how beneficial are fitness trackers?

I've reached the 15lbs lost mark, and was thinking of buying a fitness tracker as a reward. but then I thought, what will I gain from it? I already have a basic garmin running watch (VERY basic, does not do HR monitoring, just distance/pace). I'm fairly active during the day on my job--walk around quite a bit, so don't need reminders to take more steps.

do I really need to shell out the money for a fitness tracker? Or would I be better off just buying a good HR monitor with chest strap (gives more accurate HR if use chest strap)?

just curious what people think. and which one people use
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Replies

  • BasicGreatGuy
    BasicGreatGuy Posts: 868 Member
    If your exercise is mostly walking, getting a HRM would be overkill, in my opinion.
  • dubble818
    dubble818 Posts: 132 Member
    I use a Fitbit Blaze. It looks like a sporty watch rather then a fitness band. I appreciate that. As for benefits, I like knowing how much sleep I'm getting every week. Seeing improvements in my resting heart rate is good motivation for sticking with my fitness regimen. I walk a lot at work and I'm always first in my group of friends for most steps taken. It motivates me to stick with things more than anything.

    The HR monitors with straps are cumbersome and a pain in the butt IMO. I had a polar that I wound up selling. The Blaze is just second nature to wear for me.
  • mom2kateRH
    mom2kateRH Posts: 178 Member
    My exercises vary quite a bit. I run ~2-3 days, do HIIT 2-3 days, strength training mixed in there too. I was thinking of getting a fitness tracker with HR monitor to better monitor calorie burn.
  • BasicGreatGuy
    BasicGreatGuy Posts: 868 Member
    Heart rate monitors (as a whole at this point in time) do not do well with HIIT and weight lifting.
  • rybo
    rybo Posts: 5,430 Member
    I've never understood the hype and popularity of fitness gadgets and activity trackers.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,870 Member
    mom2kateRH wrote: »
    I run ~2-3 days

    GPS is more reliable than anything else here.
    do HIIT 2-3 days, strength training mixed in there too.

    HR is meaningless for this, as is step counting.

    Personally I use a Forerunner 735XT, and would judge that the step counting side of things is interesting, but of little material value.


  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,897 Member
    I guess it just depends...an activity tracker for me wouldn't be of much value...I have plenty of data to tell me what my calorie targets should be to lose or maintain weight. I do have a Garmin 500 bike computer as cycling is my primary form of exercise.

  • mom2kateRH
    mom2kateRH Posts: 178 Member
    edited June 2017
    Thanks for the replies. I was really interested in it for a better estimation of calories burned during exercise, but I think it may not be worth it. I'm slowly but steadily losing weight without it, and if it's not much use for HIIT, then I guess there may not really be a point.

    I just like gadgets and spending money
  • BasicGreatGuy
    BasicGreatGuy Posts: 868 Member
    mom2kateRH wrote: »
    Thanks for the replies. I was really interested in it for a better estimation of calories burned during exercise, but I think it may not be worth it. I'm slowly but steadily losing weight without it, and if it's not much use for HIIT, then I guess there may not really be a point.

    I just like gadgets and spending money
    The mirror is a very good guide for checking progress, and isn't as big dent in the wallet. ;)
  • mom2kateRH
    mom2kateRH Posts: 178 Member
    As is the scale, and the smaller pants I can now wear....
  • SuperCarLori
    SuperCarLori Posts: 1,248 Member
    rybo wrote: »
    I've never understood the hype and popularity of fitness gadgets and activity trackers.

    I never did either...then a friend gave me their old FITBIT and now I'm moving *kitten* trying to beat my own records.

