By Eric Buratty | Published December 2, 2015
Preface/Objective: Stop letting things like scientific ignorance, corporate greed and inaccurate technology get in the way of realizing your true results (5).
Translation: If you’re gonna do stupid stuff, at least be smart about it.
A common question we receive in the health & fitness industry each year–especially around the holidays–is whether those activity tracking bracelets would make a great gift for someone.
The answer really depends on the person you’re buying it for. Let’s cover the three main categories of individuals you probably have in mind before you throw down any money.
For an obese individual just starting out OR for women with a competitive edge: An activity bracelet may serve them well in creating adherence to daily movement, particularly over the short run (1,2).
For men and women seeking motivation to increase energy expenditure–and be able to accurately measure the number of calories burned: They may be better off focusing on improving the quality of their nutrition instead of adding in more (aerobic) exercise time to their day. Those who have extremely stressful work schedules and who often give the “not having enough time to stay active” excuse fall under this category (4).
For the self-motivated individuals out there who are already into fitness (and not “fitness whole pizza into their mouths” on a regular basis): They are advised to focus less on the WHAT and WHY of exercise and more on the HOW to exercise for optimal results. Therefore, these people will respond best to “sneaking in” shorter, more intense bouts of (anaerobic) physical activity up to six days per week. And this is usually because this final category of people often view exercise as medicine (3). A highly recommended alternative for this category of people that takes our ever-popular fitness trackers to the next level is the PUSH Strength device (preview below).
No matter which category you fall under (or the person you’re buying for), realize that any well-designed AND implemented fitness program requires progress tracking in some capacity. You can hire a qualified coach/trainer to help you with this–which also makes a great gift (Spoiler Alert: Don’t be surprised that you’ll still need to put some effort into logging your workouts and food choices. Coaches/trainers aren’t going to do it for YOU!) Or you can invest in an activity-tracking device that best suits your health goals and lifestyle.
At the end of the day, just keep in mind that: the way your clothes fit, the way you look if you were to record a video of yourself exercising on camera, and the way you look in the mirror do not lie. Except for that last one . . . you know, like when you’re at a carnival or something in one of those wacky funhouses.
1. Cadmus-Bertram, L. et al. Randomized Trial of a Fitbit-Based Physical Activity Intervention for Women. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2015. Sep; (49)3: 414-418.
2. Cadmus-Bertram, L. et al. Use of the Fitbit to Measure Adherence to a Physical Activity Intervention Among Overweight or Obese, Postmenopausal Women: Self-Monitoring Trajectory During 16 Weeks. JMIR mHealth and uHealth. 2015. Nov; (19)3: 4.
3. Eijsvogels, MH and P. Thompson. Exercise Is Medicine: At Any Dose? The Journal of the American Medical Association. 2015. Nov; 314: 18.
4. Sasaki, JE et al. Validation of the Fitbit Wireless Activity Tracker for Prediction of Energy Expenditure. Journal of Physical Activity & Health. 2015. Feb; 12(2): 149-54.
5. Staley, Charles. 8 Reasons People Do Dumb Things. Testosterone Nation. October 2012.