Are You Too Old To Use A Fitness Band?
Two men walk inside a gym.
One is in his mid 40’s. He has a towel and a water bottle.
The second man is in his 20’s.
He has a towel, a shaker bottle, a tablet and a fitness band on his left wrist.
As the older man starts to warm up, the younger one opens the tablet, sets his fitness band, adjusts the compression knee sleeves and Sensoria Smart Sock Fitness Tracker.
Old Generation meets the New Fitness Generation. Old Generation scratches his head.
It may have started out like a joke but fitness is anything but. Regardless of generation gap, people are becoming more serious about fitness.
The health and fitness industry earns more than US$75 Billion in global sales annually. This includes gym and fitness centre memberships and exercise programs.
The growth of the health and fitness industry has likewise spurred the growth of the fitness band industry which is expected to earn US$60 Million in sales in 2016, up from $30 Million in 2015.
There is a correlation between the popularity of fitness bands and the evolution of digital technology.
The younger generation; specifically those from Generation Y and Z are more attuned to technology than those from Generation X.
The younger generation of fitness enthusiasts or the new fitness generation is capitalising on the benefits of technology because this is what they grew up with.
They grew up at a time when information can be immediately accessed with a touch of a keypad and everything can be recorded and measured in real time.
For them, the older generation seems like another lifetime!
What Were The Old School Methods Of Fitness Tracking?
“Back in the day….”
That is how the older generation would normally frame their experiences during their time.
People who were born in 1966 would use only two items to track their fitness: a stop watch and a notebook. However, some have started to embrace technology.
According to a survey by Connected Intelligence Consumers and Wearables Report, 69% of the fitness wearables market is from the 18 to 34 demographic.
Those from the 35 to 55 age bracket account for only 30% of the market.
But the interesting side of the report is that 41% of those who owned a fitness band from the 35 to 55 age bracket earned more than US$100,000 per year and that 54% were women.
According to the study, the older users did not find much value to the fitness bands except for tracking the number of steps and recording calories.
Thus, even with the new features of fitness bands, the older generation prefers to stick it out with old school methods.
Many still carry logbooks to the gym to record their workouts. For them, writing creates a stronger link between mind and body.
They remember and are able to process information better with pen and paper than a virtual notepad.
What Are Fitness Bands?
Fitness bands are wearable technology. These are designed to record data on movement to create a baseline on physical activity.
Fitness bands all start with the same two objectives: measure and manage.
Fitness bands will help you track movement, sleep patterns and calories. You can then upload all of this information online and get analysis, advice and receive community support.
The fitness bands in the market differ in how the information is gathered and how these are analysed for your benefit.
How Do Fitness Bands Work?
Many fitness bands operate with the use of an accelerometer; a device that measures movement through the use of two electrically charged plates. It has a counter- balance that shifts according to the level of activity.
When the user is at rest the counter- balance remains in the middle. But once the user starts moving, the counter- balance shifts between the two plates. Sensors detect and record the data.
Each fitness band has its own algorithm to process the data and provide analysis. This is where the differences in readings happen.
If you use a FitBit you may get higher readings in your step count compared to a Nike FuelBand.
Thus, when you decide to buy a fitness band know one very important fact: fitness bands are not 100% accurate.
Because fitness bands are designed to record movement as the baseline for physical activity, data can be affected by unintentional action and excessive gestures.
If you’re a runner, data can be affected by stride length. If you shift from the longer stride length favoured by Europeans to the shorter but quicker running cadence of the Japanese, there will be a marked change in your number of strides.
Why You Should Use A Fitness Band?
So despite these inaccuracies and inconsistencies in readings, should you still use a fitness band?
Even if variances exist in data recording, the important thing is you have a baseline for physical activity.
A baseline provides you a reference point to track your progress.
If you tracked 10,000 steps in 45 minutes that provides your baseline for your next objective which is to shorten the time required to complete 10,000 steps.
Second, recording data keeps you honest in your fitness goals and objectives.
This is especially true when it comes to staying true to your diet plan.
With a fitness band, you can keep watch over what you eat and have an immediate reference on the food you can eat whenever you dine out.
Finally, a fitness band keeps you committed to a life of health and fitness.
For these fitness bands to work, you must record data every day. This will eventually become a habit which will make you more disciplined in meeting your goals.
What Are The Best Fitness Bands In The Market?
1. FitBit Surge – This has continuous heart rate monitoring and comes with a built- in GPS. You can use this for Yoga and weight lifting workouts plus outdoor activities such as hiking. It can also provide you with notifications on incoming texts and calls.
2. Basis Peak – This fitness band has a fully automated activity detection feature and includes heart rate and skin temperature readings. Basis Peak is water- proof for up to 50 meters.
3. Garmin Vivoactive – This device has excellent battery life and comes with a slim ad sleek design. It is water- proof, has a built- in GPS and can track a variety of activities.
4. TomTom Spark Cardio + Music – For those who can’t train without music, this device plays your tunes without your phone. It is also water- proof, lightweight, has an accurate heart rate monitor and can track a number of activities.
5. Mio Fuse – It has an optical heart rate monitor which you can use for gym workouts and outdoor training. It is water- proof and measures time, steps, distance, calories burned and heart rate during training.
There is a fitness band to suit your type of physical activity. Before deciding to buy one, identify your purpose and have a plan on how to go about your health and fitness program.