The Fitness Tracker Craze

Which Fitness Tracker Should I Use??

It seems like the “fitness tracker craze” is stronger than ever. I’ve been getting tons of emails asking about pedometers, wearable devices (like the FitBit), and smartphones.

And based on all those emails, here are...

The Top 3 Questions About Fitness Trackers:

Okay, let’s tackle them one at a time.

Question #1: Will a fitness tracker help me get fit?

Answer: Yes!

You see, fitness trackers show you how much... or how LITTLE... you’re doing. And as you know, getting enough physical activity is vital to your health.

So you can use the tracker to raise your activity level. And it doesn’t have to be a huge amount. The idea is to increase it gradually so you can sustain it... and continue to build.

For example, if you’re taking 5,000 steps a day, increase it to 6,000. And once that seems easy... raise it again.

Which leads me to the next question:

Question #2: Do I HAVE to do 10,000 steps a day?

Answer: No... but it would be great if you did.

You see, 10,000 steps is NOT an official recommendation.

It actually comes from the name of a pedometer popular in Japan back in the 1960’s. It was called the manpo-kei, which translates as the “10,000 steps counter.”1

The OFFICIAL recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is 150 minutes of moderate activity (like brisk walking) per week.1

And to meet the CDC’s recommendation, you need to walk about 7,000 to 8,000 steps daily.1

Now, that’s much more do-able, right?

Because it turns out the average U.S. adult walks about 5,900 steps daily. So just add one more 20 to 30-minute walk and you’ve hit the goal.1

But don’t get me wrong... there’s no reason you HAVE to stop at 8,000. When it comes to moderate exercise, more is better.

So doing 10,000 steps a day is a terrific goal. And once you get started, you’ll find it’s easier to reach than you thought...

Especially with your device tracking your progress, and helping to motivate you.

And that brings me to the third question...

Question #3: What kind of fitness tracker works best?

Answer: The best fitness tracker is the one you’ll actually use the most.

And that usually means the one that’s easiest to use.

For example, I use my smartphone... because it’s always with me, and I can track every step I take during the day.

Is it as accurate as a pedometer or fitness tracker?

Well, there’s no such thing as a PERFECT step counter… and there’s always a tiny margin for error.

So keep it simple, as long as you do MORE steps than you did yesterday, it’s an improvement (don’t get caught up in counting EACH step… you”ll go crazy!)

And if you can improve using a “fitness journal” or just going for a 30 minute walk everyday... you don’t even NEED a fitness tracker.

Remember, the goal isn’t to have the latest, greatest fitness-tech device...

It’s to make sure you’re getting enough exercise to keep you healthy and fit... so you can live a long, active, happy life.

To great days ahead,

Dr. B

P.S. If you don’t have space to walk… walk IN PLACE! And if you walk in place every time you’re on the phone, you can rack up  a lot of extra steps.

One last thing… remember to check with your regular healthcare provider before you start an exercise program. They’ll let you know if it’s safe, and they can give you advice so the program is in your training range and safety zone... which will give it the best chance of being effective!

1Rettner, R. The Truth About “10,000 Steps” a Day. Live Science. March 7, 2014.

Arash Bereliani, M.D., M.S., F.A.C.C. Beverly Hills Institute For Cardiology & Preventive Medicine

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