The onset of summer has spurred many to start hitting the pavement and getting into shape through new running and exercise regimens. But things have come a lot further than a standard pedometer or heart monitor that your parents may have worn in 1995. New fitness trackers pack a whole slew of advanced technologies that can keep tabs on everything: from standards like your distance and heart rate to details like the incline and elevation of your course, the amount of calories you’ve been burning, and more. A great explanation of the tech that goes into making these wearable fitness trackers work has been put up by Verizon here.
With the advent of smartwatches into the mix and additional app connectivity, you can keep track of your new workout routine at all times and know more about what’s effective than ever before. Even top blogs like Gizmodo are making the claim that watches are pushing out some space in the world of wearable fitness trackers. The marriage of the two makes obvious sense and as the tech becomes smaller and more powerful than ever, people are demanding more from their accessories. Some are predicting that the rise of the smartwatch will push out dedicated fitness trackers, but others find it more likely that the two will strike a harmonious balance. “It’s too soon to say who will win, but I think 2015 will see coexistence between fitness bands and smartwatches to some extent, but a lot of the fitness tracking will eventually fold into other devices,” said Forrester analyst J.P. Gownder to CNET.
While there’s something to be said to the convenience of an all-in-one smartwatch, some people simply prefer a division of labor when it comes to their devices: a watch for telling time and presenting a nice accessory and a fitness tracker for when it’s time for a workout. Let’s be honest, you don’t necessarily want to wear a Breitling running and you don’t necessarily want to pair your fitness tracker with your suit.
One prominent maker of exercise accessories, Fitbit, has already foreseen the shift and provides great offerings for both through its Surge Fitness Watch or its smaller, slimmed-down cousin, the Charge.
If there’s one lesson to be learned from the entire integrated fitness industry, it’s that the key in healthy living going forward is going to be mindfulness. And this may be a stronger motivator than all the bells, whistles, and reminders already provided by wearable fitness trackers.
By simply having the device near them and having already made the investment coupled with its ever-present proximity, consumers are faced with a constant reminder of what they have (or haven’t) accomplished in regards to their fitness goals. That reminder can serve as a strong impetus to get back in the saddle, because it continues to display detailed information like calories burned or a lack of movement in a sedentary office job that can put potential fitness buffs face-to-face with their own inactivity. Sometimes, a little tough love, even if it’s coming from your own wrist, can do a lot to keep you off the couch.
Cory Bowman is a fitness enthusiast and ECU undergrad who’s eager to share his knowledge about living a healthy and active lifestyle.