Healthy diet and exercise are the foundations of good fitness. But, while it’s easy to monitor your diet since you can see what you eat, tracking your daily exercise related activities is another thing. Because of this there is a vibrant market for fitness trackers. There will be about 25 million fitness trackers being sold this year, including the most popular ones like Fitbit, and Jawbone.

In fact, the market is so full that many of the top fitness trackers are being sold at discount prices. These combination wristband and software exercise monitoring systems promise users that they will be the best tool for getting and keeping them in shape. The overall sales numbers indicate that people are listening and buying, but are they really gaining (or losing in this case)?

The stakes are high. In most western nations obesity is reaching epidemic proportions and every viable tool and strategy is needed in the war on fat. What role can fitness trackers play in this fight? And are they effective?

Fitness Tracker Benefits:

You can see your problem areas and know you are correcting them. Fitness trackers record and track your steps, calories burned, and other critical factors about your exercise and your day. They also track your progress throughout your exercise regimen and can both alert you when you are making progress and when you are not. You have a first-hand view of where your fitness is and you can compare and contrast it over time to yourself and others. This benefit is very encouraging for many people because it sets up a competition and a foreseeable set of goals to be met.

You can test your limits at your own rate. Too often people get into a gym and see others who are in better shape and then start a overreaching and find themselves injured. Fitness trackers allow you to decide how much or how little you want to push yourself. Also when you add in exercise the fitness tracker is recording from non-workout activities (walking and even sleeping), you may realize that you are already pushing your limits.

You can remain consistent. Exercising is about creating patterns for your behavior that you can follow. And with most people having full lives already, fitting in exercise can become a chore. Fitness tracker software allows you to set a schedule for working out that you can adhere to throughout the week, without thinking about it. It sets the times and you know it is locked into your schedule. This software also learns with you and tracks your progress. When people exercise with a trainer or training partner they continue longer. Fitness trackers are like having a fitness trainer in this regard.

Fitness trackers make you happier and more confident.Ok, it’s actually the exercise that makes you happier and more confident but fitness trackers get you to exercise more. Studies show that when people exercise and are fit, happy hormones like dopamine and serotonin are released in the body. These chemicals induce positive moods and generate a feeling of well-being. It makes us feel less anxious and minimizes the effects of stress. So exercise gives us a feeling of control over our mind and body, and it helps in boosting our confidence.

The major disadvantage of the devices, is that sometimes people expect too much from them. The tracker is there to keep you honest and help motivate you. It cannot exercise for you, nor can it motivate an otherwise unmotivated person.