Nutrition and Fitness, Your Health Lindsay Guinaugh | 7 years ago

Fitness Gadgets to Keep You Moving Throughout 2015

By: Kathryn Randall, BS, MS, Exercise Specialist at Carolinas Weight Management

The start of the New Year has come and gone, and your enthusiasm for getting more active in 2015 may have done the same. Well-intentioned steps were taken, money was spent to join a gym or purchase exercise equipment and clothing, but many people find it difficult to stay motivated and regrettably turn back to old habits.

Some people still have the misconception that physical activity should be “no pain: no gain” and start at too high of a level in an attempt to achieve unrealistic goals. For others, the recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity is an overwhelming expectation. If it is not immediately achieved, then this can lead to frustration and sometimes withdrawal from their exercise program. While setting realistic exercise goals is important, receiving regular feedback about your activity status and overall progress has been shown to enhance motivation and long-term success. Fitness trackers, such as pedometers and accelerometers, are wearable devices that provide instantaneous feedback regarding the number of steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned and more. The use of such devices provides a sense of reinforcement, motivation and accountability due to the immediate feedback. The average adult takes around 5,000 steps per day. Studies have shown that simply using a pedometer or accelerometer improves a person’s physical activity awareness and increases the daily step count by an average of 2,500 steps. Pedometers are inexpensive ($10 to $50), and you can use a log to track daily steps. Accelerometers are more expensive ($100 to $150), but provide more information beyond step counts and can wirelessly upload data to apps, or your digital device of choice, for easy tracking, reporting and motivational rewards. Regardless of which device is purchased, it is recommended that the first week is used to establish a daily baseline of activity. Once a baseline is established, feedback from the device gradually will help increase daily activity. Try to focus on reducing your daily inactivity or sitting time by replacing it with some form of movement and not just doing a single 30 to 60 minute session. As you continue through 2015, consider using one of these devices to fuel your determination to get fit and improve your overall physical health.