Coaching Corner: The “Black and White” Truth of Activity Tracking Devices
Over the past couple of months, I’ve been a part of a test group for activity trackers like the Nike Fuel Band and Fitbit. As a coach, I understand the benefits tracking activity and calories – it’s a way to provide accountability, if only unto yourself. But now, companies like Nike and Fitbit have taken it to a whole new level. With colored lights that measure your fuel or even a flower that grows the more you move, it’s no longer written in “black and white”. With dynamic apps, blue tooth capabilities, personal communities, and more, these little devices act as your journal, your training partner, your cheerleader… and even your disciplinarian. By tracking steps, calories, weight loss, food and water intake, and even sleep, these trackers learn more about your lifestyle than even your doctor might know. You can see your charted progress at any moment, plotted by day, week, or month. You can set personal targets and even challenge your friends, have a competition with someone from miles away. But…. it can’t workout for you. It can’t make the right food choices for you. We still have to find it within ourselves to make the right choices for the healthy active life we pursue. So while the Fitbit or Nike Fuel Band may not be the magic diet pill we all may secretly wish it would be… they certainly can help! Moving a little more to make your last light show up on your band, or a friendly competition within a private group leader board is certainly more support than we had even 5 years ago… not to mention the convenience of having access to it all right on your smart phone. I can honestly say, it doesn’t always make me smile when I get messages like “Pick it up, Jess”… but it does increase my awareness, it does push me to go even a little bit further, and it does make me smile when it rewards me for hard work.
Do you use an activity tracking device? If so, share with us and other readers – what about yours motivates you??