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Can a Fitness Tracker Help You Get Fit This Spring?

The sun has finally begun to come out from its winter nap in the northwest suburbs. Runners, walkers, and bicyclists return to Lake Arlington or Busse Woods. But with headphones in their ears, many people are now wearing fitness trackers, like FitBits, smartwatches, and other GPS systems. Have you considered wearing one?

What to Consider When You Buy a Fitness Tracker

You might think you are already very active. Or you may want to have that summer beach body. A fitness tracker has become the go-to device to help you reach your fitness goals. But not every aspect of the gadget may work for you.


Do You Need to Track Your Progress?

We set New Year’s resolutions and we need to keep reaching for those goals. Fitness trackers can help you set and achieve those goals. For example, even the most basic fitness trackers can estimate your calorie burn based on data you’ve entered about your weight, height, sex and age, and models with built-in heart rate monitors are even more accurate.

Additionally, most have GPS aspects to track your steps, distance, and route. You can print out maps, check out the results on your phone or computer, and see how much faster you may be walking or running. This can come in very handy if you are training for a road race, like a half-marathon or 5k. Consider training for the Frontier Days race in Arlington Heights on July 1, 2018.

Solo Workouts

Going to the gym can help you create friendships with people in your SoulCycle or OrangeFitness class. But sometimes, you need to workout alone. And you lose that motivating voice behind you to keep you going when you face a wall. A fitness tracker can keep you going when you’re tired. Some even alert you when your pace or heart rate goes below a certain level. You can pair it with your phone to play certain songs to motivate you. Now, you just need to find the best anthem you have to go running!

Getting Fixated

One aspect of exercise that has become more important is the break from a screen. Of course, you stare at a computer screen or your phone all day. The fitness tracker can just add another screen that you need to look at to see how your exercise went. Unplugging for your workout may not have the same affect if you become fixated on the data you now collect. Try going for a walk or a run without it on occasion. You will still achieve your goals, but you can give yourself a break from your fitness tracker – and a screen.

Where’s the Joy?

Ever hear of runner’s high? Feel that adrenaline after a good workout? Enjoy smelling the roses on your walk? Sometimes, that joy can disappear if you focus only on the distance or steps you took. The fitness tracker can be a fantastic resource to keep you reaching for your dreams, but remember to keep that joy as you look at your step count.


If you have a SmartPhone, you can download many apps to make your phone a fitness tracker. This can be a low cost option because some wearable tech costs a lot of money. If you think that that device will remain on your wrist and not end up in your junk drawer, it may make sense. But try out the apps first to see if you like tracking your metrics before spending $150 on a device.

R.F. Wittmeyer

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