Are smart watches such a smart idea?
One of my New Years’ resolutions is to stop using my smart watch. WHAT???? Surely smart watches are the best thing to help keep you on track with your fitness goals? This article discusses all things smart and not so smart about the these immensely popular pieces of fitness tech.
What is a smart watch?
A smart watch or fitness watch is a great piece of tech that can really motivate you on your fitness routine. It can track your steps, tell you how many calories you’re burning, measure your heartrate, time your sleep and analyse the quality of it… I’m not going to list everything, but you get the idea. These things are definitely smart, hence the name. Some of the leading brands to look at are Apple, Garmin and Fitbit. Prices range from minimal to eye-wateringly expensive, depending on whether you just want to count your steps for the day or whether you would like it to run your life (well, maybe not quite!).
What are the benefits?
For the fitness beginner, a smart watch can be such a great tool. There is no doubt it will up your motivation levels to exercise. You’ll be excited to see all the effort you are making recorded in front of you. When you hit certain goals, your watch will encourage you by sending you different well done badges and notifications.
It will also highlight for you areas you can improve upon. If you’re sitting still for too long at your desk, you can set a regular reminder to get up and move a little. It will continually encourage you to get up and move. The watch may help you discover you’re not getting enough good quality sleep. It can track your food and help you understand calorie intake and output.
For the fitness enthusiast, the smart watch can really help you push your game further. You can hone in on your heartrate training zones, meaning you can really maximise the benefits of your workouts. You’ll be able to monitor your speed and intensity, giving you the impetus to keep improving on your scores.
In short, the smart watch can help you completely change your lifestyle.
So, what is the problem?
I received my smart watch as a present for Christmas 2019. And I have used it religiously. It’s a waterproof one and it has not left my wrist. I check my steps every day, my daily goal is now set at 12,000 steps. I check my sleep quality every morning. Every work out is logged, I monitor my heartrate whilst I’m working out. I could go on. My problem is that is has become obsessive. I have reached the point where I feel it is actually doing me more harm than good. The level of guilt I feel at not reaching my steps goal is irrational. If I accidently forget to log something, I feel like I’ve cheated. Taking it off for an evening out was out of the question, it felt like I had left part of me at home.
In a world where the past 2 years have seen stress levels go through the roof for many of us, I have decided I need to give myself a break, mentally. Take some of the pressure off. I work out regularly. I eat fairly healthy food on the most part. So, I’m going to try 2022 a little differently and go with the flow of my life a little more. Without a watch eyeballing me if I only make 11,999 steps by bedtime.
Written by Becky Barrett.
Becky Barrett is an international talent manager and personal fitness coach with over 15 years’ professional experience and a 1st class Honours degree in Business & Law.
Driven by her unique values of compassion and a holistic approach to talent management, Becky has devised an innovative solution to take on the fitness industry with a brand-new personal fitness concept that aims to inspire and boost ‘new normal’ approaches to exercise routines.
Features include: Health & Wellbeing, Natural Health, Arden University, The Telegraph, BBC, Time & Leisure, Bdaily News, The Stage.