    It may or may not help with motivation. It does for me.
  • momofamadhouse
    momofamadhouse Posts: 197 Member
    It just depends on what you want it for. I lost over 100 pounds without one. My husband bought me a tomtom spark music for my birthday and I love it because it lets me see the progress I'm making on my runs (pace, stride rate, distance). I personally think it's a little step-happy but I love that I can put music on it and don't have to take my phone when I run. So get one if you want. It's just another tool in the box, but it's helpful for some people.
  • duncan04
    duncan04 Posts: 67 Member
    @Mom2KateRH ... tracking calories is a great thing. I think if you get a tracker you'll do so much more because they do more. I've worn several over time. Garmin vivofit, Up24, Fitbit Zip, Fitbit Alta, Apple Watch...and I've given them all up for the Garmin Vivoactive HR. And I couldn't be more thrilled with all of them. I've had several because my fitness needs outgrew the trackers. The latest one is GPS-HR-and fully swimproof. Those were my requirements in a tracker without having to carry my phone during a workout. Best of luck and Great job in your progress.
  • mom2kateRH
    mom2kateRH Posts: 178 Member
    Well, darn it all, now maybe I do want one!
    This week and last, I had no weight loss, but I truly think it is because I'm at a different level of fitness now, and my calories burned during exercise are less than they were previously.

    I have loved Garmin products in the past. Definitely would like to keep good function on watch for pace/distance. I have my annual review at work coming up. If I get a raise/bonus, maybe I'll splurge
  • mhwitt74
    mhwitt74 Posts: 159 Member
    The ones I have tried don't work for me. They never gave accurate HR and the kicker is that counted walking distance while I was on my riding mower! LOL. I don't even bother with one anymore.
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,736 Member
    I sit at a desk all day.

    SO, I Like the reminder to get up and move.

    And it's a garmin with GPS, so it lets me work on improving my pace/time/cadence.
  • amtyrell
    amtyrell Posts: 1,449 Member
    It really depends on you. I am the type where if I look at my fit bit at night and it is under my 11k goal will get up and walk as I need to hit that goal. Thus benifit to me.
    But if it will not incentive you to move more skip it.
  • Bry_Fitness70
    Bry_Fitness70 Posts: 2,484 Member
    I think that fitness trackers are great for people who love technology, data, and fitness.

    I have a Garmin Fenix 3 HR, and it tracks my continuous HR, steps, miles, stairs ascended, sleep, and exercise metrics. It is also a watch, altimeter, barometer, compass, has GPS capabilities, and tells me when the sun will next rise and set. It is waterproof and has a sapphire face that makes it extremely difficult to scratch or break. I have multiple customizable watch faces available as well as watch bands that I can swap out; I use the silicone one for running and a titanium one for work (it goes nicely with business attire.) No, I don’t work for Garmin, I just love their products ;)

    Having a fitness tracker provides actionable data to allow me to make better fitness decisions (Vo2 max, step cadence, BMR, etc.) IMO, consistency is the most important aspect of fitness. Sometimes the daily pursuit of consistency gets boring and having a fitness tracker tends to make it more interesting.
  • rainbowbow
    rainbowbow Posts: 7,491 Member
    I have a Garmin Forerunner 230 and my boyfriend has the Fenix 3 HR (sapphire). We both love them and they work for us personally.


    But i think if you've got a general routine down and your exercise level is relatively consistent there's no reason whatsoever to invest in a fitness tracker for the purpose of weight loss or calorie deficits. It's far too easy to estimate your activity level.

    What i DO use my fitness tracker for is to improve my fitness (runs, vo2 max, etc.) and get objective data on my fitness. I don't even connect it with MFP at all and don't consider it's data in relation to my nutrition.
  • firef1y72
    firef1y72 Posts: 1,578 Member
    I have Garmin Forerunner 35 and I love it. As well as tracking my runs (via GPS) it also lets me track my various classes and workouts and gives me a pretty good idea of how many "extra" Calories I've burnt in a day. I also have a Fitbit Flex 2 on my other wrist for challenges and sites that reward steps, personally I think that the Garmin is more sensible with the calories it gives me than the Flex 2 (and Charge HR and Surge I had previously).