Why Fitness Tracking is NOT a Fad! and how it can break down losing weight and getting fitter into simple math
Fitness tracking runs the risk of becoming a fad. It caught on almost overnight, from out of nowhere. Today, it seems like every watch and piece of training equipment now has a built-in fitness tracker. Surely it’s only a matter of time before people stop caring about this latest trend and move on to the next one.
Well, I’m here to tell you that fitness tracking is not a fad. Or at least it shouldn’t be – this is an incredibly useful tool that can transform the way you approach workouts and massively accelerate your weight loss, fitness and strength. Of course you need to be doing it right for all that to work though.
What is Fitness Tracking?
Fitness tracking simply refers to tracking any aspect of your health. That might mean monitoring your heart rate, it might mean counting the number of steps you take on a daily basis, or it might mean counting calories. Of course there are watches that do all this now but it can also be built directly into exercise machines that can provide you with live feedback during training.
Exercise bikes have included basic forms of fitness tracking for a long time now – including measurements like cadence, speed, and the distance traveled over time. Now though, they’re also capable of monitoring power output alongside heart rate and providing a better approximation of burned calories.
More advanced machines still are capable of applying that information directly to virtual cycling classes and the like or using it to manage leaderboards. Some will include profiles so that users can observe their metrics improve over time.
Why Fitness Tracking is Important
One of the worst things that a personal trainer can do for clients is to treat them as though they aren’t individuals. The one-size fits all approach to training is a recipe for failure, which will quickly result in disappointment and disinterest. It’s not only that training needs to be tailored to each person’s goals and fitness level; it’s also that our bodies are all so different that they respond in completely unique ways to various kinds of training. One person might be better suited to HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), whereas another might enjoy better results from steady-state cardio.
A personal trainer can estimate what will work best for a client and then tweak their training in response to the results they see. If something isn’t working, they can try something else. But of course, this is often hard to measure – and especially if the client isn’t following instructions.
Today, by monitoring workouts with the assistance of fitness trackers, it’s possible to actually see the fitness activity outputs. Just how hard is that person working? How efficiently is that work done? How many calories (approximately) are they burning each session? From here it’s easier to find the points of failure. Not only that, but fitness tracking will provide precise data to show whether the results are coming or not.
It’s also useful to track how many calories are going in. An app like MyFitnessPal can even help to set precise targets and goals. This way, losing weight becomes simple math, and all that important information is available to the client and the trainer. There’s no more guess work!
As I said, fitness tracking can also be used during workouts in order to make them more effective. Heart zone training, for example, is much easier when you can actually see what zone you’re in by glancing at the readout on your stationary bike. High Intensity Interval Training becomes much easier too when you know for certain how long you’ve spent in an anaerobic state.
Those with heart conditions meanwhile can be certain that they’re staying safe and not pushing themselves too hard. Then you can monitor how long it takes for your heart rate to return to normal during your cool down. Fitness tracking will even tell you how well recovered you are before a workout, which is an important factor that too many people forget when training indoors.
This is all before you’ve considered any of the much more straightforward benefits of fitness tracking– things like the sheer motivation that comes from seeing yourself gradually improve and the accountability that you gain from actually having a record of each workout. Fitness tracking is good for fitness studios themselves too, as it helps them to better understand the behaviors of their clientele and to impress future members with proven workout results and their advanced features.
Fitness tracking is not a fad, then, in fact, we likely haven’t even scratched the surface of just what it’s capable of. As technology progresses, and more people get the memo, you can expect to see data becoming an essential component of our workouts.