Chances are if you are reading this, you have a fitness tracker. If not, I’m sure you have your own opinion about them because they seem to be everywhere you look nowadays. However, let me ask you this, how many times have you checked your watch today? Every hour, every five minutes…? After reading Robyn’s article it got me thinking and I wanted to voice my opinion on the topic.
You see, originally these glamorized fitness trackers were made to encourage people to be more active. Majority of Americans spend their entire day at a sedentary desk job and if they are wearing a FitBit they are probably going to feel more entitled to “get in their steps” for the day. But when does something turn from a healthy habit into a compulsive ritual?
Lets take a step back and look at the other majority of people buying them. Runners, athletes, kids as young as 10, and unfortunately people struggling with eating disorders are using these as well. Does that mean someone 20 pounds underweight needs to have the same fitness goals as someone 50 pounds overweight? Absolutely not. These so-called health standards of getting “10 thousand steps a day” to be considered a “healthy” adult is not variable. What if someone didn’t reach that 10K step goal? Does that automatically mean they are worth less…?
I fell into the trap. My boyfriend got me a new FitBit a couple months ago and of course I have felt obligated to wear it. But I started noticing a trend as I religiously put it on my wrist every morning, it started becoming obsessive. If I didn’t wear it, I felt like a part of me was missing. When I didn’t get a certain amount of steps in a day, I felt guilt. GUILT. OVER A NUMBER. A STUPID WATCH. Why should I let some inanimate object place even more stress in my life than I already have to deal with?! Anxiety and guilt should never be associated with exercise or your self-worth. Just because you move more on one day and less the next is totally NORMAL. Yeah, that’s right. It’s actually HEALTHY to not always be go-go-go every day. Not only for your physical health but for your mental health too. I am 100% for living a healthy lifestyle, but do I think a fitness tracker is good for everyone? Absolutely not.
Fitness is not an obligation. It’s not about steps. It’s not about an intense workout every day. It’s about listening to your body and letting that be the determinate of how you choose to move. You don’t need a watch. You don’t need to track. You just need to live.
I challenge whoever feels the need to wear one everyday to take it off. Doesn’t have to be forever, just a day… or two…. a week maybe. See how you feel. Maybe you will have less anxiety. Maybe you will be more in tune with your body. Maybe, just maybe you will be more focused on other things that you actually feel happier. C’mon, you can do it.