Happy New Year! Have you started your New Year’s health regimen? Charged and synced up your fitness tracking device? Have you started flipping tractor tires and kipping your way to better health?

My wife and I took time to refocus on our fitness. It took us having to actually schedule it on the calendar so other commitments wouldn’t block out our workout time. It is amazing how many times we would have to bump our routine to accommodate work, kids or life! We came to the conclusion that if we didn’t schedule it, it wouldn’t happen.

As the shopping season progressed I constantly saw fitness tracking devices on sale. They track everything from walking, jogging, biking, eating and sleeping! Many of the devices sync with your computer to keep track of your health. Some phone apps do the same thing if you constantly have your phone on you. My Samsung even keeps track of my pulse, heartbeat and mood. Not sure how it determines my mood but it is entertaining to have my phone tell me how I’m feeling.

Are these devices helping us or hurting us? Would this be a good gift or perceived as a negative message by the receiver? Kind of like finding a subscription to Weight Watchers in your stocking.

I believe they can be a wonderful tool to keep us aware of what we are or are not doing. A gentle buzz of your wrist to remind you to workout may be just what is needed to keep your resolution. However, they can add to your anxiety or feeling of failure. When my phone buzzes and says “Get more active! You are falling behind!” I say “Well phone, what you don’t know is, I wasn’t carrying you for the 2 miles I just ran on the elliptical”. It then follows up by telling my mood is angry. I can’t believe I’m paying for this abuse.

If you currently use or are thinking about starting the robotic personal trainer, make sure to utilize it for what it is, a tool. Don’t allow it to cause you anxiety or feeling like a failure each time you go off track. The best way to reach your goal is to plan for it and track your progress along the way. That is where these devices come in very handy because they take over the workload of tracking your progress. You can reach the same goals by simply grabbing a notebook and planning your workouts. Then jot down notes after each workout. Keep a log of what you’ve accomplished and your next goal. If you track it, it will happen.

Featured image courtesy of A Healthier Michigan