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OhioHealth Medical Minute: Wearable Fitness Trackers

MM - Wearable

Do you wear a Fitbit? Apple Watch? Whoop Band? There are endless options out there, but whatever wearable fitness tracker you choose will hopefully help you on your health journey. In this OhioHealth Medical Minute, we talk with OhioHealth exercise physiologist Erica Cook about wearable fitness trackers, their benefits and if they have any downsides.

“There are some that are more like pedometers where you track your steps,” said Cook. “Others can track your heart rate as well. There are even ones like a heart rate monitor strap. There are quite a few different options these days.”

While popular, are wearables right for everyone?

Cook said they are good for anyone who wants a sense of awareness about their activity. “Whether it’s to help you move during the day outside your structured exercise, or if you want to become more aware of the intensity that you’re working. They are great if you want that sense of awareness to see if you’re really getting as many steps as you think you are. When we start tracking, sometimes we see what we think we’re doing and what we are actually doing are two different pictures, so it’s nice to have those numbers as a motivator,” said Cook.

Cook warns there are some pitfalls surrounding wearables, such as the possibility of becoming obsessed with reaching certain numbers.

“Sometimes we hit our step goal and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we exercise a little harder and some days we don’t have as much energy. So learning to not beat yourself up when you don’t meet those goals or expectations is important,” said Cook. “Be realistic with yourself and use it as another tool in your toolbox to live a healthy life.

Want to learn more about the pros and cons of wearable fitness trackers? Click here for a story that appeared on the OhioHealth Blog.