It’s pretty obvious at this point that fitness bands will continue to be the hottest trend in wearable technology in the country. From what seemed to be an overnight manifestation of the collective consciousness, I found myself inconspicuously surrounded by fitness band users, not only in the gym but also in the office where my colleagues would sport fitness bands alongside their wristwatch. Almost simultaneously, proud posts of newly purchased bands populated my social media feed and I wanted to understand what all the fuss was about.
Having had some unsatisfactory experiences with fitness bands in the past, I’ve always had my doubts whether these devices were really that effective as a fitness tool. My primary reason for purchasing a fitness band before was to live a healthier lifestyle. Back then, fitness bands were pretty straightforward—they count your steps, monitor your heart rate, and conveniently tell you the time of day. But I discovered that the numbers didn’t seem to add up the way I expected them to and I felt constrained with the limited features. Not long after, I ended up using my fitness band more as an alternative timepiece instead.
Obviously, technology eventually caught up with newer models. They now offer more sophisticated features that enable new ways to spice up your workout and pursue a healthier lifestyle. Coupled with appealing aesthetics and the power of social media, the once dull and unreliable fitness band has returned glistening and with more muscle to flex.
There are plenty of brands for fitness bands in the market that you’ve probably already heard of. The more popular ones that I was able to examine include the likes of Fitbit, Garmin, and Jawbone, which differ depending on your preference in terms of style and features.
In terms of aesthetic, what I generally observe among most of the new models is the trend of a cleaner design—from simple watch-type to baller-band designs with subtle interfaces made available in different colors. Fitness bands are becoming fashion pieces that are easily paired with other wrist accessories, while still being versatile in terms of mix and matching with one’s outfits. The cleaner aesthetics incentivize people to wear these bands anywhere and for different occasions, which is key for keeping it relevant and practical in the long run.
In terms of functionality, aside from your standard heart rate monitor and step counter, advancements in technology have allowed neat innovations that incorporate a more personalized level of training above all else.
Mobile app syncing, for instance, has enabled a whole new experience in measuring and interfacing data related to your physical activity. Additionally, there are plenty of third-party applications available online that can be relatively easy to setup, guaranteeing a longer lifespan in terms of usability. With app syncing, your fitness band can now do more for you like track your vital signs in real time, count how much calories you’re burning, remind you to stay active throughout the day, track the quality of sleep you get at night, and even notify you if your mobile phone receives text messages or calls.
Typically, data gathering is also made convenient and accessible with a single dashboard that allows you to see your overall progress. In addition, some apps even foster healthy competition by connecting you to your friends. This is particularly effective as you feel a sense of greater accountability for your progress when others are looking.
It must be said, however, that there are still some areas for improvement when it comes to reducing the margins of error in the data gathering of steps made or calories burned, depending on the brand and type of tracker you get. Generally speaking, I would say that this setback could be negligible since the data gathering of trackers is really meant to paint a picture of your overall performance.
With the aforementioned features, fitness bands have leveled up significantly. With mobile-to-app synchronization, they provide a more sophisticated experience when it comes to quick-glance reports and tools to help you gain that additional push, so long as it’s used right.
As someone who aspires to maintain a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise and proper diet, having a fitness band today will benefit you specifically in two ways: first, by reinforcing healthy habits and second, by helping you be more conscious of your progress. Because you’re able to monitor and track your progress in real-time, at your convenience, it’s motivating to see how small victories can eventually become big improvements. Furthermore, due to the vast improvements in wearable technology, user experience has become tremendously considered, allowing you to set your own targets and have a clearer understanding as to how much progress you’re actually making in real-time.
At the end of the day, assuming your main objective is to reach a particular fitness goal, it goes without saying that fitness bands are simply a means to an end and its effectiveness is ultimately dependent on how you’re able to maximize its features to your advantage. Results don’t come overnight and the true measure of healthy living is consistency, not only in religious exercise, but also, more importantly, in maintaining a proper and balanced diet.
Fitness, after all, begins as a mental state that involves laborious amounts of self-control and discipline. With continuous effort, the state of mind becomes a habit; and the habit eventually creates a lifestyle. Having a fitness tracker on your wrist is one way to help motivate you to be healthier and to live more actively; however, the inspiration that fuels you to act on it is ultimately based on your mindset and effort—and these will be responsible for most of the results.