I just finished reading a great article on Today.com Health. The article questions the benefits of fitness bands -- which have become all the rage. Starting with Fit Bit a few years ago, a plethora of companies has come out with interpretations of fitness bands. I do agree with the position stated by a spokeswoman for Fitbit: "Ultimately the success of our products comes from empowering users to accurately see their overall health and fitness trends over time," she said. While I find the concept of tracking movement, and calories consumed and expended useful and potentially motivating, particularly for the beginning fitness enthusiast, USER BEWARE! Wearing fitness bands does not give you license to live or eat unhealthily. In fact, the converse is true -- one should continue to strive to live a healthy, balanced, intelligent life -- SOUND MIND SOUND BODY.
A few weeks ago, I posted a blog on HuffPost titled "What is a Calorie." The tenet of the blog was ALL CALORIES ARE NOT CREATED EQUALLY! That doesn't change whether you are wearing a fitness tracker or not. Make sure you are consuming quality calories and remember to listen to your body. Other factors such as metabolism, behavioral considerations, sleep and overall lifestyle -- all are major factors contributing towards one's overall wellness.
The importance of one's individual behavior is often the "missing ingredient" in fitness and wellness plans. The question of why some people succeed while others fail is being extensively researched today. In another article, Dr. Jim Lebret of NYU Langone Medical Center / Bellevue Hospital, focuses on the behavioral component of individuals. "You need motivational support to turn intention into action," said David Conroy, a professor of kinesiology at Pennsylvania State University in an interview with me. His current study in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine, conducted with colleagues at Penn State, examined more than 150 of the most popular exercise apps.
"Once people learn the importance of a healthy behavior, they often intend to use that behavior, but struggle to translate knowledge into action," Conroy told me.
Weighing all of the above, I believe fitness tracking devices have a place in our society. I think they can, if used intelligently, be a part of one's wellness quotient. Now, go eat a healthy lunch, and leave some time for an invigorating power walk and have a healthy, wellness-filled day!