AP Review: Fitness Trackers

AP Review: Fitness Trackers

(20 Jul 2016) DO YOU REALLY NEED A FITNESS TRACKER?
IT MIGHT HELP IF YOU’RE NEW TO EXERCISE OR LOOKING TO INCREASE YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY.
WHETHER IT’S A FITNESS-SPECIFIC TRACKER LIKE A FITBIT OR SAMSUNG’S NEW GEAR FIT-2, OR A MULTIPURPOSE DEVICE LIKE APPLE WATCH, MANY PEOPLE WILL FIND THEM USEFUL.
SOUNDBITE Nick Jesdanun – AP Technology Writer:
“But if you’re already athletic or fairly stable in your routine, they might just tell you the same thing over and over again.”
COUNTING STEPS IS AN EASY WAY TO GET INTO TRACKERS, AND MANY SET GOALS FOR YOU – SAY 10,000 STEPS PER DAY.
BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU CONSISTENTLY REACH YOUR GOAL? THAT’S WHEN MANY TRACKERS GET LEFT AT HOME
APPS FROM FITBIT AND OTHERS CAN MAKE TRACKING COMPETITIVE, AND MORE USEFUL LONG TERM.
TRACKING HEART BEATS IS ANOTHER USEFUL FUNCTION.
SOUNDBITE Nick Jesdanun – AP Technology Writer:
“Heart beat measurements can vary wildly at times. These are not meant to be medical devices. Rather, you get a general sense of your workout. The higher the heart rate, the tougher your workout — though heavy breathing and fatigue will also tell you that.”
TO TRACK PACE AND DISTANCE DURING WORKOUTS, YOU NEED A DEVICE WITH GPS FOR BETTER ACCURACY. BASIC STEP COUNTERS DO A POOR JOB.
SOMETHING WITH ACTIVITY-SPECIFIC FEATURES IS EVEN BETTER.
GARMIN’S VIVOACTIVE, FOR INSTANCE, LETS YOU TRACK LAPS, WHILE OTHER DEVICES TEND TO LIMIT YOU TO AUTOMATIC SPLITS EVERY MILE OR SO.
SO WHERE SHOULD YOU START? SMARTPHONE APPS SUCH AS STRAVA OR RUNKEEPER PROVIDE FEEDBACK TO GET YOU GOING.
BUT WHATEVER DEVICE YOU CHOOSE, THE BOTTOM LINE IS MOTIVATION. AND IF YOU CAN’T EVEN MOTIVATE YOURSELF WITH A PHONE, WELL A DEDICATED TRACKER IS JUST A WASTE OF MONEY.
NICK JESDANUN — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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