Headlines in the health and fitness world have recently reported statements such as “Fitness trackers can make you fatter”, “No weight loss benefit for fitness tech” and “Fitness trackers prove un-useful for weight loss“.
So, it’s no surprise that fitness fanatics in their hundreds have abandoned their fitness bands in the belief that this bit of kit may actually cause them to gain weight.
On closer inspection, these headlines are the result of a study from the University of Pittsburgh*, which followed 471 young people trying to shift a few pounds. After receiving weight-loss advice for six months, half the group were given a fitness tracker, and all participants were given a low-calorie diet and exercise plan to follow for two years. In the end, both groups lost weight,. Yep, no one got fatter!
However, the group using the fitness trackers did lose less weight (around 3.5kg in two years compared to 5.9kg from the non-trackers).
There are a number of theories as to why this may be. People who track their activity are more likely to reward themselves with a post-workout treat. For others, tracking can actually make them demotivated when they don’t achieve their set daily goals (the old, ‘well, I might as well start again tomorrow!’)
But the clincher is, a fitness tracker is a piece of technology. It’s not going to hit the crosstrainer for you, and it’s not going to remove that double cheeseburger from your mouth! As with any technology, it has to be used correctly if you want it to work.
The accurate use of a fitness monitoring system is crucial, and it’s different for every user. Sure, we can forgive it for not being right on the mark with our daily step count, but if we fail to tell it truthfully what we had for lunch and how much exercise we’ve done, how can we expect it to know if we’re on track? This is an issue many of our personal trainers face when monitoring client’s diet and activity in between sessions. Nobody wants to fess up to their personal trainer about the takeaway and beers they had last night. So, many clients are selective about what they share, to appear virtuous and dedicated to their fitness regime. They’re not fooling anyone!
Under-reporting your diet and exercise to a trainer, simply means that it will take longer to achieve your goals.
Inaccurate input into a fitness tracker is pretty much the same. So what's the solution?
Our MyZone tracking technology uses Bluetooth, ANT+ and analog technology to provide real-time feedback on heart rate, calories and effort put into your workout. Without relying on your to input your own date, this clever bit of kit track heart rate intensity and focuses on effort... not numbers.
When you exercise at Village Gym wearing your MYZONE belt, you can track your effort on our big screens. Each MYZONE member wearing their belt has their own tile on the big screens, making it a great way to enjoy a little healthy competition and also see the results of your fellow gym members.
The result? No fiddling with inputting steps, time taken on the treadmill or estimating the number of calories you've blitzed. Our MyZone system records your efforts as they happen, allowing you to better plan towards smashing your fitness goals.
Buy your MyZone belt in your leisure reception this February for £70 off...
*Published in the journal of the American Medical Association