Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wearable fitness technology, and a big choice

As you know, I like to run. A week or two ago I ran a 10K and had a personal record; check out my story on Jamaica King's blog here! The punch line is that I ran faster than I thought I could. Hooray.

When I was prepping for the race, I decided to splurge and buy myself a GPS watch. I previously used a great app, RunKeeper, but I'm tired of running with my phone strapped to my arm and decided I really want to be able to see my pace without fumbling around. In case you're wondering, this is not a sponsored post and it's not really about the watch, either. I promise, I'll get to the point!

I had to choose between the $129 Garmin Forerunner 10 and the Forerunner 15 for $169. The difference? In addition to measuring distance, pace, and time while running or walking, the 15 tracks your heart rate, steps, and calories burned - like a FitBit. 

At first, my eye went straight to the 15. I love data. The 15 could give me all sorts of information! But then I realized, the 15 could give me all sorts of information. Not only how many calories I burned, but how few calories I burned. Not only how many steps I took, but how many steps I meant to take but didn't.

As much as I value information, I know myself. I already have to discipline myself to not weigh myself every day. Would I be able to control myself with this thing on my wrist? Would only walking 7,000 steps in a day ruin my mood? It's all too possible that this amount of information could be too much.

Or, can you?
I decided this level of detail could be great for some people, but not for me, not now at least. Some people may be just starting out with fitness, or may be disciplined enough to use the info the right way. For me, working out and eating right have become part of who I am. I don't need to be in competition with myself, beating myself up at the end of each day when my stats aren't ideal (or, what I think is ideal). It took me a long time to come to this place, and I was proud of my decision. I would love to try a fitness tracker at some point, but now just isn't the right time for me to wear one all the time.

Do you wear a fitness tracker? How do you balance using the information productively without obsessing over it?

1 comment:

  1. I do have a polar loop but dont's just fun and only INFORMATION for me!