Fitness Trackers: 3 Reasons You're Avoiding Them

Ms.Fit FLASH Fitness & Sleep Monitor, Photo by  Maurizio Pesce / CC BY

Ms.Fit FLASH Fitness & Sleep Monitor, Photo by Maurizio Pesce/ CC BY

If you don't have a fitness tracker I bet you've seen a lot of them.  Between the sleek gadget commercials to your coworkers raving about their step stats, you might have a few feelings about them.  If you're one of the folks that's a fan great but if you're on the fence or flat out avoiding them altogether, I've got news for you.  You're not alone.  

According to a study by Statista, the global wearables market is expected to reach a value of 19 billion U.S. dollars in 2018!  Based on that number you'd think that everyone and their grandmother will have a fitness tracker.  Think again. According to a 2014 study by PricewaterhouseCoopers and its Health Research Institute, only 1 in 10 Americans wear their fitness trackers daily even though 1 in 5 own one.  So what's the deal? Why haven't you run out to buy that gadget that will catapult you to fitness success? Based on my research, interviews with hundreds of people, and my own experience, I have have some ideas.  I suspect that you might fall into one of the categories:

1. They're too expensive. I hear you! The price range for a fitness tracker ranges from $25 - $450+.  If you want the most helpful features such as sleep monitoring and smart coach features you'll average about $150.  On the surface $150 may be a pretty reasonable investment.  All you need to do is swap out some venti lattes for a month and you can pay for it. The only problem is that if you lose one, you'll have to replace it.  Lose a couple of year and now you're out $300 or more!  Given the expense of these trackers you have to make the best decision that fits your budget.  If you're prone to forgetfulness, get a cheap pedometer.  If you make the investment, set up a system where you wear your fitness tracker consistently. The up side is that you'll benefit from the tracker feedback and make healthy choices everyday.

2. You don't want to know your numbers.  I talk to countless folks who don't want to be reminded that they've only walked 2,000 steps a day.  Sometimes too much information can be a de-motivator.  The truth hurts and I know that seeing your current situation can be discouraging.  The up side is that you'll at least have a baseline of where you are and know what you need to improve.  Does that mean that you'll go from 2,000 steps to 10,000 in a day? Of course not, but it does mean that you can add steps daily, increasing over a period of time. That's what really matters.  Making subtle changes and getting closer to a healthier you.

3. You don't know what to buy. Boy, this is a popular reason and understandably so. There are hundreds of fitness trackers to choose from and it seems like a new one comes out regularly. One of the most important things you can do is to decide what you need in a fitness tracker. For example, do you want to monitor your heart rate?  If you're training for a marathon or doing HIIT (hight intensity interval training), that feature can be very useful. If you want to add steps to your day a pedometer or basic fitness tracker will do. If you need to eat better and want a tool to track your nutrition with other cool apps then a mid-priced fitness tracker is ideal.  Start with what you want and then start shopping.

Fitness trackers are indeed the rage but you don't have to jump on the bandwagon until you're ready.  However, if you know you need to make healthy changes in your life a fitness tracker can be a solution for you.  If it's price, buy a cheaper option, if it's information start small, and if it's knowledge stay in touch with me.  At the end of the day it's about you living a healthy life for you and your family.  Go ahead, explore the possibilities and if you get in a bind let me know.