Fitness trackers have made the idea of living a healthy lifestyle seem more attainable ever before For their high price point, it’s fair to ask if they actually make workouts more effective rather than working out without one.
While fitness trackers are great for incentivizing a healthy lifestyle, they cost money. Many potential buyers want to know if they will really lose more weight using an expensive fitness tracker.
Unfortunately, the answer is no, not necessarily.
Luckily, there are many less expensive and free options that work just as effectively.
According to a study from the University Pennsylvania School of Medicine, free smartphone health apps provide the same level of accuracy when tracking steps as a fitness tracker device. Unless you need extreme step-by-step accuracy, free fitness apps should be enough to track your distance instead of purchasing an expensive device.
Fitness Trackers Creating a False Mindset
Not only are fitness trackers more expensive, they can create a false health mindset. For example, a recent study asked 470 people on the same low-calorie diet to exercise more. Half were given fitness trackers and half were not. While they all lost weight, the people with the fitness trackers actually lost less weight than their counterparts.
How? Those with fitness trackers fell victim to the idea of “I exercised today, so I can eat more,” and subsequently, they ate more than they would have otherwise.
These findings don’t mean fitness trackers are not an effective tool to help with weight loss, it just means that dedication shouldn’t be derived from the fitness tracker itself. The study also found fitness trackers are most effective when people using them were dedicated to tracking their fitness before the purchase. When used correctly, fitness trackers can even be used in place of weight-loss counseling.
With or without a fitness tracker, motivation is essential to a fit and healthy lifestyle. Those who are less motivated, usually buy an expensive tracking device and then give up within a matter of months.
Hold Yourself Accountable
Fitness tracking devices are effective, but for those on a budget, they may not be realistic. Fortunately, using a free smartphone app or just holding yourself accountable for your fitness and diet without relying on technology are proven to be just as effective.
At the end of the day, health is about making the right lifestyle choices, not about technology. Staying active, monitoring what you eat, and keeping up with vitamins and medications are what keeps you healthy in the long term. While continuing to stay mindful of your budget, our free printable prescription savings card can save you money on your prescription needs.