give you motivation, that burst of energy and dedication won’t last long because you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. You should be getting up to move because your body needs it.
You shouldn’t need a fitness tracker to tell you that you sat at your desk for too long or you’re not working hard enough in spin class. Listen to your body and adjust your day and activity levels for how you’re feeling, not what a semi-accurate watch is telling you. If you need to check your heart rate in the middle of spin, turning on that little light in the middle of a dark room, you’re not working hard enough; you will feel your heart beat going when you start breathing heavy. If you feel extra tired in the morning, you probably didn’t get a good enough sleep and should hit the pillow a little early tonight. As for calories ate and burned, well you should know when you haven’t had enough vegetables and protein, and no, you don’t need that extra serving of dessert.
Technology is making us lazy.
Not more active. 10,000 steps might seem like a lot, but if you’re shuffling your way through the day – yes, you’re getting those steps, but they aren’t doing much for your fitness levels. I would have days that I soared past 10,000 steps because I was doing errands and other days that I did spin and leg day, but only got to 7,000 because I physically took less steps but the tracker didn’t take into account that I worked way harder lifting weights while standing still.
I’m not saying you have to throw out your Fitbit but just stop relying on it, stop looking at it in the middle of spin class, stop basing your life around 10,000 steps. Do a little self-reflection and figure out what your body needs for the day. I broke up with my Fitbit because I don’t need technology to tell me to work hard and to push towards my goals. I feel good, happy and healthy when I’m being active and eating well. When I feel like shit, well I don’t need a Fitbit to tell me it’s because I chose to binge watch Netflix instead of going to the gym. End rant.
I’m thinking about starting a fitness Instagram & Youtube – thoughts?
Photos by Nina Harris | Check out her Instagram