What is Your Smart Watch or Fitness Tracker Doing to Your Workouts?

fitness tracker, fit bit, smart watch, exercise gadget, technology, workout, tracking, trackers

The Downside to Metric-Focused Workout Sessions

Chances are if you are on DIYactive.com (welcome, by the way, we are happy to have you here!), you are either interested in getting fit or maintaining your fitness. It is also safe to say if you fit into either category and you haven’t been living under a rock for the last 2-3 years, you’ve purchased or at least used some type of smartwatch, activity monitor, or fitness tracker.

We could go on and on about recommending a model to you, but this is a different type of post altogether. You likely don’t need your fitness tracker. Here’s why:

Fitness Trackers Won’t Make You Fit

What is Your Smart Watch or Fitness Tracker Doing to Your Workouts?

Measurement Culture

Key performance indicators (KPIs) that are measured by the ole ball ‘n’ chain also known as your fitness tracker are very important overall to keep an eye on. How will you know your optimal fat burning level if you don’t keep an eye on your heart rate, for example? And who wants to touch those heart rate (HR) monitors everyone has sweated on at the gym?

Have an office step challenge? If you don’t have a fitness tracker to automatically track those glorious steps for you, then how will you get your sweet swag or gift card at the end? I guess there is always the old-school pedometer option… but get ready for some strange looks from small children who think it might be your pacemaker and definitely some silent judgment from your peers.

Don’t worry — we aren’t suggesting you trash your precious (and expensive) fitness tracker, we are simply suggesting you conveniently leave it at home or in your gym bag once in a while. Why? Let me tell you a story…

Learning to Listen to Your Body

It was 5 am and I hadn’t slept, because, well… life. Can I get an amen? Work, kids, pets, health, soul-crushing debt… sometimes it can be hard to get quality Zzzzs.

There are mattresses out there which can help you achieve a comfortable rest, though, so help yourself where you can!

I had a few options: wake up and start the daily grind of emails and projects (sounds great, but from past experience I know I’ll burn out by 2-3 pm), do some chores around the house (no, just no), or hit up the gym… winner, winner chicken dinner. I grabbed my gym bag which is always packed for just such an occasion, swished some mouthwash while applying deodorant, and was on the way to my happy place — the gym.

When I arrived, I turned on my music and grabbed some water… then the devastation hit. That gut-wrenching feeling when you realize you forgot to put on your fitness tracker. Of course, I went through the normal, crazed feelings… how far out of my way is it to go home and get it (yes, even at 5 am)? What will my friends think when they see my stats today and I’m running short? And most importantly… if a girl in the gym does cardio without a fitness tracker, did it really happen? Who can she prove it to?

Sheer laziness made me stay at the gym and proceed with my workout. I found myself constantly checking the empty space on my wrist where the tracker would be. My internal dialog was wondering how many steps I had done, where my heart rate was, and how long I had been working out.

I won’t lie, I was a little disgusted with myself. Since when did I only care about the metrics? Since the rollout of the workweek challenge, that’s when! Am I right?

Wrap-Up

The point of this article is simple: listen to your body. Dare to go #trackerless a day or two a week in the gym and really just focus on what brought you there in the first place and where you are at on your physical and mental fitness journey.

Turn up the music, turn off your tracker, and believe in yourself. You’ve got this!

Disclosure: In the spirit of full disclosure, DIYactive.com may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain reviews or your clicking on links posted on this website.

Kristin Hu