My friend, Matthew Davies, is a fitness geek but he doesn’t track his training activity. He believes doing so only hinders his concentration.
When fitness tracking devices were first introduced into the world, everyone thought they were the missing element in their everyday exercise routine. They thought of it as the holy grail of workouts, giving them the ability to ‘measure’ their success. It even helped them to earn a sense of satisfaction by measuring their progress.
However, like every other major discovery, people forgot to take into consideration the big picture. While fitness trackers help in quantifying the amount of exercise, it hinders us in countless other ways.
Some of the dark sides of fitness tracking are discussed below.
1. Obsession with numbers – While working out, you may notice some people who constantly glance at their watch. They feel the need to measure and keep track of every step taken and every calorie burnt.
The obsessiveness can reach a point when the individual won’t feel compelled to work out if the tracker is taken away from them. They develop a mindset where they believe that it isn’t worth working out if they aren’t able to track it. You have to realize that not everything is about numbers. There will be days when your body won’t be able to perform optimally. You need to develop a knack for the right amount of work out. Otherwise, you run the risk of burning yourself out by trying to outperform yourself.
2. Quantity over Quality – Exercise isn’t just about lifting heavy weights and wearing yourself out. Why do you think instructors exist?
Anybody with the right amount of practice can do fifty push-ups, but the person with the correct form will continue to do so even when they are comparatively old. Maintaining the correct form during exercise prevents your body from developing any injuries that may trouble you in the years to come. People with trackers often overlook this little detail and focus on quantity alone.
Little do they realize that bulging muscles that come at the cost of long-term health is good as nothing.
3. Prioritizing data over Body – You may be satisfied after learning from your tracker that a person of your height and weight should complete ‘X’ number of steps in one day. You may achieve that day after day, but know this, every human being is different.
Your body, though meeting the standards, may not be able to handle the routine you keep throwing at it. Listen to your body instead of looking at the numbers. Take rest when you think you’re over-exerting yourself. Pushing yourself is good, but not to the point that it causes permanent physical damage.
4. Don’t Compare – You and your friends may compare the results often. It’s good and encourages you to keep pushing yourself to become a better individual. However, many obsess over the results and feel disheartened when they find out that they have fallen behind.
My friend, Matthew Davies, believes electronic devices should not dictate our actions. Never let a tracker demotivate you from completing your daily dose of workout. Progress, no matter how little, is still progress.