What is the buzz with all of these fitness gadgets?

Is this fitness device right for me?

Today in age, technology is on the forefront of innovation and practicality. Everything we do from work, home to socialization is wired to some sort of software program or device, for example a smartphone. It is no surprise to see that there has been an exponential increase of gadgets that help us track our nutrition and physical activity levels. With so many different gadgets and applications, you may find yourself scratching your head on your journey of finding one that meets your needs. If you are considering a fitness gadget, consider the following:

Is this fitness device right for me?

Do your homework before purchasing a fitness device. In today’s market there are a variety of devices that track steps, calories, blood pressure, sleeping patterns and even serve as an alarm. The question is, which one is right for you? First, consult with your physician or health care provider before purchasing any fitness device. If you have current health issues and/or physical activity restrictions, your physician can help guide you during your selection process. Second – have a budget when selecting a device. The prices of fitness devices range from an average of $10 to $300 dollars, it all depends on what you can and are willing to pay for. Third – comfort. Do you want a device you can wear around your wrist, pedometer style or installed in your smartphone? These are all things to consider when deciding what device is a match for you. Writing down a list of pros and cons can help discern these questions.

What are the outcomes you are looking for?

Are your intentions to start your physical activity journey, monitor your levels or share your progress? These are important questions to keep in mind when selecting your device. If you are purchasing a device to motivate you to add physical activity into your life, the important goal is to follow through. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Physical Activity Guidelines, on average an adult should incorporate at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. Your choice of physical activities should include goals that meet your specific health needs and are physically safe. Some great ways to incorporate moderate physical activity into your day is to go for a brisk walk with a friend or pet, gardening (when the weather permits), band exercises and house cleaning.

As you continue your journey in selecting your fitness device, Michigan State University Extension advises to remember:

  • Consult with your doctor first
  • Consider comfort and practicality
  • Consider price and goals

If you would like to learn more about the physical activity guidelines, visit health.gov. MSU Extension offers various educational programs for adults, families and children that focus on lifestyle changes to promote healthy eating.

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