Chapter 7: The Dark Side of Fitness Tracking

Dark side of racking

Chapter 7: The Dark Side of Fitness Tracking

As you can see then, fitness tracking can absolutely revolutionize your training. It does this by taking the kind of ‘shotgun’ approach you might be using at the moment and transforming it into a fine scalpel or a laser. You now use math and numbers to make sure you’re getting the precise amount of exercise you need, that you’re not eating too much and that you’re training in the most efficient manner. You keep an eye on the numbers and you can know with certainty whether you’re going to lose weight or not.

But there are downsides to fitness tracking too and you do need to be a little careful in some respects.

One pitfall for instance is the possibility that you end up reliant on your fitness tracking devices. This can then be a problem if your fitness device should break and you trust it whole heartedly. Imagine for instance that your device goes mad and starts telling you that you have a resting heartrate of 140bpm. You might now start worrying about your health, skipping the gym and potentially eating less carefully seeing as you’ll probably be burning ’10,000 calories a day’.

Of course no one has a resting BPM that high and in this case, it’s more likely that your device is just damaged. What’s key is that you recognize this possibility and don’t just believe it.

The solution in this case? Listen to your body. Use your intuition and learn to feel what a high heart rate is like and what a low heart rate is like. If your fitness tracker is telling you one thing and your body is telling you another, check it by taking your pulse the old fashioned way!

A similar problem is what happens when you forget to wear your tracker or you miss a workout. Fitness tracking can be surprisingly addictive and this can make the whole process a little stressful if you occasionally miss a session.

One way to solve this problem is to use multiple tracking techniques. For instance, you might use Microsoft Health and S Health and combine the tracking of your Fitbit with the tracking of your phone. This way, when you forget to charge your device, you’ll still be able to monitor your steps.

But likewise, try not to get too obsessive over your health tracking. This is a tool to serve a purpose. That purpose is all that matters – you don’t need a complete data set and it’s probably not going to be 100% accurate anyway!

Every now and then try taking a break from fitness tracking. You don’t need it on holiday and it’s good to stop monitoring yourself like a hawk once in a while.