Wearable fitness devices, such as the Fitbit, are becoming increasingly popular because they help users track steps taken throughout the day in a fun and engaging way. Though fitness trackers can range in price from low- to high-end models, the social aspect of the device is what drives many users to invest in them.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults walk 10,000 steps per day, as it is estimated to burn around 20 percent of your daily caloric intake. People tend to be more active when they work out with others, and wearable devices can help drive frequency because of the social nature of the device—if you have friends wearing the device as well, there is a support network that motivates users. But does it work?
Many of these devices track a variety of health metrics, such as steps, movement, heart rate and more. These trackers put the sole focus on exercise, but diet is actually the most important aspect users should consider for personal success while using a wearable device to promote weight loss. Sustainable weight loss begins with a healthy diet.
A healthy diet should consist of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, healthy fats and healthy proteins.
In addition to a balanced diet, wearable devices may also benefit users because they develop a pattern of consistency. A fitness tracker requires commitment, much like exercise—something you should work into your daily routine.
While counting steps isn’t a magic cure-all for good health, it’s a positive step toward personal well-being.
Al Gros, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center