These days it seems there are as many ways to count your steps as there are people counting their steps. Well, maybe not quite that many. Still, while the number of step trackers available might be a bit of an exaggeration, claims about their popularity aren’t. There is good reason for that. If you are one of the three people who haven’t used one yet here is what you are missing.
Step trackers get you on your feet
A number of recent studies have found that a sedentary lifestyle is as harmful as smoking. If sitting is the new smoking anything that motivates you to get on your feet is a good thing. Step trackers get you on your feet in a few ways.
· Some step trackers send regular reminders to encourage you to get up and move.
· Step trackers help you monitor how much you are moving. Let’s face it, many of us overestimate how much activity we are engaged in each day. Fitness trackers help you set and meet daily step goals. For example, you can set a goal of 10,000 steps and easily monitor your progress.
· Step trackers encourage personal and/or community accountability. Once you have set a goal of 10,000 steps you are more likely to try and reach that goal. There are a number of online communities where trackers can share tips and triumphs, too. Sharing step achievements with other trackers helps to make fitness feel more fun and supportive.
· Step trackers can help you take fitness outside of yourself. Much like joining the gym, using a step tracker can help you think about fitness as something shared with others. As human beings are largely social animals the added benefits of community and belonging can make being active more pleasurable.
Step trackers let you start where you are
The key to good health is to move more all day. Especially if you haven’t been doing much moving the idea of moving more can feel daunting. Step trackers make moving more feel less daunting. Maybe you can’t yet take the stairs or walk a mile but maybe you can add 100 steps each day. Step trackers help you measure your progress in a way that is meaningful for your individual level of fitness.
Step trackers can improve health outcomes
Of course you can’t make improvements if you don’t take the steps. But fitness trackers do encourage you to take more steps. Higher levels of activity are correlated with better health outcomes such as:
· Healthy weight
· Reduced risk of chronic illness such as diabetes and heart disease.
· Less stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia.
The bottom line is anything that encourages you to move more is bound to be a boon. Even for regular exercisers, sitting and sleeping for a combined 20 hours per day is harmful. Step trackers encourage you to take a stand and then a few thousand steps for your health every day. Try it. You are worth going the extra mile.