Fact or fiction: Does your Fitbit really help you stay healthy?

Friends Getting HealthyYou may have already heard of the Fitbit or devices like it. They are small, wearable gizmos that track your movements and can tell how active you are. Most of them primarily track walking steps and suggest a goal of 10,000 steps a day. These devices are popular but do they actually help you stay healthy?

Pros:

The Fitbit helps you stay mindful of how active you are throughout the day. If you see that you’ve only taken 700 steps in the morning, it reminds you that you still have 9300 to go, motivating you to move all day.

Some fitness devices can also track your sleep. After a few days, you can review your day’s activities to see what lends to a restful sleep for you.

Fitbit can show you the different levels of activity you attain during the day and reminds you to get 30 very active minutes in a day. You may notice that your activity level increases when walking the dog or hurrying to an appointment.

Fitbit isn’t just for activity; it can also help you keep track of food and calories. Using the app or website, you can log your food choices to track your daily calorie intake and measure against your goal. Just having to write it down may keep someone from making poor choices.

You can also use the Fitbit website to compare your activity with friends and family-lending a social aspect and maybe even some healthy competition.

Cons:

Most Fitbit trackers can only track certain activities. Some low impact exercise like cycling, yoga and swimming must be logged into the tracker manually.

The Fitbit models are water resistant, but not waterproof so for activities that involve getting wet, like obstacle courses or mud runs, the device will have to be taken off or protected.

Information stored in the device has to be synced at least every seven days. While this task is easy and wireless, it still has to be remembered in order for the records to be saved.

Overall, the Fitbit does remind you to stay active, which can boost general health. It also helps keep track of habits that can impact our health such as diet and sleep. A sedentary lifestyle can cause a weak neck and back, adding to pain. Remembering to walk, cycle or swim and stay fit can help prevent back pain by releasing endorphins from exercise.

Don’t forget to talk to your doctor before starting any new activity or exercise plan.

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