Fitness Takeaway is one of many posts on The GOODista about Exercise and Fitness illustrated by Logo with feet in trainers.Fitness motivation comes at a price in today’s world. Wearable technology inspires us to reach our individual fitness goals. The doubting Thomas will wonder why we should track fitness? Science and medical experts say they help fitness motivation. OK – you say – but they seem so expensive, and what should I choose? The GOODista has looked at a range, and there is one to fit every pocket and need. You already have fitness motivation, right? The question is if you need a gadget to motivate fitness?

We think wearable technology is here to stay. It isn’t a toy or even a gadget – it is a tool to be used by you for you. Individual needs, personal choice and price can be fine-tuned to meet what you like and want – it is merely a question of what tickles you?

Fitness Motivation: Why Track? 

According to The United States Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS), physical fitness is defined as “The ability to carry out daily tasks with vigor and alertness, without undue fatigue, and with ample energy to enjoy leisure-time pursuits and respond to emergencies. Physical fitness includes a number of components consisting of cardiorespiratory endurance (aerobic power), skeletal muscle endurance, skeletal muscle strength, skeletal muscle power, flexibility, balance, speed of movement, reaction time, and body composition“.

Fitness – For You By You

Metabolism is no mystery. you need to keep muscle mass to keep it happy and lean. Here a hamster lifts weights.Each individual can have their own personal understanding of what fitness means. To some individuals, being fit means the ability to complete a marathon or lift a lot of weight. To another, it could mean walking around the block without becoming short of breath. Your definition of fitness will be influenced by your interests, physical abilities, and goals.

The minimum recommended levels for physical activity is 30 minutes per day, and 10,000 steps. The kind of exercise you do also matters – take a look at what CDC recommend as Adult Physical Activity Needs. How do you measure up? 

It helps to give yourself SMART goals when you get start a lifestyle change journey. A step-by-step process, that you can build on. You set the pace, and your health numbers improve along with your energy levels. 

Be Smart About It ! Lifestyle change goals the SMART way using The GOODista model for lifestyle change on this post on thegoodista.com

SMART lifestyle change – your goal!

Tracking helps you keep tabs, increases your motivation and according to scientific testing also encourages fitness progress. Harvard Health confirms that Digital Trackers Keep You Moving.

Wearable technology is your friend when it comes to fitness progression. Fitness trackers and smartwatches measure and count. You get motivational awards to add to the feel good factor. Your goals merged with the digital age takes fitness motivation to another level. Not all cost a fortune, and some are even free! Check out which one is right for you.

Fitness Motivation: Step Counters, Apps and Trackers 

Tracking is a way to set your personal fitness goals, and see how you’re doing. You are not competing against anyone. This is for you – and it helps to motivate yourself. Do you have to track? Yes, is the answer from the medical and science communities. ” These devices are succeeding not because of their scientific qualities but because of their motivational ones” says this article in Scientific American. Fitness tracking makes sense – for beginners as well as advanced levels. 

Fitness Trackers: Which One Is Right For You?

  • A lifestyle change journey starts with a step. For the beginner making sure to reach 10,000 steps every day seems a lot. A good step counter is a great motivational tool. This one keeps track of each step taken, total miles / kilometers and calories burnt. The price is low, yet it does its daily counting for you. However, it does not keep progress reports, nor will it motivate you to do more.
  • Once you get going, you will want more information, and see progression over time. You are ready to move on to an app for your smart phone.  Try the free apps first: This Runtastic app (click on image to get) is free – and you don’t need to be a runner to get it 🙂 . It tracks workouts in real-time with built-in GPS and monitors workout progress (time, distance, speed, pace, calories, elevation, etc.). If you want to compare fitness apps livescience.com  has reviewed The Best Health and Fitness Apps for 2015.
  • Once you’re hooked you will want to be able to set up your own goals, see your progress, and get motivational scores. That is when the fitness band will start flirting with you. These wrist bands measure every step you take, calories burnt progress of time and gives you awards as you move. Go for it! It is such a great motivator, and worth every cent. It keeps you reaching for more, and better fitness levels. There are many to choose from, and prices have come down a lot. It is a tool for every generation, and you choose what suits your needs. Three popular ones are Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity Tracker, Jawbone Fitness Tracking Wristband and Nike+ Fuelband , which is more expensive but has more features. You can also go very cheaply and try out the Xiaomi Mi Band Pulsera, which has the basic essentials, and you can replace the band to fit your taste, and fashion sense. 

(click on the images to get details from Amazon

Fitness Motivation: The Multi-Purpose Smartwatch 

The last of the trackers is something much more than that.

Apple Watch

Smartwatches like the much talked about Apple Watch marries function, style and design into one multi-tool piece. Your time, fitness, weather, messages, music, stocks, etc. all in one. Your individual setting choices are what makes smartwatches so attractive. Before you decide on a smartwatch, it is good to take a look at a comparison between various smartwatch options. This review is by gizmag: 2015 Smartwatch Comparison Guide.  

Apple Watch is the much hyped new Apple release. Is it really the best one? If you have iOS, most reviews agree that Apple Watch takes the No 1 place.  For Android, the vote is out between the Sony SmartWatch 3 and the stylish LG Urbane Smartwatch.
To understand what the Apple Watch can do the guided tour is recommended viewing: Apple Watch Tour.  As a fitness motivator it really does what is promises. You can wear it to the gym, measure fitness progress, health levels, pump up the volume on your music playlists, and get important messages as per your settings.

Yes, it is expensive, but you get a lot for your money – click on the image to see details and price.  Perhaps this is something to aim for when you have reached your current highest fitness level goal? 

Everyday exercise is how to find your move groove from your daily activities. Read more on thegoodista.com

Fitness Motivation: Just Do It!

Fitness goals are individually based. Tools help you achieve your desired fitness levels. If it is a 30 minute walk every day, or a run for an hour – the choice is yours. The tracker will tell you how far you have come, and you can compare historical data. It encourages you to  set as new fitness goals, and motivates you to continue. Add music to the mix and another huge motivator will push you further (Check out our next post about music and playlists).

Lifestyle changes seem daunting when you start, and any tool that will encourage you are very welcome – especially in the beginning. You have to make a choice: Choose to change. You will get to your destination. It is just a question of doing it! If you want weekly inspiration to Feel, Be and Do Good – Sign up to our newsletter

Change? Confront the excuses, guilt and saboteurs and just do it! Illustrated by man running in the direction of a 'do it; sign.

I am a late developer when it comes to these new ‘toys’. As I progressed in my lifestyle change journey, I realised that I was wrong. Trackers, apps and smartwatches are not toys. These fitness tools are highly sophisticated. It is all centralised around you – the technology wearer. An individual choice, based on personal taste and matched to your needs.

Fitness tools do have a price, but the cost of doing nothing is even higher. The most basic apps are available for free. Free apps allow you to experiment and see if you like it. I bet you it will drive your fitness motivation up! Let us know if it helps your lifestyle change goals. Fitness Takeaway inspiration with quote: If we did all the things we are capable of we would literally astound ourselves.

Do feel free to share your choices of trackers, smartwatches and apps. Which one, or what, ups your fitness motivation? 

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What Do You Think? Is Wearable Technology a Fitness Tool or a Gadget?