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Do fitness trackers really function as they claim or they are just toys?

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Fitness trackers are the rage of the moment, and people can’t seem to get enough of these beautiful devices. Fitness trackers, otherwise known as activity trackers are marketed as wearable tech products that help people enhance their fitness levels by monitoring important variables such as steps taken, distance covered, and hours of sleep. But do fitness trackers really provide reliable statistics about your fitness levels or are just glorified toys for people with extra cash?

Well, fitness trackers do give stats on essential fitness variables, even though some brands provide more accurate tracking than others. Fitness trackers work using sensors built into the device. However, many factors affect the sensitivity of the trackers, making their results accurate or inaccurate.

Major functions provided by fitness trackers

Fitness trackers are designed mainly for tracking physical activity. Their primary function is to monitor your steps, distance traveled, calorie burned, active time, and sleep. Some fitness trackers feature other enhanced functions such as heart rate monitor, blood oxygen monitor, and fitness coach. Most fitness trackers also provide call, text, calendar, and social media notification from your smartphone when you sync the fitness tracker with it.

Fitness trackers have an accelerometer that monitors the number of steps you take, the distance covered, the calories burned, and others. The heart rate monitor is a sensor that measures your pulse through the skin. Some brands such as Fitbit offer a fitness coach app that provides various personalized workouts that you can do in your spare time. In addition to this, fitness trackers automatically detect activity and will start tracking when you begin a physical activity such as running, cycling, stair climbing and so on.  They also monitor your sleep by tracking the number of hours of sleep you achieve every night, monitoring the hours of light, deep and REM sleep. This can help determine the quality of your sleep as sleep is an important indicator of one’s state of health. Some models offer GPS and music playback so you can track your route and blast soulful music as you race on the tracks

Why having these functions are important?

If you have a fitness goal, a fitness tracker offers the opportunity to monitor your progress and set new fitness milestones. The activity tracking provided by fitness trackers help you monitor the number of steps you take per day, the distance covered, and the number of calories burned during your physical activities. This makes you accountable and keeps you on your toes. If you are not doing enough, you can raise the bar to achieve your fitness goals, and you can always improve if you are already doing well. Monitoring of sleep allows you identify whether you are having a sound, quality sleep at night, and lets you quickly seek medical help if your sleeping pattern is erratic. In fact, some brands offer customers a community where they can encourage themselves, compete, and motivate each other to attain higher fitness objectives.

Toys or nor toys

Fitness trackers are not toys. They may look fanciful and high-tech, but most deliver on the claims of the manufacturer. However, some brands provide better and more accurate activity tracking than others, but this may also depend on how the wearer uses the device. Fitness trackers may only be considered as toys in the sense that some are grossly overpriced while offering basic functions. But the decision to go for an expensive version is the sole prerogative of the buyer. What is important is that fitness trackers perform their functions, but the accuracy of each device is dependent on many variables.

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