Pedometers used to only track your steps, but now consumers have a variety to choose from that do just about everything except make you a latte. With so many options available, it’s tough to know which fitness devices offer the best functionality and price. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to get over my weight-loss plateau, so I sat down with Jennifer Dulaney, my coworker and resident fitness device guru, to pick her brain on which device to use.
Jennifer, who works as an insurance specialist at Active Healthcare, purchased a Body Media Fit Link Armband two years ago because she also hit a weight-loss plateau. She saw the Body Media Fit Armband used on the show “The Biggest Loser,” and also read positive reviews about the device in fitness magazines. The device came with features she liked such as Wi-Fi; Bluetooth compatibility; a heart rate tracker; and the ability to track calories, exercise and sleep. The device’s results surprised Jennifer.
“I don’t think people realize how much sleep is a factor (in affecting weight loss),” said Jennifer.
Jennifer didn’t expect poor quality of sleep to be culprit in her weight-loss mystery. The Body Media Fit Armband showed Jennifer that she wasn’t getting as much sleep as she thought, and Jennifer could correlate lack of sleep with poor eating and exercising habits the following day. She was able to correlate longer, higher quality sleep with better weight loss results. Understandably, Jennifer’s favorite device feature became the sleep tracking functionality.
With so many trackers now available, Jennifer’s advice is to remember that a “fancy,” expensive, brand-name device may not be the best fit. It’s important to think about what functionality the device provides, to read reviews, and to talk to others who have used devices to gauge the accuracy of different devices. Since I spoke with Jennifer, I’ve made a concerted effort to get to sleep earlier, and I’ve already noticed how sleep affects my appetite and motivation to exercise.