First of all, to avoid any bias, I'm not going to mention which specific device I use to avoid influencing people that have the same one, and also because I'm not describing any particular features of my tracker, but sharing my overall experience of having a wearable.
It´s important that you know that I'm not a typical fitness person, in fact, I only started doing sport due to how much I love eating and, thus, not wanting to put on too much weight or have to fight obesity. I have to say that I'm happy I decided to start looking after my body and my health because now I can't spend more than 3 - 4 days without exercising, whether it's at the gym or just going for a run outdoors.
In the beginning, I didn't have a fitness device, and that's because I'm the least competitive person in the world (at least, I thought I was). I didn't mind losing when playing tennis on the Wii, I didn't care how much time I spent running 5k, and I drove in the slow lane because I didn't mind being the slowest car on the motorway. But when I started working on inKin, I realised I needed to get a fitness tracker to test the platform myself. And when I was checking out our fitness trackers comparison tool, it suddenly hit me how much I wanted to get one for myself. So I chose the one that I thought would best fulfil all my requirements and bought it straight away.
As soon as I got my first ever fitness tracker, I started wearing it all the time. And since my device is waterproof, I mean literally all the time: in the shower, in the office, in my sleep, and of course at the gym. That's when my first frustration with my wearable appeared: I like Body Pump and weight lifting classes at the gym which leave me exhausted for the rest of the week. So I found it irritating when my device didn't take into account my hard work but rather showed data as if I was sitting doing nothing all day! Seriously?
Then I started noticing other strange things: sometimes I would wake up in the morning with 100 steps taken already according to my tracker - what am I a sleepwalker (I stick to 11 p.m bedtime rule so there was no way I took these steps after midnight)? Other times I would hit 3000 steps by 10 a.m., which made my colleagues joke about me walking around like a geisha and making thousands of tiny steps.
They are just some frustrations I have had with my tracker, but I have to say in general I´m really happy I decided to buy one because although it's not a perfect product to represent fitness routines I do, sometimes it has influenced my behaviour in a positive way. Say, encouraging me to walk or go for a run on Sunday after spending all Saturday laying on the sofa watching Netflix; or taking a walk instead of using public transport, or parking my car further down the street to walk to the cafe, etc. I wouldn't have felt guilty or lazy if my fitness tracker didn´t tell me to move.
Another benefit of a fitness tracker is that it has helped me to gain awareness of how sedentary my day can be, especially the weekends that I don't have many plans and tend to be a couch potato. If before I didn't care much about wasting a day without moving, now I have a little fitness device attached to my wrist that keeps telling me to move, so there were many times when I would decide to make those steps just because my wearable reminded me of how little I had moved that day.
Apart from all these positive effects and how important it is to compete with yourself, the other thing that convinced me to wear my fitness tracker all the time was socialising with my buddies. I connected my device to inKin and had virtually gotten together with my friends who use different brands (mostly Fitbit and Jawbone) and competed with them. Guess what? I suddenly have become a very competitive person - I was not willing to let my lazy friends to make more steps and beat me in our friendly competitions, that would not happen! Besides, we would create challenges with prizes, too (who says that the lost party can’t buy you a nice healthy dinner once the competition is over?;)
I read lots of comments on the Internet about how silly some people felt when walking around their living room just to keep their device happy. But honestly, once you start wearing it and competing with yourself, you start doing all these crazy things just to stay on top of your game and beat your family and friends.
So, as much as this could seem to be a criticism of all the wearable craziness, I have to say I do not regret having bought one, as for me it has reached its objective which was encouraging me get more active on the daily basis all while socialising and having fun with my friends.
What about you, have you got a similar experience with your fitness device that you'd like to share?
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